Let’s face it, we all get the impression that luxury brands are taking the piss when they price their products, but consolation usually comes from knowing their products are made in areas renowned for quality craftsmanship.
For example, 'Made in Italy' has historically implied quality. But now everyone’s favourite fat-bottomed sneaker brand have taken their business out of Italy and shifted it to China. Why? According to Balenciaga, they can make a lighter shoe in China – sure, cheap leather tends to be lighter than quality, right?
Of course, that isn’t to say the People’s Republic is devoid of production facilities capable of making exceptionally high-quality footwear, but the fact that their industry is seriously under-regulated tends to make consumers sceptical. The move also raises potential environmental concerns, as the country’s lax stance on pollution is fast becoming a run-away issue.
Some of these newly originated Triple S sneakers have already hit the shelves and folk have taken to the internet to voice their disappointment and air grievances regarding a slump in quality evidenced by bad stitching and poor finishing. The main issue, however, is that the brand have retained the exorbitant price tag, which many justifiably see as unreasonable. At the end of the day, 99 per cent of manufacturers move production to China because it’s cheaper. Labour and overheads are likely to be a fraction of those paid in Italy. With the surprising success of the design, it’s also likely that the move was made in order to keep up with demand, which would again usually result in a lower price per unit.
But, at the end of the day, anyone who’s willing to fork out the big bucks on a shoe like the Triple S is too far gone – China or Italy, the wool has already been pulled over the eyes of trigger-pullers everywhere. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all about the design, but where does the value of this shoe actually come from? It probably never had anything to do with production costs.