Kanye West opened his mouth again to talk about fashion, this time dissing Louis Vuitton and endorsing fast fashion. During a recent rant, West shared the following: "I don't agree with everything that H&M and Zara does, but one thing that's good is they were able to break that idea that creativity and things you want have to cost, like, a million dollars ... The designer prices are really, you know, based on this perception, this idea of luxury that gets sold to you." So, obviously, I have to comment on this.
What Yeezy fails to mention in his rant to Los Angeles' Power 106 radio station is the main distinction between the prices of luxury goods versus the fast fashion ones. Sure, luxury goods are marked up. We all know this. But, another large part of the luxury pricing guide is cost. We have all become quite accustomed to jeans retailing for $50 and dresses for $30. This is not normal. As we, here at TFL, have reiterated, fast fashion is cheap for a reason, and that is because others are paying the price for these low-priced items. Miuccia Prada put it pretty clearly not too long ago, saying:
People [who] are intellectual leftists, they say I am expensive and horrible, “How can you sell clothes at that price?” Simply, it’s the cost. If you pay people to do everything with the right system, things are expensive. And the same people that criticize the dangerous production environments, when it comes to cost they like the inexpensive pieces because they think it’s more democratic.
So, while Kanye spoke out about Louis Vuitton and their outrageous prices, and while he says he does not condone everything that H&M and Zara do, he is seemingly endorsing their pricing - which is very much the result of questionable practices. The vast majority of fast fashion retailers are able to sell products at such low prices because: 1) they do not have to employ/pay designers because a majority of their pieces are copies of the original designs of others; 2) they bypass important quality control and manufacturing safety standards because they are costly to implement and monitor (hence the toxic chemicals in clothes, the frequent employee hospitalizations, and the increasing number of fires and buildings collapsing, and deaths of laborers); and 3) they do not pay their laborers adequate wages.
I think we can all agree that the price of luxury goods is high, but turning to fast fashion is simply not the answer. Also, the rapper's stance on pricing seems a bit nonsensical considering he sold a $120 white tee for APC not too long ago and those $6,000 shoes for Guiseppe Zanotti. Thoughts?