Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pack Mentality?

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?


Linda said...

So essentially a snub to anyone less than the elite, who I might add, are making their money off the backs of the billions of working class people all over the globe who buy the products their conglomerates sell. Shameful. Too bad us "lowly types" can't band together and boycott any Chanel products they CAN afford (nail polish, perfume, etc.) to make a statement to Chanel about their haughty behavior. It'll never happen, but it would be fun to see it...

Paula said...

Hi Jill!

Widget (a feature I love!) led me to this posting and I enjoyed reading it a lot. Though the topic is depressing, no?

Prices are going up steeply, not only for groceries but also for fashion! A few years ago we noticed you could not buy a decent pair of boots under 240 EUR. It always used to be 120 for boots and 80 for shoes.

I quit shopping since I bought a pair of diamond studs this summer. Next month my budget will be balanced again and I will see how I will go on.
It just is not fun buying jeans from casual brands for 150 EUR.

A Chanel purse for 2500 would have been something to think about. Not any longer. Too bad, because this purse is really cute.
Maybe it helps that everyone says it never stays on your shoulder. I prefer a Barnes&Noble bag over any shoulder strap that would not stay where it belongs to: on the shoulder!