Search Results for: democratic luxury

The decline of luxury – Why?

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.

It’s indeed extremely difficult to find meaning in luxury Maisons now. 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 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.

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?