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Get High Quality Brands Wholesale

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Q: I am going to be starting an online business for women’s clothing. What wholesalers provide clothing with better quality?

This question was sent over from our sister site OCBusinessStartup.com in reference to the buying wholesale page.

A: That’s a good question. I am not an expert, but I would venture to guess that a lot of the stuff that you will find at local wholesalers will be produced inexpensively so that independent store retailers, swap meet vendors and the like can get a good margin on the product. You will have to visit their locations and inspect the stitching, fabric … But with my family the term “quality” is used for “high status brands,” especially when my credit card is paying the bill.

That said, most high status fashion brands do what they can to keep their merchandise out of what we will call bargain outlets. The belief is that if “bargain shoppers” (read minorities or lower income people) start wearing their brand, it will devalue their brand.  The value of these brands is that they are aspirational in nature–for the most well-off and beautiful.  So they will not sell to small retailers even if they could charge the same or higher wholesale price.

Although brands don’t like to explicitly say that they are choosing their customers, but we can see from a few lawsuits that there is a general understanding that certain brands will not be made available to certain “non-high-end” consumers.

  • Michael Kors even sued that enclave of higher income White consumers– Costco– because it advertised their handbags.  Link
  • Diane Von Furstenberg (Famous Brand) sued a wholesaler because it was allowing the branded perfumes to be sold by “discounters” rather than high-end retailers like Nordstroms.  Link
  • Vera Wang was sued by a retailer because she put her name on a line of different products at Kohl’s Link  The retailer claimed that this made the brand less exclusive and hence could not sell the product at the high-end outlet.

So we don’t really know of any local wholesale outlets where you can get high-end brands, but we are not fashion experts.

One direction you may consider is to have the clothing made for you.  You can put your own label on it.  There are plenty of suppliers alibaba.com — mostly in China.  and indiamart.com–mostly in India.

That said, your best bet might be to get into the MAGIC show for retailers in Las Vegas and see if you can work out some deals.  This show is for retailers.  And they have more upper end fashion.  This is a link to the woman’s fashion event www.enkshows.com/enkvegas/  and this is a link to the entire event which happens every year www.magiconline.com/magic .  At the same time in Vegas there is another show at a different venue.  It’s called the Speciality Trade Show Women’s Wear in Nevada www.spectrade.com/Shows/WWIN/  They have a lot of custom hand made stuff.  Both of these shows happen in August.

Note: Even if you don’t find what you are looking for in Vegas, the trip (transportation, hotel stay, convention tickets) could be a tax deduction.  Ask your tax person.

They don’t like to advertise the shows too much as they are aimed at a focused audience who knows about them.  So we didn’t find any videos that give you a complete overview of the shows.  But you can see a sampling of vendors below.  Below is a sample video from the MAGIC trade show.  They have tons of styles, the ones featured seem to be aimed at the younger urban market.  We believe that they have other designers that focus on more traditional looks.


And this is a video of the Woman’s Wear Trade Show. As the name suggest they bring together designers and wholesalers with retailers. This show seems to happen at the same time as the Magic Show, so you might be able to check out both.

If anyone knows of a good place to get those quality brands at a wholesale price, please let us know by replying.

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