Ted Baker is a British fashion brand that has expanded into footwear, perfumes, and lingerie – but can it really be considered a luxury brand?
Britain has a long history in the fashion industry and has been the birthplace of many British luxury brands, including Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, and Alexander McQueen – which is no surprise really with London seen as one of the fashion capitals of the world.
More recently, Ted Baker has emerged as one of the leading British brands that has become popular among both men and women worldwide.
While it does not have the heritage that many other British brands have (as it was only founded in 1988) and is much more affordable than other luxury fashion brands, the quality, reputation, and attention to detail from the brand are phenomenal.
This juxtaposition of high-quality craftsmanship and relatively affordable pricing has caused many to wonder if Ted Baker can be considered a luxury brand, or if it should be referred to as something else.
This article will explore this subject in more detail and help you navigate any purchasing decisions you may have.
The History of Ted Baker
Ted Baker was founded by Ray Kelvin in 1988 as a men’s shirt specialist, with the fashion label opening its first store in Glasgow, Scotland during this same year.
From Ted Baker’s humble beginnings the company had an unusual approach to becoming a global brand. For example, Ted Baker stores used to offer laundry services for shirts bought from the brand, and what is even more exceptional is that Ted Baker does not carry out advertising campaigns.
The label quickly became known as ‘No Ordinary Designer Label’ because of its unconventional approach and remains to this day one of the few brands to go international without using advertising campaigns.
In 1990, the brand opened its first Ted Baker store in London, originally only selling men’s shirts, until 1995 when Ted Baker Woman and Ted Baker Lite lines were launched. By 1997 the brand became a public company – Ted Baker PLC – and the next year, opened its first store in America, in New York.
Ted Baker has expanded greatly since its origins; in 1998 their Skinwear and Underwear was launched, 2000 saw the launch of Ted Baker Footwear and Teddy Girl, then 2001 saw the release of the Sunglasses and Eyewear collections.
The work of founder Ray Kelvin was acknowledged with a huge honor in 2011 when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth awarded Kelvin a CBE for services to the fashion industry.
As of 2018, Ted Baker had become a world-renowned brand beloved by global fashionistas, with 490 stores and concessions in department stores opened worldwide, 192 of those in the United Kingdom.
The growth of the brand has meant it is now often considered as a British lifestyle brand, alongside its fashion industry roots.
One important aspect of the Ted Baker brand is its pledge to ethical manufacturing – the brand has explained how they are trying to do the best they can for their workers and the planet. The British label is working toward reducing its environmental impact and encouraging conscious consumption.
The Quality of Ted Baker
Ted Baker is acknowledged in giving the high street luxury clothing options, but to decide whether the brand is luxury, it’s vital to consider the quality– for this, it is best to take a closer look at their craftsmanship in clothes, bags and accessories.
Ted Baker offers a whole range of handbags and luggage to suit any personal style and lifestyle. The materials are top quality, with bags often made from 100% bovine leather with a cotton lining but the British label is not known for its expert craftsmanship.
Other British designer brands emphasize their heritage, the expertise, and the delicate techniques that go into making their products.
Although this type of workmanship is not put into Ted Baker products, the brand is protective of their workers and their working conditions to ensure their products are made in fair and ethical places. Ted Baker has specific ‘Ethical Trade’ teams that visit the Ted Baker suppliers to guarantee high standards and safe factories.
The brand also offers a range of Ted Baker watches, all of which are made from stainless steel to ensure they are hardwearing and stand the test of time.
All Ted Baker watchers as also fitted with a Japanese movement – although the material may not be the highest quality, they are top quality for the price point of the watch, and importantly the materials are ethically produced.
The designer brand also offers a whole range of men’s and women’s clothes, jewelry, and Ted Baker shoes – all of which are made with high-quality materials, innovative design, and ethical construction.
Ted Baker Price Ranges
The retail company offers a very wide range of products, so we are just going to take a look at the price range of a few different items.
Ted Baker handbags range from just under $400 to just $55 for this Small Crosshatch bag, decorated with the Ted Baker logo.
The more expensive bags are the brand’s large, leather options, such as this Quilted Tote bag or the small range of suitcases they also offer.
We would argue that dresses, coats, and other fancier clothing items are what Ted Baker is truly best known for. They create beautiful officewear for sophisticated men and women, as well as stylish occasionwear that you can’t go wrong with.
If we think of a clothing store to go to get a dress for an afternoon tea or a fancier occasion like the races, our minds immediately drift towards Ted Baker.
The price of Ted Baker dresses (and other clothing items) depends on the formality and the occasion you’re looking to wear the items to. The most expensive ones cap up at around $600, while the more affordable office-type dresses start at $150.
We would say that the most common price point for occasionwear dresses is around $300-$400, which is also the price range of both dresses featured above.
Watches & Accessories
Belts range from $110 to $65, while sunglasses can be as expensive as $130, or $95 for the most affordable option.
Not many brands are able to create a bestselling coat that stays in style year after year. Sure, Burberry has their trench, but can you name more than a few others?
Well, we would like to include Ted Baker’s Rose wool wrap coat into that list. This stylish coat is a classic that has been around since at least 2015, if not longer. You’ll catch a glimpse of this coat at least a few times a week in various different colors if you’re strutting around London’s Oxford Street or the City – talk about a hidden icon.
The price of this beautiful coat is $525, which is in the typical price range of many Ted Baker coats. On the higher end, there are a couple of coats that fetch a price of up to $1,000, and on the lower end, there are jackets around a more affordable $300 price range.
As we alluded to before, Ted Baker is an excellent brand to purchase from if you’re looking for stylish, sophisticated officewear. Unsurprisingly, they also create wonderful shoes that will complement these looks.
However, they also create beautiful casual shoes for both men and women, including casual sneakers for men, and slide sandals for women. We love the variety that Ted Baker delivers.
The price range of the shoes is quite wide, with the most affordable shoes retailing for $65 (jelly sandals), and the most expensive ones capping at around $300 (winter boots).
Conclusion – Is Ted Baker a Luxury Brand?
Ted Baker is a good brand with strong, fashionable clothing designs, bags, and shoe lines but they are not really at the price point to be considered luxury.
In the fashion world, luxury brands refer to brands such as Alexander McQueen and Chanel who offer a similarly wide range of products, but have much higher price tags and a certain sense of “exclusivity”.
Despite this, one could consider Ted Baker to be an entry-level luxury brand, particularly with the bags and sunglasses lines the label offers. Some may prefer to call this type of brand “affordable luxury” or simply “premium”.
The materials used may not be of the highest quality and the craftsmanship may not be awe-inspiring, however, Ted Baker still takes excellent care in how their items are made and what they are made with.
As previously explored, all the labels products, from Ted Baker jewelry products to their bags, clothing and shoes, are produced ethically in good working conditions. This is an important aspect of the brand and contributes to the high-end status the brand has.
As an entry-level luxury brand, Ted Baker is a great option if you are looking to start spending more money on quality items that last – so it’s always worth taking a peek at Ted Baker’s website and seeing if anything from their new collection catches your eye.
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