Started looking at the new spring clothes and gone into complete sticker shock? You are not alone. We are noticing that prices seem noticably higher than, oh say, a year ago. What’s the deal? Ann Watson, VP fashion director of trendy Manhattan department store Henri Bendel, confirms our suspicions. According to Watson, prices have actually been growing for the past four years: “An average luxury handbag four years ago cost between $900 and $1100, but today the average bag is $1400 to $1900- that’s quite a significant difference!” Check out this new Fendi canvas bag that is $1430 at net-a-porter.com. The reason for this jump is based on simple economics — many materials and labor come from Europe where the dollar is much weaker than the Euro, which means rising prices at the mall. And it’s not like fashion is getting simpler, as Watson points out, “For spring, there are a lot of rosettes, ruffles and trims that consist of a lot of hand work and definitely drives the prices up.” Ironically, the luxury market keeps getting stronger despite the growing prices, with sales continuing to climb. What do you think? Have you noticed a price rise? Is it stopping you from shopping?