Having pointed out the high price of the high-end black label collections, one nice surprise that awaited me behind the scenes at both Prada and Armani was the willingness to discount.

Although quick to defend full price on the current season’s collection, both brands willingly and openly offered 30%-40% discounts on last season’s models without any qualms.

Just that differential brings the prices paid for the best clothing into a reasonably accessible — though still, objectively, very expensive — range.

But I find myself questioning the true objectivity of that logic, now. Is $1100 expensive for a gorgeous, new Giorgio Armani woollen suit? What about $245 for soft, sporty Prada shoes? Maybe I am foolish and drinking the brand Kool-Aid, but I personally find those prices quite acceptable for what I am getting in return.

One other little thing I noticed in Italy was that seasonal discounts, like those for New Year sales, are available privately from even before Christmas, before any public sales start.

Just asking is enough to access significant reductions on a wide range of pieces that can make a decision like this doable for almost anyone seriously considering this step.


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