Many of us love luxury brands for their dreamy, elegant appeal, and their distinct attention to quality. We see their high price tags as being synonymous with hours spent making their products, and materials to last a lifetime. Unfortunately though, sometimes, that could not be further from the case.
Joining a group of high fashion brands that put ultra-expensive price tags on products that truly cost hundreds (or thousands) of dollars less to make, Balenciaga is getting a bad rep for tricking consumers into buying their version of “luxury.” And yeah, now we’re rethinking buying those “Triple S” sneakers or that “Classic City” bag after all.
One of Balenciaga’s most suspicious price markups is their $2,145 blue tote bag that looks exactly like the ones sold at Ikea for just $1 (via CNN). Debuted in 2017, it was widely criticized, even if they did switch Ikea’s plastic for a supple leather. A $2,145 price tag out of your budget? Well you could always go for Balenciaga’s $1,100 tote bag that eerily resembles a paper shopping bag. That being said, you might just be better off with the Ikea plastic or paper bags if you truly want a good deal.
All the reasons you shouldn't buy Balenciaga
Many argue that brand value is the reason behind Balenciaga’s hefty price tags, just like Louis Vuitton defends their 30% margins as coming out of “the product development that is involved in its design” (via The New York Times). Whether you agree with that or not, prices become more questionable when you think of Balenciaga’s streetwear, selling cotton T-shirts for upwards of $500. As a retail executive told ONE37pm, “where things get murkier is in the rise of streetwear as luxury fashion items. How luxurious can a cotton T-shirt or sweatshirt really be?”
Brands used to hide behind their luxurious leathers as reason enough for their prices, but if they’re just using cotton, it’s expected for consumers to question them. Now that the infamous Balenciaga Triple S sneakers’ production has been moved to China, and we know they are mostly made of mesh and jersey, why the $895 price tag? As ONE37pm breaks it down, the Triple S sneakers actually cost $195 to make and $390 for department stores to buy wholesale. In short, consumers are paying more than four times the cost, which means incredible margins for Balenciaga, and a terrible deal for us.
Although Balenciaga’s streetwear is heavily marked up, it’s safe to say no one is buying the brand’s products for their deal factor. Luxury brands sell a dream, and know they can charge their prices for their signature brand value. Of course, it’s up to the consumers to decide if it’s worth it or not.
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