The term “haute couture” (pronounced ‘oat-coo-toor’) is French. “Haute” means “highly beautiful” while “couture” means “sewing”. Once you put the two together, voilà! You now have a term which has something to do with the business of designing and selling high fashion clothes, bags and shoes for both men and women.
Have you heard of “red-bottoms”?
“Red-bottoms” are actually shoes designed by shoe designer Christian Louboutin. The shoes Louboutin designs are very beautiful but expensive. They have a very thin heel. That is their signature look. You will be surprised to know, a pair of red-bottoms cost about five times the price of renting an apartment!
All haute couture dresses and shoes are very expensive. Famous designers work in haute couture fashion houses to create these impressive pieces of clothing. It is much cheaper to make clothes in a factory.
‘Business of Fashion’ magazine says that the cost of making a haute couture product is high because there are many steps along the way that adds to the final price. This includes the costs of materials, designing and making the item. They usually make only one or very few of the items and they are usually made by hand. Once the product has been made, shipment, sales and advertising add to the price as well.
Rich people and celebrities are the only people who can pay for really expensive clothes or handbags. Haute couture brands include Gucci or Burberry. Today, even people who are not rich want to buy expensive haute couture products. There are cheaper high fashion items for sale in shopping centres but people will still choose to buy an authentic Gucci or Burberry handbag.
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