Darn. One of my favorites, Ermenegildo Zegna, is starting to make stuff in China.
One of my justifications (ok, perhaps rationalizations...) of buying luxury brands is that the items are produced in countries that require very good working conditions. It's depressing that now when I go into D&G, Zegna, etc., I have to check the labels to see where items were made.
(I'm still fuming over my visit to the Waterford factory in Ireland when I bought some items as gifts and had them shipped to my home, only to find out afterward that several of them were made in China.)
I just don't want to buy anything that might have been made by people working in horrible environments, and I'm disappointed that the attitude of the folks at the luxe houses was to lower labor and materials costs -- I guess the margins are sacrosanct.... I know that they're all publicly-traded companies with a responsibility to maximize shareholder value, but I do hope they realize that what might be best for 2009 Q3 might alienate customers for years.
I'm sure lots of people in this forum have read Dana Thomas' Luxe. After reading that book, I felt a bit more ok with my Hermès obsession as it seems that only they, Chanel, and Christian Louboutin came out as anything other than schlock purveyors. While I'd hate to see Hermès cut quality to keep their margins high, I have to think a lot of customers at all luxury brands are going to buy a lot less at the boutiques. I know I will.
On a related note, the NY Times loaded 3 articles today about haggling in upscale furniture shops:
I wonder if haggling will start (or perhaps already has started) in luxury shops.