Cristóbal Balenciaga had limited training when he opened his first boutique in 1919. However, 30 years later, he ruled the industry with his revolutionary dresses and fabrics in France.
Today, Balenciaga makes an estimated $1 billion annual revenue, ranking among the world’s top luxury brands. So, why is Balenciaga so expensive? We did some digging to find out the reasons behind their high prices.
Why Is Balenciaga So Expensive?
1. Balenciaga Is a Luxury Brand
Let’s face it, many of us perceive more value in higher prices. Admittedly, Balenciaga doesn’t offer five times higher quality for a sneaker costing five times higher than the standard footwear.
Truth is, Balenciaga’s high prices are primarily justified by its consistent branding strategy. This strategy caters to the target wealthy consumer group while deterring lower economic classes.
In this regard, Balenciaga’s products can be worth the investment if you need to be exceptionally presentable for closing a business deal with a posh client.
2. Balenciaga Is a Celebrity Favorite
Balenciaga has remained a celebrity favorite in the 50s and 60s. Mona von Bismarck and Gloria Guinness were among the notable celebrities known for their love of the brand.
Moreover, the brand has successfully managed to keep its swanky status even in the new millennium. Cherished by today’s celebrities, including Julianne Moore and Lady Gaga, Balenciaga hasn’t lost its shine on today’s red carpet.
Additionally, the brand has equally captivated the hearts of aristocrats. In fact, Cristóbal Balenciaga owes his taste to his mother, who worked as a seamstress for wealthy families back in the day.
3. Balenciaga Has a Rich History
It’s true that Cristóbal Balenciaga isn’t contributing to current designs. Yet, the company is still running strong all because of his reputation and innovative techniques.
Cristóbal Balenciaga was among the few fashion designers who worked with their own hands. As a result, he remains an inspiration for famous modern designers, such as Oscar de la Renta.
Infamously, Balenciaga wouldn’t sketch his designs first. Instead, he worked directly on the mannequin. It turns out that manual work was the secret to reimagining a woman’s silhouette.
4. Balenciaga Employs Notable Creative Directors
Following the death of its founder, Balenciaga’s couture closed in 1972. Then, in 1986, Balenciaga’s rights were acquired, and the fash house was reopened under new ownership.
Faced with its challenging history of legacy designs, Balenciaga’s new owners strived to revive the brand to its glamorous past. The best way to do this was by employing the most creative director in the field.
First on the list was Nicolas Ghesquière, credited for Balenciaga’s strong comeback and rapid growth. Ghesquière embraced Cristóbal Balenciaga’s design concepts for his famed fashion lines.
Since 2015, Demna Gvasalia has taken the reins as creative director. Gvasalia was awarded for his renowned designs at the CFDA Fashion Awards in 2017 and 2021.
5. Balenciaga Has Authentic Craftsmanship
Balenciaga manufactures most of its products in Italy, a country known for its authentic craftsmanship, especially in the leather industry.
Although, some of you might be surprised to know that the production of the reputable Triple S sneakers has been moved to China. Balenciaga’s director claims that China outperforms when it comes to sneaker production.
No matter where their products are made, you can rest assured that Balenciaga never compromises on quality.
6. Balenciaga Uses Premium Materials
In an era where artificial materials are becoming the norm, Balenciaga uses all-natural materials for their celebrated bags.
For the majority of bags, Balenciaga uses lambskin (Agnea) leather. It’s known for its ability to gracefully age as it relaxes and sterns over time.
Balenciaga has used classic goatskin (Chevre) and calfskin (Veau) leathers for a handful of limited collections. Both types of leather are known to have that beloved crinkled texture that can stand the test of time.
Moreover, Balenciaga is famed for their meticulous attention to detail. For example, designers often use oxidized brass hardware to adorn bags for a highly sought-after vintage look.
7. Balenciaga’s Products Are Timeless
It should be no surprise that Cristóbal Balenciaga’s designs from the previous century don’t look outdated. His divergence from the hour-glass feminine silhouette is still part of mainstream fashion.
Today, many of Balenciaga’s designs could stand the test of time without falling out of fashion. By blending vintage and modern, Balenciaga’s designs appeal to both ends of the spectrum.
Perhaps, Balenciaga’s City Bag is the most well-known example of a timeless product from the early 2000s. This bag still remains a top seller over a decade later.
8. Balenciaga’s Products Can Be Resold
You could profit from reselling that famed Balenciaga City Bag if you were lucky enough to buy it before its discontinuation. Currently, the highly coveted bag has an estimated retail price of $1800.
Although Balenciaga discontinued the original model, you can purchase it from websites like SSENSE and Farfetch. Decades later, Balenciaga products are still sought after by luxury brand enthusiasts.
By releasing a limited variety of colors per season, Balenciaga has managed to create a vibrant resale market for specific leathers, colors, and hardware.
Investing in a Balenciaga signature bag might be initially expensive. However, you’ll be able to enjoy it for years before eventually selling it off to someone on the market for a vintage Balenciaga bag.
9. Balenciaga Makes Game-Changing Innovations
Today’s fashion industry owes a lot to Cristóbal Balenciaga’s striking fashion innovations, including the famed chemise dress.
Nowadays, Balenciaga remains a trendsetting house of fashion. In 2017, Balenciaga stunned the world with their “sock with sole” sneakers, later widely embraced by other brands like Zara.
Then, in 2021, Balenciaga showcased its winter/autumn collection through a virtual reality game platform. In response to Covid’s lockdown, Balenciaga optimistically embraced the new normal with style and grace.
So, why is Balenciaga so expensive? First off, this prominent fashion house puts craftsmanship and durable materials above all.
Plus, their long-lasting design trends and innovations make Balenciaga products worth the high price. Compared to other luxury brands, Balenciaga has made sure that their products will live for years to come.