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YSL vs Dior – the battle of two Parisian luxury brands
Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) and Dior have been at the top of French luxury houses for a while now, creating stunning handbags, ready-to-wear clothes, and accessories. Both brands are known for their innovative designs that took over the world of fashion, encouraging new trends that would become tremendously popular.
That being said, which one holds power over the other? If you were to get a new handbag, which one would be the better choice? Is one brand more stylish than the other? Which one holds the most value? In this article, we will put YSL vs. Dior in comparison, helping you determine which option works best for your needs.
YSL (Saint Laurent) vs Dior: Going to the Roots
Knowing the history of a brand is essential when making a purchase. Here is what you should know about the two fashion designers and their roots.
History of YSL
The French fashion designer was involved in the fashion industry long before he started his own brand. Ironic as it may seem, Yves Saint Laurent began his career by working for Christian Dior himself, acting as his creative director up until the moment he was drafted into the Second World War.
His experience there led him to create his brand, YSL. With Pierre Bergé as his business partner, he decided to popularize ready-to-wear fashion. He created the brand Yves Saint Laurent in 1962.
He noticed that women had a more difficult time accessing fashion, regardless of its type, and he decided to make things easier for them. He also had the goal of freeing the female form with his designs, bringing simple yet appealing pieces to the market.
History of Dior
Established in 1946, Dior started at a time when women’s fashion choices were practical but very plain. Fabrics were not as easily available, which is why women only wore flowing garments that did not particularly compliment their shape.
Dior did not agree with that. He believed that a woman should be able to show her femininity if she wanted to.
His brand was created with this in mind, and his clothes would accentuate the woman’s figure, creating very feminine styles that were different from the average. As a result, his style became known as the New Look.
History: Saint Laurent vs Dior
Obviously, since Yves Saint Laurent himself worked for Dior – the YSL brand is younger than Dior. However, both brands have a very rich history and both designers revolution fashion at the time.
YSL vs Dior: Understanding the Differences
There are many similarities between the two brands, one of them being the fact that Yves Saint Laurent worked for both. With that in mind, there are many notable differences as well, including:
Price: YSL vs Dior
YSL prices: from $1,000 to $5,000 USD
Dior and YLS have different prices, especially when it comes to their handbags. YSL prices start at $995, with an example being the Panier Small Bag in Raffia. The more expensive options cost around $5,000, and the popular ICARE Maxi Shopping Bag in Quilted Lambskin is $4,900.
Dior prices: from $2,500 to $17,000
However, Dior handbags are priced between $2,500 and $17,000. With prices increasing throughout the last few years, their tags are nearly double what they were a few years ago. For instance, the Christian Dior Lounge Bag now costs $2,800, whereas the Medium Lady D-Lite Bag is available for $17,000. This makes Dior more expensive compared to YSL.
Materials and Quality
Dior and YSL bags use similar materials to create their bags, their general focus being on quality. The differentiating factors are the materials they focus on.
Most of the YSL bags are made with calfskin leather, which provides a luxurious look and a beautiful finish. Some have a textured finish that adds more to the durability. The bags with a smooth finish require more care, as they are prone to scratches.
YSL also uses lambskin for their bags, along with goatskin, but not as frequently as calfskin. In their catalog, you may also find suede, coated canvas, denim, and woven straw bags. This offers more variety for those wanting something different.
Like YSL, Dior also uses lambskin, goatskin, and calfskin. The bags often have a textured finish, giving them more strength and quality. Similar to the YSL bags, the lambskin with a smooth finish requires more care, as it is prone to scratching and scuffing. Dior also makes plenty of bags from wicker, canvas, raffia, and satin, which means both brands offer variety and quality.
Handmade or not?
A big difference between Saint Laurent and Dior is how their bags are made. We’ve already established that both brands make their bags from high quality materials such as lambskin and calfskin.
However, it’s only Dior that handmakes its bags. As you can imagine, handmaking a bag is a completely different process than machine making it. Therefore Dior is known to have impeccable quality and craftmanship.
Both fashion houses are relatively expensive, which says a lot about their potential to be exclusive. However, since Dior bags are more expensive compared to YSL, one may say that the former is more exclusive than the other. Dior has a certain air to it, especially the Lady Dior bag, named after Princess Diana. This demand makes these pieces rather difficult to obtain.
While YLS bags are also exclusive, their lower price makes them easier to get. You may easily order them directly from the company, without being imposed any limits. You can also find original items through different retailers that YLS collaborates with.
Aesthetics and Design
As a brand, Dior is known in the fashion industry for its feminine accents and elegance. It emphasizes the female silhouette for the clothing, along with feminine accessories and designs for the handbags.
YSL as a brand focuses on something called cross-dress fashion. In other words, they use menswear fabrics to create women’s designs. They’ve created sharp fashion aesthetics that would be empowering, but at the same time sensual and elegant. Also, YSL designs usually have a much simpler cut and style compared to the ones designed by Dior.
Outfits & Inspiration: Dior vs YSL
If you are buying a luxury bag for investment purposes, you may be interested in its resale value. Both brands hold their own here, and both tend to have a steady increase in their value, provided they are carefully tended to.
However, Dior seems to hold the higher ground here. Considering Dior’s rise in popularity, its handbags are highly sought-after on the second-hand market. Since Dior bags are more expensive than YSL and frequently go through price hikes, you’ll likely get more money from reselling a Dior bag.
YSL vs. Dior: Who’s the Winner?
Both fashion houses have their charm, depending on what you are looking for. Dior holds its value over time and offers feminine touches, whereas YLS provides timeless elegance at lower prices.
Both Saint Laurent and Dior have their share of IT bags that are popular every season as well as their classics. Quality wise, you’re going to get a great bag no matter which brand you choose. However, Dior’s quality is definitely better – however, you do need to pay a premium for it.
Overall, you just need to determine which design fits your style the most.
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