An interesting observation

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  1. so with all this time at home, I’ve had a chance to catch up and do some forum reading.

    what I’ve noticed is that there seems to be a lot of qc issues with premium brands...I’ve read about issues with lv, chloe, Prada and Gucci. Peeling leather, poor cs, loose stitching, etc..

    I own/have owned bags from all of those brands in the past and have had some of those issues and
    On the other hand, I’ve owned coach and Dooney and mz wallace and have never had issues with them.

    I’m wondering why this is-when I pay that much for a bag, I’d like it to not have any issues and if it does? I’d like cs to stand behind it and not make it seem as though I’ve done something wrong or that this is the first time they’ve ever had an issue...

    does anyone else feel this way?
    Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe....
     
    Shelby33, jules 8 and amateurjeweler like this.
  2. Some of those brands have stood strongly behind their products. In my experience, LV and Dior have been stellar at offering to repair products and sometimes even offering to exchange for another product well after the return date is over. I actually had great service even at Saint Laurent. They fixed something for free that I didn't even buy from their store! I was very impressed.

    That being said, I have seen quality issues myself. I had a Prada bag with very visible glue stains on the leather lining. I had an LV product that had what looks like an inventory sticker stitched onto the item along the seam (the printed pattern may have disguised the sticker to quality control?). I've felt leathers on some YSL bags that do not feel luxurious (they have a heavier refinishing so they feel a bit plasticky instead of supple. Heavy refinishing may be a sign that the skin is a lower grade and comes with blemishes that need to be refinished to cover up/remove). I've seen very crooked stitching on a few Gucci bags (one was really bad because it was in contrast white stitching on black leather). All these seem to be evidence of rushed production and, in some cases, lowered material quality.

    I'm not surprised, given that some of these supposedly exclusive brands are raking in billions each year, and reporting great profitability.

    That's not to say that the "contemporary" brands don't have their own share of problems. I've felt some very plasticky leathers (almost like plastic itself, or bonded leather) from Michael Kors, particularly their Saffiano leather. This is way more plasticky than any luxury brand's leather. I do find that Coach has good quality, but when feeling even their glove-tanned leather, it feels quite refinished compared to a lot of premium brands. Leathers with heavier refinishing do tend to wear better sometimes, because the leather has more plastic qualities which infers a higher scratch resistance. However, the touch and feel of the leather is not as nice as soft, supple leather.
     
    ilovemydog, kbell, IntheOcean and 2 others like this.
  3. #3 Mar 29, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
    Exactly. In my experience, some "contemporary" brands have eclipsed many "premier" brands in terms of quality, design, and durability. I think it has to do with the fact that many premium designers have lowered their materials, construction, and quality control quite drastically, while many contemporary brands have improved theirs recently. What's ludicrous is how much prices have increased across premier brands at the same time their quality tanked; it's basically an inverse relationship at this point.

    For example, last year I bought a pair of $600 Prada sneakers and a pair of $200 Coach sneakers. They both have about the same grade of leather and quality of construction, and both were made in Vietnam. Both were on sale, and while I'm happy with my purchases, I still paid a materially unjustifiable premium for the pair branded with an Italian name.

    In my experience, Gucci and Bottega Veneta are currently the best quality premier brands. Coach and Dooney are the best quality contemporary brands. I have heard that Hermès and Mansur Gavriel are top tier in their respective categories, but I have no leather goods experience with either brand, as they both make bags I admire but do not wish to own.

    The categories "premier" and "contemporary" themselves are a false dichotomy nowadays. Think about Miu Miu and Coach. Both produce quality goods in Asia, both have runway collections, Coach has more decades of heritage, but Miu Miu is the premier brand and Coach is the contemporary brand? And don't even get me started on a couple of the 19th century European brands who shall remain nameless, but are pumping out mostly fair-to-poor quality bags to the masses. To each their own I guess. But I know where I'm spending my money.
     
    Amazona, papertiger and IntheOcean like this.
  4. #4 Mar 29, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
    You forgot Hermes and of course others. From my own experience I've had some minor issues with a few including H, for me it's about how those companies put things right.

    Firstly, quality doesn't always equate with durability and hardiness. I think that many on tPF forget that. If you're going to use a bag on a daily basis and carry round a lap top, bottle of water, full make-up bag and a couple of bricks you either need to pic a style and leather that can cope with that or buy brands that cater for that (which tend to be contemporary or luggage brands).

    I think it's the same with make-up and other things too. Some products are better than others, we have to be discerning.
     
  5. :heart:
    I agree with this. Quality doesn’t necessarily mean durability. Some items are simply more delicate because of the type of material and/or the design itself. For example, a polyester scarf will not peel while a cashmere one will. I still prefer the cashmere one!
     
  6. I had issues with Escada, Chanel, Tod’s and Miu Miu. I am happy with my bags made by Gucci, Prada, and Hermes.
    I read that some companies used better quality materials in the past.
     

  7. agree totally...it's almost as though they're "getting away with it" because of their name appeal. that there are people, myself included, who want to own a bag from one of those fashion houses, and sometimes I feel like I'm getting the "name" but not the quality. and yes, I will continue to purchase bags that I love, even from those names; I will double check everything on them before walking out of the store.
     
    amateurjeweler likes this.
  8. Oh yes I’ve totally noticed the same thing. Came across some very crooked Cc on Chanel flaps before, (in person), and crooked logo on LV. Not to mention I got a prada Cahier bag and noticed the lettering on the front wasn’t sewn straight so returned that, looked for a better one but they were all the same. Sa will always tell you that it’s hand made so there will be variations- to me those variations should not include crooked or messed up hardware
     
    amateurjeweler and averagejoe like this.
  9. :yes:
     
    papertiger likes this.
  10. Up until about a year ago, Coach had unlimited returns. You could buy a bag in 2002 and return it in 2014. They also had a generous repair policy. If the hardware failed on your bag, no matter how old, they would replace it for free, only charging for shipping.They would sometimes do other repairs. If you wanted to replace it yourself, they would send a replacement turnlock for free to you. If you brought in a bag with issues that they didn't think were normal wear and tear, they would give you a store credit for the price you paid.

    People took advantage of these policies, buying bags on ebay and then sending them in for repair. So they changed their policies. Now it is only a 30 day return. I'm not sure what the repair policy is anymore, but I know you can bring your bag in for conditioning for free.

    Some Coach quality has always been good, but there have been some notable exceptions. Once they sold a whole batch of bags with upside down logos. They sold them at the outlet, discounted, but I would hope that a premier brand would have destroyed them rather than sell them. Every wallet I've ever gotten from Coach has lasted me more years than I wanted. I wanted them to wear out so I could justify a new one. I have Coach bags that are 50 years old and are still in very usable condition. The bags Coach made up until about 2000 were the best quality of nearly every brand. The stitches might not have been perfectly straight, and I have an early 90s bag with a crooked pocket, but the leather was true full grain aniline, not split, not painted, and they were nearly indestructible.

    The quality of Coach went down in my opinion on some bags around 2011 and improved again in 2015. They have started to get closer to premier in the last 2 years.

    The implication of some of these responses are that only the premier brands will put things right. I've never had a problem with Coach not accepting a return or a repair. Even when you buy something at the outlet or on sale, it is still returnable. When I bought a bag at sale at Michael Kors many years ago, I found out afterwards that it wasn't returnable because I bought it on sale. I couldn't even exchange it for a different color. When I was considering a $3500 bag at Bottega Veneta, I learned that they didn't give refunds. You could exchange but not return for a refund. I thought with the amount of money I would be paying that was a risk I wasn't ready to take.
     
  11. Moderating all the forums, I see quality issue threads in them all. I think often issues with a pricier brand may cause more threads being posted for the reasons mentioned, i.e. the more you pay the better the product should be.
    but I def see complaints in every forum.
     
    RTone, ccbaggirl89, i*bella and 7 others like this.
  12. I just received my Coach order on Wednesday and ended up having to send it back because threads were loose and sticking out

    I don’t think quality issues are necessarily a contemporary vs premier issue. I didn’t go to the Coach forum to complain about the issue because Coach was quick to offer a refund/exchange and it doesn’t burn my butt as much as it would if it were a $5500 bag. But I’ve seen people discuss quality issues with the Coach Cassie, Kate Spade bags, lack of aftercare service from Saint Laurent, LV Pochette Métis, etc
     
    amateurjeweler and limom like this.
  13. Maybe I’ve been lucky but I haven’t had any quality issues with my HE bags. I tend not to buy any of the “popular” styles though. Most recently I bought a Gucci Ophidia belt bag, pebbled leather YSL SdJ, Celine trio, and a couple LV empreinte items that were all fine. They were a mix of US purchases and souvenirs from trips to Europe. My LV monogram bucket bag is from 20 years ago and my next LV purchase would likely be something Epi because I like the look and durability.

    In general, I think manufacturing just isn’t what it used to be. Even mid-level brands like Mansur Gavriel have glue and stitching issues. The last bag I returned was a Longchamp Le Pliage during the Nordstrom anniversary sale due to white rubbery residue all around the interior stitching. I’ve also returned shoes and clothes because the quality and craftsmanship isn’t on par with what I paid.
     
    amateurjeweler likes this.
  14. I think quality has been dropping on almost all brands for the past 6 or 7 years, maybe longer. Bags I have from 2007-2010 are still almost perfect and have more beautiful leather than anything I saw in stores last time I went shopping.
    I looked at some Chloe and Balenciaga bags and didn't really think they were worth the price. They were just ok.
     
    amateurjeweler likes this.