Balenciaga has made the bold decision to move production from their Italian factory to China, a surprising revelation to many. The change was not explicitly announced by Balenciaga, whose shoes often retail around $750. So, has their choice to move production had a negative impact on the brand name? We discuss Balenciaga’s decision of moving their whole footwear production to China.
Made In Italy
Branding products with a “made in Italy” mark is something of a badge of honour, a sign that the product has been made to the highest standards in a country known for its fashion forward thinking. On the other hand, China manufacturing comes with connotations of its own to, often negative. When we think of products made in China, we think of batch production, low quality work. Early reactions from the decision are proving to be negative, with customers dismayed to hear about the manufacturing move.
Will The Quality Match Replicas?
The designer clothing market is a big one, perhaps not as big as the market for fake designer clothing. We all know that much of the fake designer clothing we see has been manufactured in China, so it seems odd that Balenciaga would move their production there. In fact, many fans of the brand have expressed their concerns, noting that there already seems to be a difference in quality.
China Is Divided
Much like the rest of the world, China consumers seem to be divided when it comes to luxury label Balenciaga. Many people are put off by the fact that the company have maintained its high prices, although there’s no doubt that moving to China has greatly reduced production and labour costs. One user asked, “how can poorly-trained Chinese manufacturing workers compare to detail-oriented Italian craftsmanship?”. This is a feeling that seems to be expressed by many.
Controversially, though, the likes of Ralph Lauren, Coach, Longchamp, Kate Spade, Burberry and Prada already have their products manufactured in China. So, what makes Balenciaga any different? Perhaps it’s the perception of value or the fact that the other companies were able to move under the radar.
The Future For Balenciaga
It’s highly unlikely that loyal customers will stop buying into the Balenciaga brand. But has it bruised them ever so slightly? Definitely. If UK based brands producing ladies designer belts were suddenly moving their production to China, would they still maintain the same value as UK production? Probably not. Because the label of “made in Italy” and “manufactured in the UK” is what reassured the customer of the product’s quality. Unfortunately for Balenciaga, they can no longer claim such superior quality. At present, they have the words “made in Italy” proudly stamped inside the heel of the shoe, time will tell if they change it to China or remove it altogether to save embarrassment.
About the Author
Hi! My name is Vicky, I’m a fashion designer, running enthusiast and occasional model. Fashion is and will always be my passion and I also love sports. I am currently working at a fashion start-up, more to be revealed soon!