November 15, 2018

working it out: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Leggings That Cost $300?

Wone’s offerings also aren’t the most expensive out there. Katie Warner Johnson, a founder and the chief executive of Carbon38, which sells fashion forward active wear, said that women’s willingness to pay about $300 for Michi leggings was “essentially the foundation of our business.” One of the first items Carbon38 offered was a style called Medusa: a swirling patchwork of black spandex, mesh and heather gray fabric that made it look as if the pants were growing up the wearer’s leg. And women were lining up for them back in 2014.

“We’ve been really able to play with the price spectrum since then,” Ms. Johnson said.

Elizabeth van der Goltz, the global buying director of Net-a-Porter, said the site was initially “nervous” to stock leggings over $200. Now there are $490 blue and black Fendi leggings printed with scribbled hearts and $345 Lucas Hugh black leggings with opalescent tape stripes and pinhole mesh inserts for ventilation.

These printed Fendi leggings cost $490.

These brands have “high sell-throughs,” Ms. Van der Goltz wrote in an email. (Their cost continues to accrue after purchase: The Fendi leggings, though designed to sweat in, require hand washing or dry cleaning.)

What does $300 and up buy you? In the case of Wone, not strategic color blocking, or extra ventilation. Instead, Ms. Hildebrand touts personalized finishing and Italian and French fabrics, which cost $20 to $25 per yard, as opposed to the $3 to $4 for fabrics more typically used in active wear.

As opposed to the standard promise of holding up through 50 machine washes, Wone’s are guaranteed through 50,000 washes — that’s every single day for the next 136 years, or at least through your lifetime, no matter how much exercise might extend it. (What will future archaeologists think when they excavate large amounts of indestructible athleisure?)

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/style/expensive-leggings.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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