There are many brands out there who would like consumers to believe that faux athletic shoes with designer logos and painted leather handbags are an important part of the “luxury world”.
I don’t think so, says my good self!
To be a part of my “luxury” world, brands and products must be committed to a philosophy of taste, quality, generational style and materials that are relatively scarce. Broadly speaking, in apparel that means cashmere, vicuna and very limited selections of the best cotton and wool fabrics available from the finest weavers and knitters. In accessories, that means diamonds, gold, platinum, silver, and very few naturally tanned leathers and alligator hides. Of course, all of these products must contain a significant amount of handwork by skilled artisans resulting in products that are without peer in terms of quality and longevity. In my mind the styling of these products are modern yet classic and generational in their appeal. It is these attributes that determine what is a luxury product and what is not.
In today’s world, chic, hip, and cool seem to be the driving force for those who are part of the fashion cool kids. Bloggers and influencers identify stuff that they “bless” in their posts and the fashion flock of sheep respond all over the world for fear of not being perceived as being cool enough. Lost in this chaos is any conversation regarding taste, iconic style, quality, aspiration and elegance. Having said all this, the real heart of the problem is that so many stores go along with this charade and then wonder what has happened to their business and why they are being forced to shutter so many of their stores.
Like democracy, fashion is dependent on having informed customers; customers that understand how to build a stylish, timeless and tasteful wardrobe, and why better quality is always a better choice than fast fashion. There really is very little hope for the fashion world if customers are not educated and informed and continue to buy stuff because some mysterious influencer uploads a picture.
Perhaps Princess Grace and the Duke of Windsor could have taught us something.
Onward and upward,
Curator of Extraordinary Objects (CEO)