Monday, May 18, 2009

My Point ExACTly...

This is a bit of blast from the past, but worth revisiting... an article discussing Dana Thomas's, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre. If you didn't read it, the title examines the state of the luxury market (circa 2007), and the shifting definition of luxury. I happened across it again this morning and found it interesting food for thought as luxury firms struggle to define themselves in today's economy: this 2-year-old warning of sorts went largely ignored and the big-brand mentality contributed greatly to the current state of the luxury industry. (The bit about Louis Vuitton being the McDonald's of luxury: "A Million Served" still makes me smirk) 

While I've never been a logo girl, in this economy, I'm even more turned off than ever by logomania. And, with questionable country of origin issues, luxe brands continuing to market to the masses, and a complete absence of any sense of design or craftsmanship, I know I'm not alone; former Gucci designer Tom Ford, has called the big luxury brands diluted. Talk about an understatement.

To quote this article in
The famous logo [Louis Vuitton] still costs an arm and a leg, yet those buying are not the aristocratic clients who coveted craftsmanship and exclusivity. Instead, they’re the new luxury-obsessed middle class consumers addicted to brands, not for quality, but for what they represent.

And, when the middle class consumer is hit by a recession, where does that leave what we've all come to accept as "luxury"? Exactly where we are right now.

Luxury isn't about overinflated prices to support massive advertising campaigns. As I say on my site, true luxury today is about quality, relationships, craftsmanship, service and creativity. This fundamental point is my mantra: there is a great need right now for those offering true luxury goods and services (usually small artisan firms and boutique upscale service providers) to understand how to effectively communicate their messages to those who seek "luxury" in this new marketplace. 

If you are in the business of trying to reach those consumers, remember: in 2009, the buzzword is substance, not status.


  1. Hi Carrie
    I found you, and have to say am so happy to hear your editor's voice again. This time, however, I hear YOU loud and clear. I know that I will enjoy your posts and the personal imprint you'll put on your blog even more than I liked your editorial overview of the magazine. Do you mind if I share this with others? Andrea Hansen

  2. Thank you, Andrea. And I am so happy you found me. Absolutely would love for you to share!