Is Branded Luxury joining the Race to The Bottom?

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Is Branded Luxury joining the Race to The Bottom?  You have to wonder…

Today the NYT’s published this article on the extremes some companies are going to to get their products into the hands of consumers faster.
In this case, Farfetched and Gucci will now be offering 90 minute delivery of your mass-produced $3550-5000.00 handbag in 10 cities around the world. (Please!)

Branded Luxury Bag
Not sure why you’d have to have this bag in a nano-second….

The writer Vanessa Friedman states:

Because in treating investment fashion — which is to say fashion that takes time to create and consumers to understand (and often, desire) — as a commodity, you risk changing how people think about it, and value it, in an essential way. It is true that no one is forcing consumers to opt for the fastest delivery (you can have your jacket in two days if you want, or even a full week), but the sheer fact that the option exists makes the decision seem, somehow, less of a commitment.

I agree, why are these big Branded Luxury labels trying to compete with Amazon? Or H&M and Zara?  What is the point but a faster race to the bottom?  Where is the value of these “investment” purchases when the veneer that dresses them as “luxury” is stripped away?   Face it, the majority of these big branded luxury pieces are in fact Mass-Produced, and the high prices do not reflect the value of either the materials or labor (which are kept as low as possible),  but the multiple layers of Marketing and Real Estate involved.

This is the absolute antithesis of what I believe in.

What I do here takes into account the personal needs and desires of each unique client.   This is why we require direct measurements for our custom work and why we ask questions and go thru personal consultations. This is why each pattern is drafted to direct measurements and the fit is checked and adjusted till not just, you, but we are happy with it.  All the leathers, linings, trims and other components we use in a garment are chosen carefully and specifically, for each commission.  And the quality of the materials and level of craftsmanship is far higher than what you would find in a comparably priced designer piece at say, Bergdorf’s.   I have great respect the fine materials I work with on a daily basis, because I know that with care and attention the end result will be a piece that will give the owner years of joy, if they desire.  Leather lends itself to that, that’s where it gets it’s rep as “a second skin”.

Really Good things take time & things you really love – they should last.

I am not interested in creating anything that’s going to be discarded after a Season, it’s bad for us, it’s bad for the planet & it’s disrespectful to the materials.

To me, it is more than unfortunate, the way women have been programmed to shop in this country, it’s disgusting.  In the process far too many have lost all sense of  how things should fit and what actually constitutes quality.  I think many have not had the opportunity to learn on a diet of increasingly fast fashion.   Sense of self has been subsumed in the race for the next new thing or the must have label.

What is a label?  Is it still a status symbol?  Bragging rights?   Or is it a signal that we’ve lost the ability to think for ourselves?  Does the shiny and new really have the ability to fill the void?

Does the Big Luxe Brand Label?  I don’t believe it does.

And any status that’s left, may quickly wear off at this rate.

My background is reflected in he evolution of my business, from being 100% Women’s wear when I started out – to being roughly 95% menswear today.  I have been lucky enough to get to see and handle first hand Museum quality garments dating as far back as the 1550’s.  When “Fashion” in and of itself was LUXURY.  When Women and Men equally understood fit and craftsmanship.  Men have the advantage today.  They regularly have clothing tailored to fit and are not held in sway by the increasingly fast “Fashion” cycle.  That in and of itself is a special kind of freedom in these times.

I hope women catch up – Please don’t loose any more ground here!

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