First heard of this book when watching one of the fashion television programs. Quite fascinating!
What does luxury really mean these days? Is it as simple as having more time to yourself or is it an ideology about retaining a sense of freedom and purpose in a world of surface values and stricter social controls? Dana Tomas launches a scathing criticism of crass commercialism being paraded as luxury. Louis Vuitton came under fire and Hermes remained untouched.
So what does luxury mean for many of the senior executives and designers at the top end of the fashion industry?
For the likes of Tom Ford, Silvia Fendi, creative director of the Italian house, Yves Carcelle, chief executive of Louis Vuitton, and Bernard Arnaud, billionaire boss of luxury goods group LVMH, luxury is about quality, innovation, service and creativity.
For some, such as Dana Thomas, the author of Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre and a critic of consumerism, it's about "hawking low-cost, high-profit items wrapped in logos".
I knew the book had to be good when it was announced that the powers to be at Vuitton decided she was not to attend their show. Hmm!
It is currently out of stock at Amazon, but they are taking back orders.
I've been reading it too slowly, or trying to read slowly, not wanting to come to the inevitable end of the nearly 400 page count. This book circuitously documents a paradigm shift in manufacturer behavior (not just luxury manufacturers) and the equivocal consumer response. It's the dramatic story of how couture labels have augmented their offerings to capitalize on the acquisitive nature of consumers to possess exclusivity mostly via handbags and perfumes. My review is staid and boring, the book is not. It's filled with riveting stories of the changes in luxury production over the past ten years. This is a must read, engrossing. You will enjoy it. READ MORE
The bubble may have burst in the property market but there seems to be no slowing down at the high end of the luxury market - just a readjusting of image and message.
Despite the credit crunch, the consumer spending slowdown and analysts advising us to "save, save, save", there is a planned surge in retail openings. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tom Ford, Prada - even brands such as Martin Margiela, which doesn't advertise, promoting an anti-conspicuous, almost grunge approach to luxury instead - are gearing up for new store wars, their confidence in the market seemingly bullet-proof.