We’ve long known that manufacturing costs and retail prices are all about power plays, not mathematics (we’re looking at you, luxury denim). An article in The New York Times takes a look at fashion pricing, this time from the designer’s point of view. Recently, there’s been an increase in super expensive men’s khakis, some of which are selling for upwards of $600. Scott Sternberg, the designer behind indie label Band of Outsiders, says of his $550 pants, “It sounds crazy to say this, I know, but our pants are a steal.” And why, pray tell, would that be? For Sternberg, the manufacturing costs are actually much higher than you’d think—the material alone runs him $27 a yard, and the time that goes into hand-stitching the garment is also pricey. In the end, the setback to the designer is $110 per pair. For profit, the sum is doubled, but here’s the rub: In cases like this, it’s the stores that are doing their own markup magic.
Still, we’re not quite sure how something that’s marked up almost five times the price can be considered a “steal.” [NY Times]