Since when did $200 become cheap for a pair of jeans?
Since high-end denim became the belle of the retail ball.
The high-end-jeans industry is on fire. Sales of premium jeans jumped 20% on a unit basis in the first quarter of 2008, according to NPD Fashionworld's AccuPanel data, while sales of less expensive jeans rose only 4% in the same period.
"The denim business is still one of the few shining stars in a tough economy," NPD Group retail analyst Marshal Cohen said.
The high price of looking good
Long gone are the days when $1.25 could buy you a pair of Levi's, the price back in 1873, when Levi Strauss first sold his jeans. These days, a pair of designer jeans can cost up to $1,000. In case you don't have your calculator, that's a 79,900% surge from the good old days of Mr. Strauss.
Encrusted, embellished and bejeweled can cost you even more.
Take for instance, Roberto Cavalli's bejeweled jeans, a celeb favorite: They'll dent your wallet by $1,445.
Talk back: Would you pay $200 for a pair of jeans?
And that's nothing compared with a pair from Dolce & Gabbana. Those could run you $3,950. And if you really want to shoot the moon, a pair of Escada Couture jeans encrusted with Swarovski crystals cost $10,000. By the way, Swarovski more or less equates to Baccarat; both are Madison Avenue names.
The most expensive jeans on record are a pair of vintage Levi's that sold for $60,000 on eBay on June 15, 2005, according to Guinness World Records.
Designers such as Rock & Republic and 7 For All Mankind typically sell jeans in the $200 to $300 price range, but the companies have überhigh-end styles that cost $700 and $1,000, respectively. Even Levi Strauss' high-end Capital E jeans can go for as much as $501.
And for those who want something unique, Earnest Sewn offers custom-made jeans for $660 to $1,100.
Even Earnest Sewn's noncustomized jeans are made one at a time -- no mass production -- with one person