Haute couture directly translates as “high tailoring,” produce in France with fashion houses that have certified license. It usually involved private clients, and the garment will be specifically tailored for the client, usually, incorporate time-consuming, and detail handmade technique such as beading, hand-appliqué or hand-stitching. As haute couture showcases the designers’ wildest imagination with limit budget concern, it is also considered as an expression of financial capability. In the fashion industry, couture designers are considered as ‘crème de la crème’ and recognised as well-accomplished designers.
During the 1980s, the rise of oil fortunes and the economics resulted in the growing demand for couture pieces. In the nineteenth century, couture pieces by the high-class. However, in recent decades, the couture customers are younger and more geographically diverse compared to the past. The haute couture customers today are not only from France, United States, United Kingdom, and Belgium, but also from China, Russia, Middle East, Korea, Brazil and more. Moreover, some of the buyers purchase haute couture collector’s pieces as an investment.
Nowadays, haute couture garments will most likely to be spotted during award seasons, such as the Oscar, Golden Globe, Academy Awards, Met Gala and so on. Social media becomes a fast tool to spread the haute couture look in these events as well. Not only people can follow major fashion publication or fashion houses on social media, but also follow the celebrities to keep-up with the couture creations. This helps lead to the spread of couture to potential clients all around the world.
Despite the high price tag of each haute couture garment, the fashion house gain more profit through handbags, leather goods, and perfume. However, couture is often an investment in the fashion houses that help promotes the brand image and raises the profile of the brand’s ready-to-wear collections. As the result, the increase of super-rich and super-famous, customers from the younger generation, geographically diversities, and improvement of technology such as social media and transportation are potential reasons for the growth in haute couture over the past decade.