It all started with a bag.
Odds are high you may actually be familiar with the story which – unexpectedly – made the world wonder again: what is luxury?
Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvesalia surely took the (fashion) world by surprise when he showcased a strongly IKEA inspired bag for his 2017 Spring-Summer collection for men. The €0,80 FRAKTA plastic tote has been upgraded into a €1,695 Carry Shopper leather fashion accessory. When some considered it a trendy art piece, others just could not ignore the close resemblance nor look past the large price gap.
GLAM OR SCAM?
The very last thing one would want to look like is an idiot – especially in the fashion industry. Considering the original bag is actually available for a few cents, why bother acquire the inspired version for more than a thousand euros? Well, it is only a matter of taste and point of view. Only you can “evaluate” luxury according to your own personal definition. Just like art. The main factor one should look for in a luxury item – or an item in general – is quality. Unlike the creativity put into a piece, quality is what will make the object last in time – therefore counterbalancing its high cost – and comfort the buyer into making the purchase.
NO (EXACT) DEFINITION?
When searching the term luxury in several dictionaries, each one of them has its own vision on the subject. This could be explained by the fact we all have our personal definition according to our lives, backgrounds, and needs. Depending on the angle, luxury can be seen as:
-desirable, rare, unique, tailored, qualitative, elegant, pleasing, abundant…
-superficial, excessive, expensive, unnecessary, useless, unobtainable…
Whichever side, there is this idea of a “close-distance“. A (subconscious) wish that can be reached and become a reality – most of the time, in exchange for money.
THE PRICE TO PAY
Aside from limited edition items and never-ending waiting lists, luxury can simply appear unobtainable by taking a look at the prices. However, is it the price that determines whether an item is luxurious or not? The answer varies on this point as well. The price should reward:
-craftsmanship, production time, creativity, quality, technology, research, materials.
In reality, the price mostly includes advertizing and brand reputation – meaning sometimes you are just paying for the logo to appear on the object although it may not be worth the extravagance. This strategic approach has unfortunately misled us to believe the highest the price, the best the product – when it is actually not always the case.
A PIECE FOR EVERYONE
Despite the high price range, everyone can actually be part of the luxury experience – starting with makeup and/or perfume. For more important purchases – such as accessories and/or pieces of clothing – the sales period is ideal. Remember to always be critical with the item regarding its quality state, its practicality, its comfort and how it will suit the rest of your wardrobe. The best advice would be to look for classic pieces rather than trendy ones. Think of it as an investment – yet, do not put any pressure on yourself. Mistakes may happen, mistakes will happen. Just enjoy the journey.
Photo Credits: Balenciaga Carry Shopper L / IKEA Frakta Bag