The luxury inconsistency
How the fashion system devalues itself
Straight to the point of the luxury inconsistency: top brands stopped representing luxury. When they started the overproduction pattern, triggering the constant need for discounts, they moved in a different direction. And since the diffusion of affordable luxury, a meaningless oxymoron, the fashion industry is doing its best to devalue what little remains of luxury.
Luxury: from exclusivity to mass products
Overproduction and luxury have nothing in common. But the fashion industry promoted this pattern to make more money – in the name of growth and greed.
Some top brands represented the last stronghold of an industry which was transmuting into financial conglomerates. In this new context, fashion went from exclusivity to the masses.
In order to appeal to a wider audience, communication had to develop a different narrative. And it revolves around three points:
1- extremized concepts, just to give something to talk about
2- socialite or fashion bloggers to promote the products
3- frequent markdowns
And so, the industry has lowered standards focusing on branding rather than providing creativity and excellent quality. The byproduct was a crass logo dependency. But, associating a logo with specific lifestyle imagery is different from well-made products. Most importantly, exclusivity and discounts contradict each other!
The luxury short-circuit
Sometimes luxury brands, how they still want to call themselves, release the wrong communication, as in the case of Balenciaga. Consequently, fashion bloggers sell their products for cheap. Can you imagine who paid the full price for those items? They must be happy to see them undersold!
Rising prices: the latest strategy for luxury
Now brands increase prices due to pandemic-related issues and inflation, but that does not mean better quality. They cover their costs. If people accept to pay more, they get mass products in return, not exclusivity.
What masses believe is luxury, it is not. It’s the product of an industry that lost consistency. Without serious critique and questioning, it reveals its short-circuit and inability to change.
Indeed, communication missteps show the luxury inconsistency to everyone. And you don’t even need to be a fashion insider to understand it!