Why is YSL so expensive? Is it worth the price tag?

Find out why is Saint Laurent (YSL) so expensive. What makes the brand so covetable and does it justify its prices?

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Saint Laurent or formerly known as Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) is a brand that should be first on your mind if you’re looking for designer bags that are beautifully crafted but more affordable than Chanel or Hermes.

The brand has made an excellent name for itself over the years and is mainly known for its quality and modern elegance.

While the French Maison is known for its quality and design, it’s one of the most expensive brands in the world. But what makes its prices so high? Here are the top reasons why YSL is so expensive: 

Company History

Born in Algeria, Yves Saint Laurent moved to Paris at 17 to work in fashion quickly working for the talented Christian Dior. A few years later, Saint Laurent returned to Algeria to fight for his country’s independence. When he returned to Paris, he found out he lost his job and sued Dior, winning around $50,000. With this amount, Saint Laurent decided to open his own brand in collaboration with his partner, Pierre Berge in 1962.

YSL disrupted the fashion world over the next decades with both socialites and celebrities loving his designs, especially his blazers and smoking jackets as well as leather goods. The founder, has secured a reputation as one of the 20th century’s foremost designers.

Since 1999, Saint Laurent is a part of the Kering group, together with brands like: Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Brioni and more.

Undoubtedly, the brand is one of the most luxurious fashion houses that has influenced and impacted the fashion world since its inception.

why is saint laurent bags so expensive?
YSL ICARE – the “it” YSL bag of the season

What makes YSL bags so special and so expensive?


YSL is known for its mostly lambskin, buttery leather and great quality. Take a look at one of its bestsellers: the Loulou – even without touching it, you can see how buttery soft its leather is. Saint Laurent’s hardware and stitching are also top notch.

That being said, not all YSL bags are created equally and different batches can have quality issues. This is also true for much more expensive brands, such as Chanel – read our article about Chanel’s quality issues here.

Country of Origin

Most Saint Laurent bags are made in Italy which adds to the price and could explain why YSL is so expensive. The price to manufacture in Europe and especially in Western European countries such as Italy and France is much higher than manufacturing in South-East Asia for example. This also adds to the quality, not because of the country per say, but because of the abundance of skilled leather artisans in Italy.

The Resale Value

Another reason why the YSL fashion wears are expensive is their resale value. According to Claire’s report, YSL bags are one of the five popular high-end fashion brands with a decent resale value. Yes, Saint Laurent’s resale value is not as high as the trinity: Chanel, Hermes & Louis Vuitton, but its prices are also more affordable. Furthermore, due to the brands’ frequent price increases, it looks like the resale value is becoming better and better.

The resale value of YSL bags also depends of their condition and the product model. The most classic and sought after bags will hold their value more than seasonal pieces.

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As mentioned previously, YSL has always been popular among celebrities and socialites. We see celebrities and influencers wearing Saint Laurent bags frequently and we see beautiful Saint Laurent dresses on the Red Carpet.

YSL is active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Their influencer marketing knowledge and Instagram strategies have enabled them to build a specialized fanbase.

The brand also uses celebrities for its campaign, such as Hailey Beiber for their latest, ICARE bag.

Furthermore, it seems like the brand always has an "IT" bag. If you don't know what we mean, an "IT" bag is one that seems to be everyone's favorite for a season or two. Right now, it seems like both the ICARE and 5 a 7 are crowd favorites.

This leads to a "vicious circle" where the Maison can justify raising their prices due to high demand. So, in a why, being a popular brand is one of the reasons why YSL is so expensive.

Read also: YSL price increase


High demands for YSL items contribute to their high pricing. The company's fashion items are in short supply because they are high-end and exclusive. They need to increase prices often to maintain scarcity and exclusivity.

Funnily enough, if YSL would decrease its prices their exclusivity or perceived exclusivity would also plummet. All other luxury fashion houses are regularly increasing their prices, so Saint Laurent needs to follow.

Read also: YSL Bags Full Price List

why is ysl so expensive?

Brand Name

Perhaps going hand-in-hand with exclusivity, simply having the "Saint Laurent" brand name will make a bag or any item more expensive than average. That's not to say that the quality and craftsmanship of the bag does not matter - but does it really causes a bag to cost over $3,000 USD? The answer is no, the materials alone does not justify the price tag.

Part of what you're paying when you're buying a YSL bag is the brand name and everything it encapsulates: rich heritage, luxury, design, craftsmanship, celebrity endorsement and more.

Warranty and Bag Care

why is ysl so expensive?

Another reason why YSL bags are so expensive is its aftersales services. Saint Laurent does offer warranty for its bags

One of the reasons why Yves Saint Laurent bags are so expensive is its amazing warranty. The brand offers a two-year warranty on all its items.

You can contact YSL's client service if you have any issues with your purchased item. When planning to return an item or use a warranty, ensure proof of your purchase, which is always the receipt of the purchased item.

Where to buy Saint Laurent Bags?

To avoid being sold a fake, we recommend you to stick with authorized sellers or trusted consignment stores.

You can buy YSL bags directly on Saint Laurent's website, or on authorized third parties (which often have sales), like: Nordstrom, Luisaviaroma and MyTheresa.

For buying second hand we recommend Fashionphile or Farfetch because they verify for authenticity and have free returns in case you don't absolutely love the bag.

Conclusion: Why is YSL so expensive?

In conclusion, the top reasons why the YSL brand is so expensive include the quality of the brand and its ability to produce what its customers can relate to and love.

The warranty is also another top reason. When there's security, the price will matter less because the customers know they can always return the item, or get it repaired using the product warranty.

Popularity, the brand name and influence over decades of the company's existence also contribute to Saint Laurent's pricing.

Therefore, look less into the cost but the value you get out of every piece of item you buy from YSL.

is ysl worth the price?

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Why is Hermes so expensive?

Why is Goyard so expensive?

Why is Prada so expensive?

Why is Bottega Veneta so expensive?

Why is Gucci so expensive?

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