Search Results for: democratic luxury

The decline of luxury

What happened to the fashion industry?

If you want to understand the events that caused the decline of luxury, we suggest you read ‘Deluxe: How luxury lost its luster’ – written by Dana Thomas.

You will discover how fashion from being a family-owned business became a corporate battlefield based on overproduction.
The growth of the new markets – China, Russia, and India. The explosion of counterfeiting goods and labour exploitation.
Then, the rise of fast fashion, internet retailers and the development of a fast-paced globalized system. How luxury products abandoned exclusivity and shifted to the masses. Creating the so-called democratic luxury. Which basically is nonsense. Indeed, it shows how far marketing rhetoric can go, playing with words to manipulate people.

The book is a brilliant analysis of the field, investigating the dynamics that led to an auto-implosion.
Also, it allowed us to relive the last 30 years of fashion. We assisted many of those events – not by accepting them but by moving more and more towards niche designers. Finding a kind of refuge in a tiny universe. A thoughtful research in dissonance with the average fashion consumer.

Though we agree with almost everything, we do not align with the devotion to some brands. We are afraid they have lost their luster too, so far. Except for Hermes and Cadolle.

Indeed, retracing the decline of luxury, it is now extremely difficult to find meaning in fashion Maisons. They seem like smoke and mirrors set up to sell perfumes, make-up and bags. Abundantly offered to masses that have no perception beyond the logo and the illusion of being considered rich.

If you still love fashion, you go beyond that fake facade and search for designers who dared to undertake an independent path, expressing an authentic creative vision. In this panorama, the ability to select the right clothing – from an aesthetic and ethical viewpoint – changes the game.

The decline of luxury Read More »

The price of quality

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?

The price of quality Read More »

The Rise of the No-Phones Trend

Has Social Media Democratized Fashion? Or our Lives?

The no-phones trend is gaining momentum, extending its reach from fashion shows to theaters. Also, it prompts a critical examination of whether social media has truly democratized fashion.

The no-phones trend in fashion

At the recent Paris Fashion Week, The Row took a bold stance by banning phones, aiming to encourage attendees to fully engage with the runway spectacle without the distraction of screens. This move not only allowed spectators to immerse themselves in the live experience but also disrupted the instantaneous sharing of images on social media. Instead, attendees could reflect on and digest the show before sharing their experiences.

Critics argue that such restrictions, stating that social media has democratised fashion. But does merely observing luxury clothing on screens equate to affording luxury those items? So, can we define “democratic” a product we can only see but cannot afford to purchase?

The no-phones trend in theaters

Yesterday, we attended “Jesus Christ Superstar” -a glorious show at the “Teatro Sistina Chapiteau.” It reinforced the growing prevalence of the no-phones trend beyond fashion events. The announcer urged the audience to power down their devices and refrain from taking photos to fully appreciate the performance. Only during the grand finale, featuring the iconic Ted Neely, were attendees permitted to capture the moment on their phones. The show, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the film and the 30th anniversary of the production by Massimo Romeo Piparo, showcased remarkable talent and creativity, demonstrating the effectiveness of the no-phones policy.

Prof. Paolo Ercolani quotes Guy Debord: “The society of spectacle”

However, Professor Paolo Ercolani referenced a quote from Guy Debord’s “The Society of the Spectacle,” highlighting the danger of life becoming a mere accumulation of spectacles detached from genuine experiences.

“In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.”

Furthermore: “The images detached from every aspect of life merge into a common stream in which the unity of that life can no longer be recovered. Fragmented views of reality regroup themselves into a new unity as a separate pseudo-world that can only be looked at. The specialisation of images of the world has culminated in a world of autonomised images where even the deceivers are deceived. The spectacle is a concrete inversion of life, an autonomous movement ofthe non living.”

Social media: democratizing fashion or dictating our lives?

Indeed, this raises the question of whether social media’s proliferation of images has truly democratised fashion or merely inundated us with unattainable ideals. Has social media democratised fashion? Or our lives?

In conclusion, the no-phones trend signifies a desire for genuine engagement and connection. But it also prompts reflection on the impact of social media on our perception of fashion and life itself.

The Rise of the No-Phones Trend Read More »