Luxury isn’t a luxury.

10 Oct


Luxury, as a concept, is difficult to define. Miuccio Prada claims that luxury is space and rarity. But in the real world, rarity doesn’t equate to profit. And in the first six months of 2010, when virtually every other industry was still reporting losses, Prada reported an increase in profits by almost 275 percent. Other luxury supergroups, such as Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy (which is the parent company of giants such as Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Celine, TAG Heur, Kenzo, Belvedere, Krug, etc etc.), are also following the trend of explosive profit.

The reason for this profit is simple; the youth of the world have embraced luxury. Gone are the days when labels like Chanel were reserved for rich old lady clothes; today, big labels are rich people clothes. And everyone likes to be rich people.

And started making clothes like this.

The really interesting thing about this situation is that, in my opinion, the ‘mainstreaming’ of luxury labels hasn’t been solely because of the “Veblen Good” effect; in essence, young people don’t just want a Dolce and Gabbana dress because it is expensive –  they want it because it is good. Whilst the ‘brand snob’ factor has had a definite influence (fake LV bags, anyone?), a large proportion of the great success of luxury labels is due to, in my opinion, the conciousness of quality. Sure – Fergie didn’t sing about the great leatherwork in her “Dolce and Gabanna, Fendi and Adonna” or the high quality selvedge denim in her “Seven Jeans (and) True Religion”, but it is the quality in design, presentation, and materials of the aforementioned labels that is keeping them afloat. Your average kid on lookbook doesn’t want an Acne coat just because it’s Acne; they want the good design, nice materials, and pleasant packaging. And they don’t mind paying for it.

The problem with this kind of sudden profit is that it results in over-commercialisation. Burberry is only just clawing back some semblance of credibility after it’s Haymarket Check spent the 90’s and early 00’s emblazoning footballer’s wives and Big Brother contestants.

It’s almost unimaginable to think that something like that could happen to a label like Prada or Chanel. But it could. It’s arguably already happened to LV.

A trained counterfeit expert significant de-values an imitation piece.


One Response to “Luxury isn’t a luxury.”

  1. me December 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    makes me want to drink alchoholic beverages

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