Ross started Priestess two years ago and sells at boutiques in NYC and Shanghai. The ‘Kitschy, Punky, Futuristic’ collection (Ross' description) is a line of dresses, jackets, jumpsuits and other versatile pieces made for layering and constructed of silk-blends, wools, soft jerseys/cottons. The line is downtown chic inspired by designers Rei Kawkabo, Raf Simmons, Jeremy Scott, Bernard Willhelm and Junya Watanabe.
While Ross designs out of his West Village studio, most of the Priestess line is manufactured in China. Recently though Ross has moved some sourcing to Vietnam. The same rising labor costs that are increasing the price of business for toy manufacturers are also inflating prices for apparel companies and design houses.
Ross says that labor costs are causing 10-15 percent price inflation. While designers have the option of avoiding this increase by pushing sourcing to factories outside the major Chinese commercial hubs, Ross says he finds these cheaper alternative plants often lack the production knowhow and skill set.
More expensive clothing isn't just a story for high-ticket lines like Priestess. Consumers - expect pricier t-shirts, jackets and staples at your local Macy's , JC Penneys and other mainstream stores.