At first glance, the price tags on Elder Statesman’s cashmere sweaters seem absurdly expensive. $2000 for a sweater?
Are they out of their minds?
What drives the stratospheric costs of this luxury fashion brand? As it turns out, there are some very real factors behind the startling prices.
Reasons For Elder Statesman Being So Expensive
Here 6 reasons why:
- Ultra-Premium Cashmere
- One-of-a-Kind Artisanal Knit Designs
- Ethical Production Practices
- Extremely Limited Production Quantities
- Strong Brand Prestige Among Celebrities
- Fine Art Inspiration Sets It Apart
Let’s talk about them in detail.
Ultra-Premium Cashmere Makes All the Difference
The most important reason Elder Statesman commands such high prices is the unparalleled quality of their core material: cashmere.
Not all cashmere is created equal. Elder Statesman only uses Grade-A cashmere sourced from Inner Mongolia, which is considered the finest, rarest cashmere in the world.
Called “white gold” for its scarce supply and incredible qualities, Mongolian cashmere provides the softest hand feel imaginable while remaining extremely durable and warm.
This is due to the arid climate and high elevations where the goats producing the fleece are raised.
Elder Statesman founder Greg Chait takes great pride in personally traveling to Mongolia each year to hand-select batches of the finest quality cashmere fleece available.
Only 3-5% of the cashmere Elder Statesman reviews passes their stringent standards. This gives them access to the top percentiles of premium Mongolian cashmere to ensure unparalleled softness, longevity, and insulation ability.
Other brands using inferior grades of cashmere cannot match the buttery, lightweight feel and enduring quality provided by Elder Statesman sweaters. Right off the bat, this rare fiber commands a higher market value than generic mass-produced cashmere.
One-of-a-Kind Artisanal Knit Designs
Beyond just the peerless cashmere, Elder Statesman distinguishes themselves through their meticulous craftsmanship and knit designs. Their garments showcase intricate textural details like cable knit patterns, unusual ribbing placements, and even hand-tied knots integrated seamlessly into the knitted fabric.
Rather than relying on machine-made panels that lend a mass-produced feel, Elder Statesman employs special linkers and shifters on its knitting machines to enable delicate openwork patterns and interesting texture play within a single piece.
Asymmetrical details like an extra-long side vent or shoulder add stylistic flair. These artisanal elements create dimensional sweaters that feel like wearable sculptures.
It requires great time, care, and expertise on the part of the knitters to execute such complex designs flawlessly. But the result is sweaters with incredible visual depth and luxury appeal. In a sea of generic cable knits, Elder Statesman’s technical knit wizardry immediately attracts the eye.
Ethical Production Practices
Today’s luxury consumers demand that brands like Elder Statesman adhere to ethical production standards – and this conscientious approach ultimately raises costs.
Elder Statesman makes social and environmental responsibility a priority across their supply chain.
The raw cashmere they use is combed in a humane manner from goats, never sheared.
Eco-friendly dyes color the cashmere fleece using low-impact methods.
The sweaters are knit and assembled almost entirely within their Los Angeles studio.
This allows founder Greg Chait to personally oversee that fair labor practices are observed.
While overseas manufacturing helps cut pricing for many apparel brands, Elder Statesman insists on ethical domestic production.
These kinds of ethical choices come at a financial premium. But for the eco-conscious luxury consumer, it provides assurance that their Elder Statesman piece was made with respect for people and planet.
Extremely Limited Production Quantities
One key reason behind the staggering $2000 price tag is that Elder Statesman makes each of its garments in very small batches – often 25 to 100 pieces total for a given style. They do not have the massive production volumes of more mainstream fashion brands.
This means that there are no economies of scale to help lower manufacturing costs. However, the payoff is intense focus on each individual sweater to ensure it meets their exacting standards.
Limited release also feeds into the sense of exclusivity and scarcity that surrounds the brand. Owning an Elder Statesman feels like gaining access to a very elite club due to the constrained supply.
Top luxury brands like Chanel and Hermes have mastered this model of manufactured scarcity to drive demand. Elder Statesman applies the same principle to justify premium pricing for its minimalist cashmere pieces.
Strong Brand Prestige Among Celebrities
Elder Statesman’s pricey sweaters have attracted celebrity fans like the Kardashians, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rihanna, and Oprah.
Its association with such elites and tastemakers further cements public perception of Elder Statesman as the pinnacle of aspirational fashion.
The astronomical costs and limited availability play perfectly into celebrities’ desire to wear unattainable luxury items the masses can’t access.
As a newer brand, this A-list co-signing has strengthened Elder Statesman’s credibility and pedigree tremendously. It’s the ultimate luxury brand hype cycle.
There is inherent value in wearing what very few can. For the ultra-rich, dropping $2000 on a basic sweater transcends the actual garment – it’s broadcasting elite cultural status. Elder Statesman’s prices cater directly to this wealth signaling motivation.
Also Read: Reasons For Dale of Norway Being So Expensive?
Fine Art Inspiration Sets It Apart
Elder Statesman designer Greg Chait was an art photographer prior to launching his fashion line. This fine arts background seeps through into his clothing design ethos and contributes to the higher pricing.
Chait treats each garment like a work of art as much as a wearable piece of fashion. This manifests through the avant-garde shapes, abstract patterns, rich coloring, and visually striking knit textures.
The sweaters feel like collector’s pieces as much as wardrobe staples.
For the fashion elite who want wearable art, Elder Statesman delivers on that crossover appeal. A hand-crafted object d’art commands steeper pricing than an off-the-rack sweater – and that fine art mentality is part of the brand’s DNA.
How Elder Statesman Stacks Up Against Competitors?
- Loro Piana
Like Elder Statesman, Loro Piana sources premium cashmere from Mongolia and Italy. But Loro Piana relies more on machine construction versus artisanal hand-finishing.
Their aesthetic tends towards conservative classics where Elder Statesman pushes design boundaries. Loro Piana positions itself as heritage luxury, where Elder Statesman captures LA bohemian glamour. In quality though, the two are comparable.
- Brunello Cucinelli
Known for understated chic, Brunello Cucinelli offers refined wardrobe essentials but not the avant-garde qualities of Elder Statesman. Prices overlap between the two, but Brunello Cucinelli emphasizes mass-luxury with wider distribution.
Elder Statesman focuses on exclusivity in lower quantities. The quality craftsmanship is similar, but Cucinelli lacks daring design originality.
- The Row
The Row delivers cashmere perfection in more subdued shades of grey, black and navy. Elder Statesman embraces eccentric colors and textures.
Both excel at material quality, but The Row lacks Elder Statesman’s funky focal design details. The Row positions itself as timeless elegance to ES’s artistic edge. Pricing is on par.
- Pringle of Scotland
As a heritage knitwear label, Pringle of Scotland has pedigree on its side. But its aesthetic remains conventional next to Elder Statesman’s directional pieces.
Pringle relies more on factory construction versus in house artisans. It wins on accessible luxury, but can’t match Elder Statesman for pure creativity and exclusivity.
The LA-based Vince provides luxe basics at a more approachable price point than Elder Statesman. It lacks the boundary-pushing design and handcrafted details.
Vince follows trends while Elder Statesman sets them. For budget-conscious yet style-minded cashmere devotees, Vince beats ES for price but not prestige.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes, Elder Statesman is considered one of the premier luxury cashmere brands in the world. They use only the finest cashmere and knitting techniques to create their garments. The quality and craftsmanship is exceptional.
Elder Statesman prides itself on local production. Almost all its items are knit and assembled at their studio in Los Angeles. This allows them maximum quality control. Only the raw cashmere itself is sourced from Mongolia.
Elder Statesman was founded in 2007 by Greg Chait. Chait serves as the CEO and Creative Director and oversees all design and production. He is the guiding creative vision behind the brand.
Some synonyms for elder statesman include venerable figure, respected leader, voice of authority, eminent person, and influential patriarch. It connotes someone with extensive experience and wisdom.
For the right customer, Elder Statesman’s astronomical pricing is justified by its unparalleled cashmere quality, painstaking artisanal craftsmanship, admirable ethics, exclusivity, and association with fashion elites.
Foregoing mass production and cheaper overseas labor keeps quality – and prices – exceedingly high. But for those seeking the absolute pinnacle of luxury sweater design, Elder Statesman has crafted that apex product, at a cost only few can afford.