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You don’t. You don’t buy pants that cost that much. Unless the brand means so much to you that it’s worth it.

The New York Times wrote an article a few years ago looking at one of the main reasons luxury brand are so expensive. The main idea was that retailer mark ups based on consumers’ willingness to pay was essentially the reason why. It’s nice to be a luxury retailer because your target consumer can and often will buy at ridiculous price points, allowing you to make very chunky margins off your sales.

But what about those trying to sell to the average consumer who is budget-constrained? It’s difficult to take as many steps possible to manufacture at low costs without going abroad because at the end of the day, it will cost more to manufacture domestically, especially on a small scale. No one wants to buy a non-luxury item such as a t-shirt for $98. But sometimes, that’s what it costs.

One local NYC store (Outlier) has on their website:

Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 11.06.17 AM

The question remaining is what if you do value durability and breathability but just don’t have $98? Well, it seems like you simply lose out here. I think going forward, it’s going to be important that ordinary consumers, especially young ones can afford to buy locally without necessarily breaking the bank. The question is how? I think only time will tell.

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