Deluxe available in Large Print
- Pub. Date:
- Gale Group
There was a time when luxury was available only to the world of old money and royalty. It wasn't a product but a lifestyle that denoted a history of tradition, superior quality, and a pampered buying experience. Today's luxury marketplace is run by massive corporations focused on brand awareness and profits, and targeted mainly toward the middle class. Journalist Dana Thomas, who has covered the luxury business from Paris for the past fifteen years, traveled the world to deliver a hard-hitting look at the world of "New Luxury."
Table of ContentsIntroduction 11
An Industry Is Born 35
Group Mentality 71
Going Global 127
Stars Get in Your Eyes 167
The Sweet Smell of Success 225
It's in the Bag 279
The Needle and the Damage Done 349
Going Mass 391
Faux Amis 445
What Now? 491
New Luxury 529
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Deluxe based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
I really enjoyed this book. I've never been one overly concerned with labels, but I was fascinated by how these luxury brands have re-invented themselves from the days of "real" couture design to the big business takeovers and the focus on profits. I doubt most of the brands in this book will find it flattering (particularly Prada who does not come off very well), but others - who have retained their focus on what made them the desirable brand they are (e.g. Hermes, Louboutin) - are highlighted well.There is a little bit of everything in here - it is not just a list of brands. There is history, finance, society, etc. Highly Recommended
When we save our money to buy a $500 handbag or $200 distressed jeans, we like to think of the people who made it as a small group of older women or men sitting in sun-lit rooms in France or Italy, with glasses perched on their noses, lovingly sewing a pocket or a zipper. The truth is far more likely to be a factory of 20-something Chinese women using a combination of glue and machine stitching - even if the label says "Made in Italy". But this book is not a tawdry expose... it's a very thoughtful account of how a group of storied families - the Guccis, Pradas, Vuittons, etc. - went from being hard-working tailors and leathersmiths who produced only a few items a year, but who never made much money for themselves, to being the faces of modern luxury brands. Along the way we learn things like: - Why do the Japanese buy 50% of ALL luxury goods purchased year globally, and how does that affect the way luxury brands think and act? - If Muccia Prada really is a communist, how does she reconcile that with running a luxury good business? - How a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk is hand-made, the same as it was a hundred years ago. - How Tom Ford went from designing for Gucci to being the face of Gucci. - How two men homoginized and standardized the vast majority of luxury brands into just two holding companies. Though the author doesn't address it exactly, I now have the answer to a question I've always wondered... How do so many designers and brands come out with the same 'inspirations' in a given year? How do they all know "Safari is in this fall"? The answer is the "Walmart-ization" of luxury... Read this book - and then make your teens read it. It doesn't mean I regret buying the $500 Longchamp bag - it's the most functional, durable purse I have owned and I adore it. Many - but not all - luxury items are better-than-average quality. But if you are 'brand concious' and mainly shop by brand, this will challenge many of your assumptions about what you are buying and why.
I loved it! Made me rethink how I spend on any "designer" items!