Denim is one of the most popular clothing materials in the world. The durable material originally started in Italy and was worn by the working class, as it could withstand most jobs and didn't tear as easily as cotton or wool while allowing the wearer to remain comfortable; today the most expensive jeans can cost many hundreds of dollars.
Over time, jeans have evolved and are now worn not only by peoples of all shapes and sizes but by people with pocketbooks of varying sizes. If you talk to someone who buys designer denim, they will swear by its cut and quality. Then there are others who just want a pair of jeans regardless of the name on the label. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, you will probably still be surprised at just how much people pay for the most expensive jeans.
Before getting into the world's most expensive jeans, there are several name brands you'll find sold nearly anywhere that will still set you back a pretty penny. Whether you're comfortable paying these amounts or you think it's crazy, it's still interesting to see what some designer jeans will cost you when compared to the everyday brands.
There is no shortage of designer jeans out there. Some of these brands you've likely heard of because the jeans are from high-end clothing designers that don't make just jeans. Others will only be familiar to you if you know a bit about high-end designer jeans. While not all of these jeans are at the same level as the world's most expensive commercially available jeans, the costs are still on the high end.
If you come across a pair of Gucci jeans, you won't need to check the price tag to know they'll be expensive. But just how expensive are a pair of Gucci jeans? It depends, but the minimum amount of money you drop will probably be around the $600 mark. Some high-end jeans from the company will set you back around $3,000, which is still a pretty penny.
The brand 3x1 is a newer brand in the world of high-end denim. The former designer and president from Paper Denim & Cloth, which made "affordable high-end denim" (you could expect to pay around $100 to $150 for a pair of the jeans) went on to open this company back in 2011. The look is very similar to what PD&C offered, except you need to tack another zero onto that price tag.
The least expensive pair of jeans from the company is $1,200, but it should be noted that the company makes the jeans specifically for you. You give your measurements and the company will make your jeans with a custom fit. While 3x1 will give you custom jeans, it would cost less to buy a near-fitting pair of jeans from PD&C and then spend a few extra bucks to have them tailored.
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent is another high-end designer company. This company has been around since the 1960s. YSL now makes designer jeans, although much like the other pairs of high-end denim, you will not come by a pair of these cheap. The least expensive jeans will run you at least $1,000.
The brand Alexander McQueen is out of the UK. As you're paying for a British import, you will see a bit of inflation taking place with the currency exchange. Alexander McQueen doesn't just focus on women's denim (many brands on this list are almost exclusively women's). The name Alexander McQueen is as high up as it gets in the world of fashion.
Kate Middleton wore a dress designed by McQueen for her wedding. When a royal bride is wearing a specific designer, it means it is beyond high-end. The entry-level jeans from the company will start at around $1,000.
APO is a designer that is pushing the boundaries of the most expensive jeans in the world. While the most expensive jeans in the world (see below) feature jewels in the rivets, this pair isn't all that different. You can find jeans from the company that will include precious metals, like gold or platinum, pressed into the pocket rivets.
Because of this, you can expect to pay at least $4,000 for a pair of jeans from APO. Of course, if you have developed a taste for gold to the extent you need it incorporated into your jeans, you can probably afford the $4,000.
Michael Kors came up during the 1980s—a notoriously interesting decade in the fashion world. The company isn't exactly on the same level as Gucci, but give it time. The jeans are just under the entry-level price of Gucci jeans. You can expect to pay at least $500 for a pair of Michael Kors, with some designs costing a few thousand dollars.
The Most Expensive Jeans in the World
There may well be a one-off pair of jeans you can buy that will cost more than the most expensive jeans in the world. You could find a pair of jeans once worn by James Dean or another actor that would sell for more than the jeans we're about to discuss. However, you probably would never wear auction-caliber jeans out and about, even if you could afford them. You can wear the most expensive jeans in the world (if you have the money), though not often, as washing them could prove challenging.
In terms of commercially available jeans, the most expensive jeans in the world are the Escada's Couture Swarovski Crystal Jeans. And yes, you probably don't need to be told that these jeans do in fact have Swarovski Crystals embroidered into the denim. So, if you're looking to bring some extra bling to your denim, this is an option. You're really paying for the crystals and not the denim, although either way, you'll want to be careful wearing them.
What They'll Cost You
When looking at the most expensive jeans commercially available in the world, the Escada's Couture Swarovski Crystal Jeans will set you back around $10,000. This isn't all that much more than other designer jeans that don't have the crystals.
Where to Get Them
When shopping around for the most expensive jeans in the world, you can head on down to the local Neiman Marcus—if local to you is Beverly Hills or Manhattan. If not, your neighborhood Neiman Marcus probably won't have these jeans readily available. You can find the jeans on the Neiman Marcus website. And, just in case you're wondering, you will not find the Escada's Couture Swarovski Crystal Jeans sold at the last-chance Neiman Marcus discount website (we already tried).
Auctioned and Specialty Jeans
These are jeans you will not find anywhere else. And chances are, another pair of jeans like this will never come around again (unless the buyer decides to sell). Back in 1998, an individual found a pair of original 1900 Levi Strauss & Co. 501 jeans. Despite being nearly 100 years old, the jeans were in excellent condition. This is because they had never been washed. Because of this, not only did the jeans look great, but they still contained the original color, which would not have been the case had they been washed.
After finding the jeans, the individual auctioned them off on eBay and accepted an impressive $60,000 bid for the pair. The individual who purchased the jeans was a denim collector in Japan. Because the individual bought the pair of pants as a collector, there's a good chance these jeans will never go on sale again. Sorry to burst your bubble if you have been looking for a pair like this—the chance of finding another pair of original Levis that have never been washed is slim to none.
Special Limited Jeans
Dussault Apparel Thrashed Denim is a special line of denim. The company washes each pair of jeans 13 times, and in between each washing, the jeans are hand-painted and stained. Some also include diamonds and rose gold. The specialty jeans sell for $250,000, although these are not jeans you can regularly find, even at luxury goods retailers.
Last, Secret Circus Clothing "sells" a pair of jeans that will set you back a whopping $1.3 million. It features 15 diamonds encrusted into the back pocket. However, this was more of a publicity stunt than anything else, and you will not find these jeans hanging on a rack (or locked in a jewelry case) ready to be bought by just anybody.
Denim comes in all shapes and sizes. There are different kinds of washes and bleaches, some that are pre-torn and stitched up; others will have unique patterns or adorn special aging effects. No matter the jeans you like, there is a style and cut out there for you. Even if the most expensive jeans in the world are not in your budget, you can still go out to your favorite department store and pick up a pair of jeans that will look pretty darn good on you—even if they don't have diamonds.