Would you pay $2,700 for a purse that cost $57 to make?

Italian police raids reveal Dior and Armani handbags made with exploited foreign labor for $57, sold for $2,700 - Photo by Martin Blanquer on UnSplash

Italian police claim some designers are making expensive goods with exploited workers

Admiring that pricey, designer handbag? Police in Italy say it’s possible it was made at a fraction of its retail price by exploited foreign labor.

Italian police carried out a series of raids recently, reporting that workshops producing handbags for designers such as Dior and Armani were using foreign workers to produce the bags for about $57 in labor costs, with the bags typically selling for more than $2,700.

“Why does it cost so little to manufacture the product?” Fabio Roia, president of Milan’s court system, which has overseen the probe, told the Wall Street Journal. “The brands need to ask themselves this question.”

According to the Journal, Dior declined to comment on the probe. Armani did respond, telling the Journal that it had “control and prevention measures in place to minimize abuses in the supply chain.” The company said that is is “collaborating with the utmost transparency” with Italian authorities.

So far, no charges have been filed in connection with the investigation. Italian luxury goods manufacturers have resisted offshoring their production to China, believing the “Made in Italy” stamp lends prestige. But Italian prosecutors contend the local manufacturing is being carried our by foreign workers, many from China.

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