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20-02-2007
  61
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To answer your question stylephox and divert from the topic of luxe manufacturing for the last time: Average person as in a homeless person with "fake" real looking Louis Vuitton luggage...I've seen it. Not a good look LOL Definitely not what someone with the real thing wants to see. I think that's enough discussion about fakes. We all agree to not buy them and that it is WRONG. That's it.

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21-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss_Frou_Frou
yes the made in china label does hold some stigma to it for some. Some think "made in china" = cheap labour and lower quality. I guess it depends on the item. I read somewhere that Australian couture designer Richard Tyler ( who resides in the USA ) visited China and was totally astounded by the technology and workmanship over there . He was saying that "made in china" is not what it was years ago. It is well ahead of its time apparently.

I bought Sass & Bide Jeans when they were made in Australia and now they are made in China. I still like the jeans. They fit great. Though I don't like paying the same price for them when they are now made in China ! That really irks me .

Then there are Tsubi jeans ( another Australian label of jeans ) that I buy.They are expensive but they are made in Australia and I am willing to pay that as I understand that workmanship and labour would cost more than what it would cost if the jeans were made in China. I think when you also purchase a certain label i.e. an Australian label or a French label, you would much prefer and expect that the item is made in their home country and to see made in China on a label really would turn me off from buying the item in some respects.

When I visited Disneyland, I didn't buy any Disney merchandise because they were all made in China. I wanted to see " made in the USA" on Mickey mouse. Not made in china ! If it were Hello Kitty that would be a different story.
This post was made a long time ago, but I found it offensive. Hello Kitty is a Japanese creation, not a Chinese creation...I find it extremely racist that all Asian countries are lumped into one low grade quality standard and thus can manufacture their products interchangably. While I realize it is a rather trival error on the posters part, I think it reflects a general mindset I find quite racist. Although benign and non intentional, being invisible is what distinguishes Asian countries as being inferior from a Eurocentric perspective.

Additionally, this post does not take into account the reason why Chinese labor costs are so low. If these Australian brands manufacturing in places like China are paying their employees ethical (or at least better than what they would normally receive) wages-I would hope a consumer would not find paying the same price for a garment inconvenient. Of course, it might be-and probably is- that they are just making bigger profits by outsourcing their labor, but to declare that clothing made in China should be cheaper is just ludicrious. I understand that this poster has remarked that the quality of Chinese manufacturing has recently increased, nonetheless I felt it was important for me to voice my disagreement with these specific arguments. I would like to note that I know almost nothing about the legislation and economics involved in the manufacture of clothing, but I think it is important and necessary to stimulate this kind of dialogue when discussing it.

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21-02-2007
  63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caffeine
dezzydez, thank you so much for the input.
ditto, thanks dezzydez and welcome to tFS

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01-03-2007
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WSJ article
You can skip most of the article but read the last paragraph:

After the Show: The Real Business of Fashion

We Shadow a Retail Buyer
As He Shops for His Boutiques;
$1,000 Blouse Threshold

By CHRISTINA BINKLEY
March 1, 2007; Page D6

All month, it's been hard for the fashion-minded to miss the wall-to-wall coverage of the industry's globetrotting runway marathon, the countless photos of svelte models sauntering down catwalks in New York, then London, Milan and now Paris. The media are the real audience for these runway shows. At the Max Mara show in Milan last week, I counted 825 seats marked for the press, and just 85 seats for the retail buyers who actually purchase clothes for stores.
For the buyers, arguably the most important link in the fashion food chain, the circus-like theatrics have little if anything to do with the real business of fashion. After the models slip the clothes off their bony shoulders, runway samples head straight to ateliers -- studios where retail buyers pull and poke and even try them on, then ponder the practicality of derriere-hugging hemlines and dutifully record purchases in their laptop computers.

In private showrooms all over Paris, Milan and New York, I tagged along with Todd Hanshaw, one of the squadron of retail buyers, to figure out just how the runway meets the realities of the global luxury economy. Sales are by appointment, clothes are produced once the orders are in, and a buyer who is unimpressed with the offerings for this fall/winter season may buy a few anyway, mainly to ensure access to next year's collection. Surprisingly, much of what is purchased never even saw a runway. These items are often called "pre-collection" -- or they are simpler versions of the attention-getters from the shows.
Mr. Hanshaw has had a successful career buying for Barneys New York and dressing celebrities including Patti LaBelle and Nicole Kidman. Wynn Las Vegas -- yes, the casino -- hired him away a couple of years ago with the lure of creative freedom to fill several of its stores, including Outfit and Jean Paul Gaultier (for which he buys, of course, Gaultier).
The shops at the Wynn resort draw enough high-spending clients that Mr. Hanshaw is greeted warmly at showrooms all over the globe. The evening before Zang Toi's New York show, as his assistants looked on in dismay, the designer ripped the garment bags off of his runway collection show so that Mr. Hanshaw could take a look. After all, Outfit has sold a Ferre gown for $38,000, and the store regularly sells gowns in the $12,000-to-$18,000 category.
The buying process is a little like a mini fashion show. Buyers, with the help of a salesperson, comb through the racks of clothes. Models are available to try on the items; these women spend a long day changing in and out of the same clothes. Buyers or their assistants photograph the looks they are purchasing. Then buyer and seller sit at a table -- frequently in the Philippe Starck Louis Ghost chairs that seem ubiquitous in showrooms -- and read inventory numbers back and forth. Sometimes, food and wine are served. Late at night, Mr. Hanshaw sits in his hotel room refining choices before asking his assistant, Brian Dressel, to send in a purchase order.
One of the magic tricks that take place in showrooms occurs when salespeople try to accommodate reality. They note, for example, that a particular hemline will be lengthened from the runway version, or a neckline modified for modesty. Mr. Hanshaw often finds that clothes designed for the body of Kate Moss aren't suited for the average woman's curves. But it's important that he buy things for his stores that customers will actually want to wear; his bonus depends on high sales. "Basically, you get one shot to make six months worth of business," Mr. Hanshaw says.
At Monique Lhuillier's plush showroom in New York, for instance, Mr. Hanshaw loves a long leopard-print gown. Embellished with tulle and embroidery, it was the designer's splashy finale in her show. But Mr. Hanshaw asks to buy it "without the hoop-la" of the embroidery, which would be too showy for most women.
Mr. Hanshaw, a lover of fashion himself, stocks his stores with many of the designers he likes, most of whom are well-known in the U.S. -- Alexander McQueen, Malo and Missoni. But every buyer has their secret weapons, and Blumarine is one of his.
At the Blumarine showroom in New York, he ordered quantities of the Italian label's richly woven silk charmeuse blouses, which will retail for about $875, and coy scoop-necked stretch dresses, which you may find in stores for just over $1,000. Blumarine's feminine look, rich Italian fabrics and expert tailoring have drawn his admiration. "Their stuff sells itself," he says.
For an outsider, it's easy to get lost amid the quotations of wholesale and retail. What may sound like a healthy retail price -- that $307 Missoni "prehistoric print" dress -- turns out to be the wholesale price. The markup from wholesale to retail is remarkable: roughly 250%, with some variations from brand to brand. This explains how clothes can be marked down time and again -- and why designers are eager to sell direct to consumers by manufacturing clothes for so-called "sample sales."
Mr. Hanshaw isn't overly concerned about price, since his customers aren't either. But there is one threshold at which he balks, and it caused a kerfuffle at a recent stop. "I have a problem with a white blouse selling for over $1,000," he informed the Givenchy saleswoman in New York the other day, as he rejected a shirt that would retail for about $1,035. He continued, "$995, I'm fine with. But that $40 price difference plays with customers' heads."
"They've been selling so well," the saleswoman replied coolly, "people haven't had a problem with it this year."
Mr. Hanshaw noted that luxury fashion sales are strong for him as well: January sales were 24% over plan, he told the Givenchy saleswoman.
At Missoni's New York showroom, many of the jackets for this fall will be priced to retail in the neighborhood of $950. But one puffy jacket with a shawl collar will carry a vastly lower retail price of $480. The Missoni salesman explained to Mr. Hanshaw, "This one's a bargain because it's made in China."

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01-03-2007
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Caffeine, that was an interesting article... The Missoni Jacket they speak of supports the fact that China is fully capable of manufacturing luxury goods. Thanks for sharing

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03-03-2007
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^anytime I found it interesting because many members complained that many designer houses make garments in China but charge the same amount of money. Apparently Missoni is having a little experiment here

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02-10-2007
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an interesting article from iht.com

A new luxe take on 'Made in China'
By Alexandra A. Seno

Monday, October 1, 2007


HONG KONG: Say "Made in China" these days and the growing list of manufacturing scandals immediately comes to mind. But the recalls of lead paint-covered toys, news of poisonous dog food and shocking sweatshop stories obscure another reality: a very small but flourishing high-end factory sector that produces top-class goods.
Cheap and nasty fashion gets made a lot in mainland China but increasingly, well, chic happens. "Luxury manufacturing in China is a new trend so there will not be many factories. I would think this number must be less than 100 or even much lower," said Hana Ben-Shabat, a partner and international consumer goods specialist at the London offices of the management consultancy A.T. Kearney.
"In the beginning I was skeptical," said Rafe Totengco, designer of Rafe New York, a label popular among the Hollywood crowd. "I thought: 'Ugh, cheap labor . . . !' and I had all the perceptions of people who are uneducated about manufacturing in China."
A few years ago, hearing what some other high-end brands were doing on the mainland, Totengco began to visit workshops in Guangdong and Shenzhen in southern China. The recipient of several U.S. accessories design awards, he said, "I was blown away."
Totengco said he found tidy, Chinese-owned factories with neat, uniformed local workers and some Italian employees. The equipment tended to be cutting edge and the products, he said, were excellent quality with attention to detail. While he still uses Italian skins, he has had two collections entirely made in China, including the reptile-skin clutches that the "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria ordered earlier this year for members of her wedding party.
Price, however, is not a big advantage in these factories. "It is not cheap. Small runs, under 300 pieces per style, per color, tend to cost the same as anywhere else in the world," said Fiona Kotur-Marin, a Hong Kong-based designer who also is a production consultant and a silent partner in the Tory Burch brand.
"There are different tiers of manufacturing in China," she said, "In the north, it is less expensive production. As you move south, manufacturing gets more refined." Labor for handbags or clothes generally constitutes just a tiny fraction of overall costs, often less than 10 percent, and the average general rates for workers in, say, Bangladesh can be a fifth of those in China.
The main advantage, according to Kotur-Marin: "Chinese factories meet their deadlines, unlike Europe." Chinese workers do not have the vacation allowances of European workers so factories, for example, work through August. And one of the under-appreciated qualities of the mainland's manufacturing capacity, she said, is a sophisticated supply chain infrastructure.
And the best workshops do not work with just anybody, Kotur-Marin said. "They pick you, you don't pick them because they don't need your business."
A recent study by consultants at the international accounting and business consultancy firm KPMG and at Monash University in Australia reported: "While companies are often wary of the 'Made in China' tag, companies such as Coach, Paul Smith and Armani have shifted some of their manufacturing to China in recent years."
Burberry makes up to 10 percent of its products in some of the more sophisticated factories across the border from Hong Kong, including about a quarter of its shirts and some of its accessories.
None of the three brands mentioned in the study would comment on their product sourcing methods.
When queried directly about the percentage of their goods made in part or entirely in China, representatives of other randomly selected European luxury labels were vehement that their goods were made in Europe yet refused to give further details about their manufacturing process.
Their reticence is understandable, analysts say. "One of the selling points of luxury is that the goods are handcrafted in Europe," said Nick Debnam, head of KPMG's consumer group in the Asia Pacific region and an author of the study.
And Ben-Shabat at A.T. Kearney said: "This is something all players will handle with care because of the sensitivity of consumers. Why pay $1,000 for handbag if it's not made in Italy?"
"Typically, you will see that they maintain most production of high-end ranges in Europe but will try to produce a sport line in a low-cost location," she said. "Or they will only do part of the work in the Far East and complete it in Europe."
China's own appetite for luxury goods may drive the country's growth in high-end manufacturing in the future, industry experts say.
Management advisers at Ernst and Young predict that by 2015, Chinese consumers will account for some $11.5 billion of luxury purchases, 29 percent of the industry's sales.
China already is the world's third-largest single market for luxury goods.
Earlier this year, the World Luxury Association predicted that by 2009, 60 percent of all luxury goods would be made in the mainland - and some of that production doubtless would end up being bought by the Chinese themselves.
Yet even that scenario has its own problems. Mainland Chinese, in particular, relish the "exotic" frisson of owning something made in Italy or France, Debnam said.
Aside from the general negative connotation around the "Made in China" tag these days, Kotur-Marin is frank about the other obstacles for a brand using mainland factories. For example, it took plenty of patience and five samples to prototype her bag named Fane Hitchcock. The $575 feathered clutch is now a hit among the East Coast socialites that patronize Kotur but the factory initially could not understand what she was trying to do.
"It is easier to work in Italy because we share the same vocabulary" of design, Kotur-Marin said. In China, "you are working with many people who have never been to Bloomingdale's."
Which partly explains the presence of foreign employees at some of the top-end factories. Of the six that Kotur works with, one has Italian workers; two of the five manufacturers used by Totengco have some Europeans on the payroll.

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02-10-2007
  68
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I have a particular problem with Burberry - they market their entire aesthetic on an image of Britishness. Yet they pursue a strategy of closing their manufacturing plants in the UK in favour of exporting it to "cheaper" countries such as China. This effectively means that the core values of the brand are meaningless. A product manufactured in China using Chinese materials cannot qualify as a British product.

Effectively, the company is producing goods in an Asian country, marketing it as British, and selling that back to consumers (including ones in Asian countries). It's smart business - but at heart, it's not deeply luxe. It's a bit of a fraud.

The most recent factory shutdown was in Wales, where even their own spokesmodel, actor Ioan Gruffudd campaigned against the closure.

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03-10-2007
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you'll be surprised that many many of the so-called luxe brands from europe are being manufactured in china. what happens is the brands send the raw materials, buttons, etc to china and have the clothing/shoes/bags/whatever put together (sewn/assembled/whatever) and fly the stuff back to europe and have the remaining 5% done in europe - ie, putting on the 'made in italy', 'made in france' labels.

some brands: prada, dolce and gabbana, ermenegildo zegna, armani, dsquared, etc etc

the other trick is alot of the italian and french so-called luxury manufacturers on ground in europe 'import' and use [illegal] chinese immigrants to do the work because of cheap pay...

so, either way, i won't be surprised that more than 70% of the bulk of so-called 'luxury goods' outputted in the world went through chinese hands one way or another.

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03-10-2007
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afterall, business is business. these companies can put on whatever face they wish to 'hide' the fact that they are actually doing alot of the things they deny in publicly... but in the end, whatever/however they can control costs in an increasingly flat and ever-more competitive world is paramount...

so, *******s like bernard arnault proclaiming at the first luxury conference in hong kong that only france knows how to make luxury items and china can never can sholve all that up his...

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30-10-2007
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fascinating thread! many thanks to all who posted..

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28-03-2010
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Interesting thread,really.
But I more interested about which tag is better(i mean the quallity):
'Made in China/Korea/Thailand/Vietnam' ?


Last edited by Lanbim Cord; 28-03-2010 at 01:59 PM.
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18-06-2010
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^
It is impossible to grade overall quality of a garment based on the tag, on where it was made.
There are garments made in France or Italy that fall apart after the first wash, or are poorly sewn, or clothes from Target or H&M that may end up lasting years. It is fundamental to inspect the item, touch it, check the fabric composition and the seams to be able to assess the quality properly.

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19-06-2010
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I agree, it doesnt mean that just because its made in China its poor quality.

The fact that the economy nowadays is giving people the awareness to take care of their money and not to spend but to invest has only made mroe evident what was happening for a long time. Gone are the days where a couturier was working on a single dress for weeks.

What happens is China gives brands for other countries a lot of benefits (low taxes,etc) so they would put their factories there and this way China boosts its economy by having its people paid in foreign money. Its a win-win situation here.

I dont think this is news by any means, since mass production became available it was only a matter of time before everybody wanted to use the method to profit in larger quantities and shorter periods of time.

So it should be no surprise a beautiful bag that we see being displayed in Barney's and touched with white gloves "to protect its finest quality" was produced in a dirty factory by a child with a 50 year old sewing machine in China or wherever. The luxury item tag or the brand name (which has been praised for years for its craftsmanship and tradition supposedly made in a first world country) would be the only thing that will separate that bag from the rest.

Even if the tag says it was made in Europe, it may not be true, as that is purely a customs paperwork that can be skipped very ea$$ily.

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20-06-2010
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I just feel that if it is mass-produced, it is no longer a luxury product.

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