I read on Sarah Davis's Fashionphile blog that Chanel was having a price increase on their bags. She was not kidding. The bag above is a grained calfskin 2.55 flap, Chanel's most famous bag, and was featured in the August 2010 issue of Vogue. On August 1 the price jumped from $2,600 to $3,400. That's a nearly 30% increase by my calculations, and in a bad economy too. Fashionphile's theory is that Chanel wants to make the brand a little harder to get to for most regular ladies, more like an Hermes (aspirational, rare) and less like a Louis Vuitton (as if those bags are cheap). What I found interesting is that when a friend and I were in Prada a week ago, looking at a gorgeous leather tote--with the relative bargain price of approximately $1,500--the Prada associate knew about the Chanel price increase and was using it as a selling point to push the Prada tote on us! That here was a beautiful bag, less than a Chanel 2.55 and far far less than an Hermes Birkin, tough, "You could drive a bus over it and it would still look great," and an heirloom too, it was so well made you'd not only have it forever you'd be leaving it to someone in your will.
All of which makes me wonder if luxury brands have pack mentality thinking, like the airline industry. Oh, a 30% price increase, Chanel? I see your thirty and raise you ten! Will I go back to Prada in a few months and have my friend there tell me the price of the Saffiano leather tote has risen an unbelievable amount?
Even the model holding the Chanel, Karlie Kloss, looks a little like, Can you believe this, people? A 30% price increase? What?