The rising euro and the falling dollar have had a wide variety of effects in the world of luxury goods. For the holiday shopping season, Europeans headed to the U.S. to take advantage of the lower prices. An AP article brings up the fact
that the prized "Made in Italy" label on luxury goods may cost us even more in the coming year. Italian brands such as Gucci, Armani, Fendi and Versace are finding that it is becoming more expensive to produce goods in their native land. In the article Diego Della Valle, founder of Tods leather goods, says that those who produce in Italy are at a disadvantage because it will cost them more to produce the same goods. Currently, most designers are absorbing the increased production costs, especially since consumers in the U.S. seem to be cutting back on their consumption of many luxury goods.
The question for the long run is whether or not consumers will be willing to pay more for something that is made in certain place. Currently makers of goods created in both the U.S. and Europe are at a disadvantage compared to those who produce their items in China and other places where costs are lower. But the recent recalls of toys and other products made in China has made some consumers more aware. For the last few years, the designer name has been enough of a reassurance of quality for consumers no matter where the products is made. I think, however, that we are at the start of a trend where all consumers and particularly those at the higher end of the spending spectrum will be paying more attention to where products are produced. If not, that "made in Italy" label might end up becoming a bit of a rarity as costs force designers to chose economy over tradition.