Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster

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by Dana Thomas

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Once luxury was available only to the rarefied and aristocratic world of old money and royalty. It offered a history of tradition, superior quality, and a pampered buying experience. Today, however, luxury is simply a product packaged and sold by multibillion-dollar global corporations focused on growth, visibility, brand awareness, advertising, and, above all,


Once luxury was available only to the rarefied and aristocratic world of old money and royalty. It offered a history of tradition, superior quality, and a pampered buying experience. Today, however, luxury is simply a product packaged and sold by multibillion-dollar global corporations focused on growth, visibility, brand awareness, advertising, and, above all, profits. Award-winning journalist Dana Thomas digs deep into the dark side of the luxury industry to uncover all the secrets that Prada, Gucci, and Burberry don't want us to know. Deluxe is an uncompromising look behind the glossy façade that will enthrall anyone interested in fashion, finance, or culture.

Editorial Reviews

In an engaging, deliciously informing combination of high-end gossip and highbrow cultural history, Newsweek's Paris-based correspondent, Dana Thomas, offers a sophisticated history of the most revered fashion brands on the planet. Fun, knowledgeable, and encompassing famous marques from Louis Vuitton to Prada, Thomas's book describes the origins of the great European houses and details their transition to the realm of corporate takeovers, board intrigues, global mass production and distribution, and marketing wizardry. After reading Deluxe, fashion fans will understand how the exclusive artistry of the pioneering fashion designers has been translated into the cachet of luxury logos now available to all -- albeit at a premium price -- in flagship stores, airports, and shopping malls.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
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Penguin Group
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727 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Jay Alexander
"Miss J. says don't buy the shoes, buy the book. Perfect front row reading when the shows are late during fashion week. Deluxe is a luxury to read."--(Jay Alexander, America's Next Top Model)
Rose Apodaca
Through exhaustive reporting and personalized storytelling, Dana Thomas has delivered a historical survey of a business that truly keeps the world going round. She may never again be so readily welcomed in some quarters of this beau monde, but the trade off is an essential reference for any student of fashion, finance or culture. (Rose Apodaca, former west coast bureau chief, Women's Wear Daily )
Fareed Zakaria
The story of luxury goods today is really about globalization, capitalization, class and culture. Dana Thomas has a feel for all of this and more and has written a fascinating book. A luxury product about luxury.
Michael Isikoff
"Dana Thomas is a brilliant reporter with a sharp eye for detail. In Deluxe, she provides an illuminating account of how the multi billion dollar luxury industry and the corporate giants that dominate it prey on, and bamboozle, consumers in the United States and the rest of the world."--(Michael Isikoff, co-author of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War)
Joel Achenbach
"Deluxe is delicious if you know about fashion; fascinating even if you don't. We're not just backstage at the runway show, we're all the way back in the factory, which might well be in a remote province of China. Dana Thomas is a fearless reporter who shows how so many designer goods have gone to hell in a handbag. This is a page-turning yarn about the men and women who have transformed luxury into an off-the-rack, global commodity."--(Joel Achenbach, Washington Post columnist and author of The Grand Idea)

Meet the Author

Dana Thomas has been the fashion writer for Newsweek in Paris since 1995. She writes about style for The New York Times Magazine and contributes to a number of publications including The New Yorker and Harper's Bazaar.

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Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so informative, eye-opening and well-researched. It was an overall great book. Not only did it expose many of today's so called luxury brands for the mass-marketed, mass-produced items that they are, but it also was fascinating to learn how the brands that still produce high quality merchndise take it that "extra step" to make sure they only produce a truly high quality items. I especially loved the chapter on fragrance. It was a very interesting lesson on how fragrances are produced and what is involved. The chapter on the link between celebrities and the promotion on brands was also enlighting. The exposure of the "knock-off" industry and their ties to child labor and and abuses will stop me from ever, ever thinking of buying a fake again! For anyone who loves fashion this is a must read!
Sarjevane More than 1 year ago
Thomas uses each brand to outlines what luxury is about today. The book is full of why and how luxury does not mean unique. Definition of luxury is still up in the air, but definitely you finish the book realizing that what luxury was is not what it is now. Does it mean it lost its luster? May be not. But it lost its "one of a kind" aspect. You finish the book in a hate love relationship with those brands; you realize what they could be, and what they truly are about. At the same time, the book is inspirational. There is a big opportunity where the luxury brand were; a place where price is not the only motivation, but the individual service is. The final chapter is refreshing and optimistic about the luxury industry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
really interesting read. would be nice if they would update it to 2013 because things have changed in the past six years. Also, has your typical nook typos here and there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off" This book does just that. Tells the truth. After reading this Iam discusted by logos and I will only buy made in usa product and bags with NO LOGOS!!!!! Iam selling my Tory Burch clutch. I feel these logos are a way for these "designers" to escape actually creating a design.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mwaa ha ha ha ha.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very informative look into a very flashy world, unfortunate that the world of luxury is like the Wizard of Oz. A look behind the curtain will dispel all illusions you have about our many "luxury" brands.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Derrybookworm More than 1 year ago
This book was very insightful into the world of luxury items such as designer clothing and handbags. Even the chapter on the world of perfume was interesting. I loved this book so much, I bought a copy for my sister. I didn't want to part with my copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Living near one of the world's most expensive malls, I was really interested in learning more about the extremely expensive items that stock the elite shops located in the mall in my area, which purportedly charges the highest retail rent in the nation. I always wondered how those shops thrived because I'd never witnessed anything approaching what could be considered a crowd of shoppers in any of these luxury goods stores, and it puzzled me that they could pay enormous rents, employee salaries, marketing expenses, etc., etc., and still make astronomical profits. My curiosity was satisfied by reading Dana Thomas' book 'Deluxe.' It's now very simple to understand how these 'luxury' brands are so profitable. The information contained in this book will annoy many who were under the impression that their Louis Vuitton bag or their 'designer' clothing is anything quite special.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I am appreciative of the writer's honesty and further investigation into a field that she knows well. It makes clear the distinctions between quality, mass consumerism and profit. Deluxe is a detailed account of the downfall of a loved one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is well written, chic, and also keeps the reader wanting to 'know' more of what she has to say. Overall a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fabulous, well written, easy-to-read book. The information the author provides is very interesting and written in a story-telling way. Anyone who loves fashion and luxury products will enjoy the insights this book has to offer!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dana Thomas¿s Deluxe is a perfect fit for anyone who loves the world of fashion. I found the book really interesting because you would think that when a large amount of money is spent you would receive a very quality one of a kind piece, like a Louis Vuitton handbag. That is not true though. The big names like Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton all started as mom and popshops. Over the years the original designers died and family did not want to take over, so big tycoons come in, buy the names, design and produce products that are made of lesser quality materials, especially leather and sell for outrageous prices. Through the years luxury really has lost its luster because now people do not care of the quality but of the status they are displaying. Nowadays quantity over rules quality. I really enjoyed learning that a name is not everything. Just because someone owns a Chanel bag does not mean it is any better quality than a bag from Target. I found it very interesting that some of the big name brands produce their products in the same place as lesser-known brands for a lot more money. There was nothing I did not like about this book. From the details of how all the shops look inside with their exquisite architecture and crazy patterns to the gifts employees receive, I never lost interest in this book. Deluxe let me do some research on the next handbag I want to buy and I now know what brands are real quality and which ones are just a fabulous name. If you¿re someone looking for and inside scoop on the real fashion world, this book is perfect. It is a behind the scenes look at how a big name brand really makes their money. One thing I keep in mind after reading this book is that quality is much better than quantity. The brands do not see things the same way the consumer does so to them quantity is much better than quality.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great. If you love fashion and luxury, it's time to get the dirt on these luxury items. The book is an eye-opener and I wish I had read it before I started buying luxury items.