Where is the high end stuff manufactured?

Discussion in 'Careers, Education & the Business of Fashion' started by tctra, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. tctra

    tctra Active Member

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    Like Chanel, Armani, Prada? I expect these top tier designer name clothing to be sewn with love in quaint factories and ateliers in Milan and Paris. Please don't destroy the romanticism by saying that even these top brands are mass manufactured in sweatshop style factories somewhere in china.
     
  2. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    Couture is still hand done in the ateliers. Only a handfull of designers actually do haute couture nowadays, to be honest. And only the very richest clients can afford to pay for one of a kind garments lovingly crafted by the best of the best ... which is what haute couture is.

    But the mass market stuff that you can buy at Neimans or a Chanel store ... you pretty much said it. It's a business ... a production business which needs to minimize costs to maximize profits, especially in these recessionary times.

    If you live in the US ... all garments must have tags that show where they were made ... check it out sometime .....
     
    #2 BetteT, Feb 15, 2010
    Last edited by moderator Natasa: Feb 15, 2010
  3. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    #3 BetteT, Feb 15, 2010
    Last edited by moderator Natasa: Feb 15, 2010
  4. homeboy

    homeboy New Member

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    Manufacturing is the best kept secret in the fashion industry. It has been reported that some items baring "made in france" and "made in Italy" tags have in fact been manufactured in China, Singapore or other east asian countries.

    Besides that the terms manufacturing is debatable as well. A bag might be put together in Italy, but the inner lining might have been produced in Turkey, the leather in China and the zipper from Indonesia.

    Production of high-end items are low and overhead costs are high -- so the pressure on chief operations managers is high. They need to keep production costs low as possible while mantaining high quality.

    So the dream of clothes being whole manufacturered in some small town in Italy passionate about quality might be false.
     
  5. Drusilla_

    Drusilla_ Member

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    ^what homeboy says. One common practice that used to be followed was sewing the 'made in China/wherever' etc tags on the inside of a bag's lining or somewhere where the customer wouldn't look, and adding a more visible 'made in Italy/wherever' tag in a more visible place after the one zipper or whatever had been added.

    Production bases vary these days- some smaller designers, I believe, have stuff manufactured in Poland, Hungary and other places in Eastern Europe. Some get a large chunk of their manufacturing done in China or Taiwan (where, believe it or not, there are factories dedicated to high-end luxury goods).
    Of course, Italian, French and Japanese factories still exist (Dolce and Gabbana inherited one), but they don't or can't handle the full production volumes of high end stuff nowadays. Sorry to bust your bubble, but this is how it is.
     
  6. Deborah

    Deborah New Member

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    There is a Burberry factory a few streets from me. I have friends who have worked in there.
     
  7. prosperk

    prosperk Member

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    Not long ago, in the suburbs of Paris, someone noticed some Chinese guys delivering garbage containers of Chinese "chop suey" to an abandoned warehouse. They called the police who found more than forty Chinese illegals welded into a workshop, where they worked on garments for a well-known French fashion and luxury conglomerate which had recently sacked dozens of French and EU salaried workers. It was "Gormorrah" come to Paris. Still, we are reliably informed that there was nobody under the age of fourteen working there and the "Made in France" labels were, at least, accurate.

    PK
     
  8. Mutu

    Mutu New Member

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    I won't name the label but I work for a top designer in NY. Our tailored jackets and outerwear jackets are made in Italy and cost us the most to make. Our dress shirts, skirts and dresses are typically made in the finest factories in HK. We are giving a look at Japan and Turkey for the tailoring items because it will cost less and really they are catching up to the Italians in quality, not to mention they are quicker production wise. My advise is to not get caught up on where the product is made but the end result in fit, quality, fabric etc.

    Also, don't make the mistake of believing that every factory in Asia is a sweatshop because you would be sorely mistaken.
     
  9. xionasy

    xionasy New Member

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    One of my teachers once said that a big part of most products of the high end (commercial) luxury brands (Louis Vuitton, Gucci, etc) are produced in China. For instance, a LV bag may have all its parts be made in China for lower cost, which means that the bag-self would be assembled in China, the lining would be assembled in China, the pockets would be assembled in China, so it only leaves the final assembling of joining all these pieces together. Then the parts would be shipped to Europe or North America to be final assembled, which is also when the "Made in XXX" tag is attached. The factories in Europe/North America would then assemble the bag together, this would take a significantly shorter time than actually creating the bag in one factory. And this way, the bag would technically be made in Spain, France, or wherever else it is listed, but maybe only the zipper is installed there, or maybe a seam or two is sewn, rather than the entire bag being made there.

    We actually had a two hours debate in class over this issue.
     
  10. Melisande

    Melisande Active Member

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    V. interesting thread. As Mutu says, there are good factories in China etc. as well, not all sweatshops. And I hear that fakes are often even made by the same people who create the real stuff, making for virtually undetectable and high quality fakes...:unsure:

    When you think about it, the sheer amount produced by these big brands is unreasonable to produce at a local factory. If you want something genuinely made by local artisans, I guess one must go to the small artisanal workshops where you can usually order your stuff custom made. You don't get the designer label, but quality is often just as good or better.
     
  11. Fabulyss

    Fabulyss Active Member

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    Chanel is made in France, but as prosperk indicated, that may not mean much anymore.
     
  12. sedirea

    sedirea Active Member

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    Usually it is manufactured almost to completion in China and then later on brought to Italy or France to finish the last bits like hardware, labels and additional stitching on the lining then it will be labeled "Made in Italy" or "Made in France" which works within the Laws in those countries.
     
  13. kathleen fasanel

    kathleen fasanel New Member

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    Nothing new to add, I just want to be notified when/if this thread is updated and can't figure out how to subscribe to it.
     
  14. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    Katheleen,

    Just go to the top ... "Thread Tools" ... click on Subscribe to this Thread in the drop down menu.
     
  15. kathleen fasanel

    kathleen fasanel New Member

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    Thanks! I won't be offended if you delete my comment clutter :smile:
     
  16. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    I"m actually going to leave it ... since it bumped the thread. It's a good thread for our members to see ... some of the important stuff gets stuck pages back.
     
  17. prosperk

    prosperk Member

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    I bought a pair of 1930s-style Levi's the other day and paid a premium because they were made in the USA, on the continental landmass. They're very nice but it is tragic that local manufacture has become such a major selling point.

    I keep hearing that westerners do not want to work anymore, that western youth doesn't wish to enroll for apprenticeships and that it is far too expensive to have things made in North-Western Europe and the United States. I know that this is nonsense.

    Yet we look at films at Gormorrah, we hear stories like the one I recounted earlier, and we see all sorts of other evidence that Europe is full of sweatshops supplying the major houses - or making knock-off auto parts...whatever - and the only conclusion to be drawn is that our leaders are conspiring with our business community in what amounts to tax evasion on a fairly grand scale. Oh sure, they pay some taxes on the prêt-à-porter gear they're selling in Covent Garden, on the rue Etienne Marcel etc etc, the rest being diverted through tax havens, and we pay the ever-present VAT or Euro-Tax, but nobody is paying any taxes in relation to the supply and manufacturing stages because so much is now handled through the black market.

    Here in Paris, just in the 11th arrondisement, there must be hundreds of Chinese sweatshops. There are about twenty in our quartier alone, with vans and trucks moving gear 24/7, invisible to the police, the tax authorities, the immigration authorities and every authority right the way up to the President's office.

    But think about it the next time you buy a label bearing the name of your preferred fashion house.

    Child slave labour in some Third World hellhole was a conveniently distant moral issue, but they're heavily into exploiting and abusing the nations of the West as a whole now.


    Have a nice weekend!

    PK
     
    #17 prosperk, Apr 25, 2010
    Last edited by moderator Natasa: Apr 26, 2010

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