The Shirt That Costs The Price Of An Apartment
Kim Jones’ appointment at Dior was certainly a power move that’s the least unexpected of all the designers’ musical chairs shuffle. His debut for Spring Summer 2019, a departure from Kris Van Assche’s moodier aesthetics, sees Jones approaching the collection with sheer fabrics, reinterpreting the coveted women’s saddle bag and uniting tailoring, couture and sportswear triumphantly.
The one piece I gravitated to when I first saw the runway live-stream was the transparent long-sleeve button up with appliquéd feather details. It also happens to cost 460,000 euros (approximately USD$542,000). Yup, you read that correctly.
“WTF!!!” I hear you scream. That’s the right number of zeros too, in case you’re wondering, and very much the price tag of a small one-bedroom or studio apartment in some cities. It could possibly become the most expensive item in your wardrobe.
The feathers have been individually reshaped and hand-placed – and there are 2,000 of them – so you can only imagine the number of hours it took the craftsmen to put this together. Such technique is usually reserved for womens couture considering they’re more likely to appreciate fashion but is it really surprising that Jones has employed this into his debut collection?
For the last few years, menswear has been garnering a lot of attention and it wouldn’t be surprising that its growth will surpass womenswear soon. Digital publications like Hypebeast, FashionBeans and Fucking Young continue to bring different aspects of menswear into mainstream media while designers like Alessandro Michele, Virgil Abloh and Demna Gvasalia have successfully made menswear desirable no matter how kitschy or uninspired (in the case of the latter two, in my opinion anyway) their creations are. They are making men’s clothes, accessories and shoes that fly off the racks even when the prices are hefty and retail for much more than what they would cost to produce.
It’s true that consumers are no longer investing in luxury fashion simply because of a logo. However, the reason why they continue to do so hasn’t changed – they seek the prestige that comes with owning luxury pieces. Consumers are willing to pay for brand value even if the actual item is really much less than its production value.
The price tag that comes with this shirt is, of course, a result of this prestige, especially with the booming Chinese market and age of social media influence. For the more affluent clients, the cost of this button up is merely spare change. To be fair, Jones is a champion of higher wages for his design team but a shirt that cost as much as an apartment? Really?
I always say to Glenn that I rather spend money on clothes and being vacuous but fabulous than to spend it on books – like he does – which enriches your knowledge and imagination but does nothing to your exterior. “Why buy a book when you can’t wear it?” I yell everytime I see a new paperback. Would I say “why buy an apartment when you can’t wear it” this time? Although someone countered “why buy a shirt when you can’t live in it”, you bet I would.
I just need someone to set up a GoFundMe – like fans did for Kylie Jenner – and hope that my loyal Instagram followers and blog readers will donate their hard earned cash for this fabulous shirt. After all, this is what you came for, right?
Images from Hypebeast via Dior