The price of quality is an indicator that has fundamentally lost its sense.
Quality is an asset that every brand wants to sell, but no one really understands its true meaning. There is a conflict between the marketed or perceived quality and its effective worth.
At the Uffizi in Florence, during a preview of Confindustria’s Future for Fashion, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior designer, said:
“Democratic luxury does not exist.”
“In Italy, we have to get the idea of democratic fashion out of our heads. If a garment is well made, why does it have to be democratic? Quality at a low price does not exist. If the price is low, it is because behind it, there is someone who has not been paid well.”
We agree with this statement – democratic luxury is nonsense. Indeed, a product made respecting specific quality standards comes with a price. But what luxury brands call quality is questionable. And, it is not what it was in the past.
Quality & luxury brands
Undoubtedly, there is a lot of confusion generated by different factors.
The average quality of high-end products decreased a lot over time. Pushed by greed, luxury conglomerates operated an economic change of production sites. Then, they abandoned exclusivity and shifted to the mass market. Quality is inversely proportional to corporations’ greed.
In order to be able to have a catchy wholesale price while keeping profit safe, the quality of materials and craftsmanship are the factors to cut.
In the second place, economic and cultural changes have induced consumers to believe that a cheap price tag corresponds to quality items and well-paid labourers.
While the need for affordable clothes is understandable, it is obvious that low prices don’t equal quality materials and fair living wages.
Luxury brands contributed to devaluing the fashion system with poor productions, obsessive mass distributions and a crazy discounting policy. But, they still want to be part of an Olympus disconnected from the masses.
Olympus is not democratic. But to be credible again, luxury brands have to reverse the route, reducing the large quantities they produce. And stop hard discounting.
This is a logical necessity for the return of true luxury.
Will it happen for real?