I got a client inquiry a few days ago. She wonder how much it would be to create a Judith leiber clutch bag in a quantity of 75 pcs. I am not sure if all you guys know what judith Leiber is. She a designer of luxury handbags. Here to give you guys more information about her, the following text is quoted from Wikipedia: "
Her handbags cost several thousand dollars and have become a status symbol for many women including several Presidential First ladies. Leiber is most famous for her minaudieres, which are often covered in Swarovski crystals. Animals are a recurring theme, and often the most expensive purses of the collection with prices on some animal shaped minaudieres exceeding $5000."
As you can see, Judith Leiber 's clutch is high end which cost somewhere between $2000- $6000.
So what my client wanted me to do? "
" The client desires an elegant bag as close as possible to a judith leiber clutch. It is for a high end company." She wanted me to make 75pcs of judith leiber alike clutch bag as the picture shown below , as fine detailed as possible, that means I need to use mainly ss5-ss9 crystals for strassing. Otherwise I cannot create the bag as fine detailed as the eiffel tower as the Judith Leiber one.
I quoted her price rate at $1200- $2000. Since it is a bulk order, and I am not Judith Leiber so I cannot charge the item as costly as the original $3500 price. However, I know many of you , and even my client think I am Crazy? Who Do you think you are ? Why you can charge a clucth bag of a bulk order at a thousand dollars? Why should I buy your bag but not the authenthic one? And a Leiber like" custom bag isn't any less expensive than buying a genuine one? Actually , compared to $3500, $2000 is a big discount!
OK, so let me show you all why it worths such bulks of $$. Actually I totally understand my client's concern. The real bag of the paris deign is at $3000sth according tot he offical site. Apparently, apart from the designer big name / unique design , what makes it so costly is the crystals they use.
Due to the complexity of the graphic (Outline of the Eiffel tower, the shading to make it 3D visual .etc) , hence , on the Judith Leiber clutch, the crystals are mainly ss5-ss9 ( 1.9-2.5mm in diameter) in order to create such a effect. (Please check the bag in person if you doubt this.) Don't beleive ? Below are two fotos, tho they are both shoes pic, but one encrusted with small crystals( ss9-ss12) , another is made of relatively big crystals(ss16-ss20) . I am sure you can tell the differences. :))
Next, we do the Math- to show you guys how many crystals are needed to fill up the bag surface and how much the crystals are. Given it is no pattern/ graphic on the clutch bag, using ss5- ss9 crystals ( 1.9- 2.5 mm diamter) simply plain clear crystal colour and in the size I stated below:
The length: 20cm 8" long (200mm) :
200mm/2.5mm=80 or 200/ 2= 100. So it needs 100 -80pcs of ss5/ ss9 crystals to complete one line
The width :12cm (120mm): it nees 60- 48pcs of ss9/ ss5 in one line
Therefore, it requires 100( L) X60( W) = 6000pcs of crystal to fully bling one side of the bag
Hence, two sides surface require approximately, 12000 pcs of crystals, and this does not include the two edges. Wait! I know it takes lots of crystals, but so what? How much does 12000pcs of Swarovski Crystals cost actually? We do the math again:
Clear crystal( no colour or special coating): Every 1440pcs (10grs) : 36,99 USD
12000pcs of crystals/ 1440= 8..3 pack, (let make it 9 packs for spare crystal). $36.99X9packs= $332.91
So You can see the material cost of crystals for a plain clear crystal bag of two surface can cost me $330, and this does NOT inlcude crystals for the edges, the time cost,and the bags cost.
Checkout prices of crystals here:
Also, It needs special effect coating stone to create the Eiffiel tower, which are more expensive than the clear crystals, i.e using the jet hemitate/ cosmo Jet ( the metalic black colour on the bag) , it is $57.75 /10 Gross (1,440 pcs). given we use this colour to fill up the two surfaces, then it cost: 57.75x 9packs= $519.75.
Apart from these expensive crystals, whats more? There are pain-taking effort behinds all these glamourous bling. Lots of prepartion needed that can takes ages to finish!! Based on the effiel tower illustration, I need to depict the design on the surface of the clutch and dye them by either handpainting or printing, if possible. Also, I may need to tune the colour of the illusttaion in order match the swarovski crystals colour ( as lots of colours do not exsist on the Swarovski color chart). From sketching, colouring editing , painting to crystalizing, and refining . how fast , how cheap and how little effort do you expect?
I typed sucha long post because I truly hope people, may you know little or nothing about bling, can understand that I am not being ridiculous, I am not charging excessive price for no reason. I charge this becoz what I do worths it! Do respect the creator's craftmanship , time and effort paid behind every single piece of Bling.
Mmy client was expecting sth at the rate of $300-$400. The rate is not a problem. What matters is that please do not expect a minaudiere as fine detailed as the authenthic Judith leiber one. The real bag is an art piece liked. Obviously $300 -500 cannot buy an art piece. At least not an art piece "coloring" with swarovski crystals in ss5-ss9. You may wonder why cant I use larger crystal? as bigger stone cannot create such a seamless surface. Impossible. Tho Some of my other clutchs are selling at $500-300 sth , they are mostly SIMPLE design. i.e the hello kitty or the UK flag, and the crystals on them are mostly ss16 (4mm in diameter).