My wife held many capacities at Neiman Marcus Bill one of which was buyer of woman's couture. Once in awhile I have the opportunity to go with her to the design houses in Paris and Milan. Your paying for two things the design and cut(dying printing what have you) of the fabric. For a one of a kind piece it cost A LOT of money to manufacture . Yes your are paying for the designer to design it for you as well an no that does not come cheap. THe off the rack stuff you see in macy's etc are cut from a lot of fabric and the more they items they can cut from one lot of fabric the cheaper it cost.
I'm the luckiest man on earth because her first buying job was buying lingerie. I loved going to those runway shows. THey are not like the victoria secret shows you see on television behind the seens there is a lot more going on and a lot more flesh involved backstage. No, she's not the jealous type and no, neither am I. If you watched the rebel billionaire one of the woman (Sarah) on the show, she came in second place, was made famous by my wife. Diane was the buyer who discovered her and launched her career. All other retailers followed suit. Diane now is responsible for the flagship neiman marcus here in the Big D.