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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Why So Much? A Case Study

Posted by Brett Glass on Sat, Jun 7, 2008 at 11:53 AM

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Idom has been having trouble moving these cute bags from Brooklyn-based designer Jenny Yuen. Everyone who sees them adores them. But they were priced at $325.
We all know why Fendi charges $2000 + for a little clutch: because they can. But what about indie designers like Yuen? I spoke to her recently to get the lowdown on high prices.

✺Her pieces are produced in one of the few remaining factories in NYC’s Garment District. Yuen visits the family-owned factory and works closely with the craftsmen, who are paid a living wage. Obviously, this is costlier than producing in China (where Fendi bags originate, btw).

✺Yuen gets her leather from Italy or the US, which is more expensive due to higher quality and because American and Italian tanners are paid well and work in better conditions.

✺The hardware is custom made, unique to each bag. Everything is actually gold-plated, rather than just painted gold, and varnished so it holds shine and resists scratching.

✺Yuen is a completely independent designer, producing on a small scale. She doesn’t get the price breaks that bulk producers often get.

Idom on Alberta has the line on sale now. They’re still expensive, but totally worth it.

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