The Vagaries of the fashion industry and the value of hindsight
I have been a participant and student of the bag industry for over twenty-five years. When I started in the industry my heros in the industry were Judisth Lieber, Bottega Vennetta and Myers. Myers has gone out of business, Judith Lieber’s company isn’t the same since she died and Botegga Vennetta remains strong. Back then product was mainly made in the US and Europe. The designers (like Judith Lieber) designed product from the experience of being sample makers and were people that knew the history of bags. In the in 80’s better bag price points started at $120 and topped out at $1,500 (with exceptions for exotics). Now remember, the majority of made those bags were made in high labor countries. If you were to go into any department store today those prices are in the main still viable; though the top end has continued to climb. The majority of manufacturers are now importers; mainly from China. You may ask what is lost in this bargain, the consumer gets a good value and importers are able to get able to get their products in a timely manner, plus make money. The losers in this picture are the economies and people of the countries like ours. Young design/entrepreneurs are less informed about the possibilities of new designs and it takes a lot more money to start a new bag company as an importer. There is a value in supporting companies like ours. You are not only making it possible for our family to make a living but you are supporting all the good people that we work with to pay their bills.
- David Bloom