Clothing Prices Won’t Drop Anytime Soon

The economy may be stalling yet again, but don’t expect fashion to reflect this particular reality. In fact, apparel prices are expected to rise this fall—blame for which is largely being placed on the rising cost of production in once-favored Chinese factories. Recently, more and more retailers have been turning to domestic methods of production (namely in Los Angeles), but that’s not helping keep price points any lower. “It’s still a little scary for us—we’re not sure what the future holds,” a boutique owner at Vegas’ trade shows told the New York Post. “Finessing price strategies were a priority this week for vendors and retailers at the Magic apparel trade show in Las Vegas, where buyers place orders for the newest styles,” the paper added. Plus, with discount culture becoming totally rampant, the likelihood that brands will be able to raise prices without alarming customers is increasingly implausible.

Meanwhile, H&M is taking its price points to all new lows, introducing dresses as cheap as $5. So, how are they doing it? By manufacturing in massive quantities in countries where production costs are still markedly affordable. “We have over 2,000 stores in 37 countries. This provides high volume and there is no middleman. We have our own team of over 100 in-house designers and we do all our own production,” H&M recently told Vogue. In other words, being a fledgling designer who’s looking to compete within an industry where production costs are only rising and fast fashion retailers are spitting out cheaper and cheaper designs by the thousands is proving to be an increasingly overwhelming prospect.

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