What makes fashion, fashion? Pose this question on social media and (assuming you have a following) you’ll get a different answer each time. In fact, people aren’t afraid to preface their answer with “according to me” or “in my opinion”, or even give credentials on why they’re qualified to answer such a vague question.
But what makes the high-end fashion world so alluring to people? Why would people willingly pay thousands of dollars for something that probably cost a fraction to make, and what’s the message that designers are trying to get across? In this article, we’ll be exploring the surface of these topics to help you understand the high-end fashion world.
Fashion changes constantly
Looking at the textbook definition of fashion is ultimately pointless. You see, words and their meanings can twist all the time and we can safely say that they’re defined mostly by the people that use them. With something as fast-paced and ever-changing as fashion, it should come as no surprise that “fashion” means something different to everyone.
This subjective quality of fashion means that everyone can make their own rules. Companies can charge whatever they want and, assuming there’s a market, they can continue to do so. Similarly, people make decisions with their money, and if they’re willing to pay the price for high-end fashion, it will always exist and companies will continue to push the boundaries and challenge the meaning of fashion.
Justifying the cost of high-end fashion
If you click here and check out some of the affordable dresses you can find on the internet, it’s a stark contrast compared to the hundreds of dollars you’d expect to pay for something similar from a high-end brand. But why? Why do high-end fashion brands get away with charging so much and how do they justify their items?
It’s all about exclusivity.
Much of the expensive fashion you see has limited production runs. They’re released for the season and then nothing is made until the next collection. If you missed out, then tough luck–they’re gone. This is why makes them exclusive and also what drives the insane prices. You’ll only get a couple thousand of a single item and once they’re gone, the only way to get those pieces is to buy through a reseller.
Entire businesses are created through the process of reselling. The idea of owning something exclusive is alluring to people, and being able to stand out with something so unique and different is one of the biggest reasons why high-end fashion companies are able to charge whatever they want.
It’s not just quality
While it’s true that most high-end fashion pieces are high in quality, there’s only so much you can do to make something luxurious to the touch. Be it summer swimwear or even a pair of sandals, high-end fashion companies will charge ludicrous amounts for something that isn’t necessarily top quality.
So the next time someone makes the argument that the quality and construction of something is what makes it worth the money–it’s not. In fact, what you’re essentially paying for in high-end fashion is exclusivity. You wear something to show it off, not just for the comfort.