Fashion Magazine

What Defines Luxury Goods?

By Attireclub @attireclub

What Defines Luxury Goods?The world of fashion is seen by many as a pyramidal system. In this scheme, at the top of the pyramid lie the top luxury brands of the world.

A luxury product, however, is not as easy to define as you would think. There are many elements that describe or that can describe a luxury good.

For most people, luxury products describe products that are not necessary or that are overpriced versions of basic necessities, such as clothes, cars or services. This is a rather narrow definition and a pretty partisan one as well.

Defining luxury as a caprice, while true, is not enough to describe what luxury fashion is.

Luxury fashion, as anything else basically, needs to be firstly considered in connection to the context in which it is defined. For example, in third world countries, a simple car or having heat or running water can be seen as a luxury. In this sense, luxury can be described as something that is not attainable by everyone. This definition was what luxury was seen as at the beginning of the 20 th century in the Western world, when a simple activity, such as going on a ski vacation, or a owning a product, such as a car, was seen as a luxury in itself. Today, due to the democratization of products and services, luxury is not so much about the products, but about their quality and brand.

People expect from luxury goods to deliver high quality and exceed their expectations - these need to fulfill two functions at once.

The first function is the practical one, where the products serve basic needs such as covering and protecting the body.

The second function is the symbolic one, where a product is used to boost one's self-esteem, to project a self-image and to reinforce a social status.

More studies have shown that people view luxury in different ways, depending on where they live.

In Europe, people use luxury to fulfill their personal needs of aesthetics and pleasure. They want to own luxury products to see themselves as sophisticated and elegant.

In the United States, people want to own luxury goods mostly for the way in which society perceives them. Here, luxury is mostly a symbol of social status.

In the Middle East, luxury items are meant to describe one's know-how of the Western world.

The ways in which we see luxury is also defining the way in which brands create their products. A luxury brand such as Gucci, Prada or Louis Vuitton works very strongly on maintaining their spirit and cohesiveness, while still maintaining products that will suit their customer's needs. This is very hard to do, as one of the criteria for which a label is considered to be a luxury one is its international recognition and appeal. Most luxury shopping is done abroad, so being both consistent and adapted is quite a job.

But most luxury brands have managed to find a middle ground.

For example, given that Europeans have personal motivations for buying luxury items and are more interested in the aesthetic and cultural value of the piece, logos on luxury goods you'll find in Europe will be more subtle and subdued, while in the United States of America, logos are bigger and more pronounced.

What Defines Luxury Goods?
Logos are a very strong part of the luxury world. If an item has a logo that marks it as a luxury product, its value goes up, as luxury labels are a guarantee for top notch products and, of course, a powerful social symbol.

This so-called logomania is what also drives many people to seek copycats of luxury products: their desire to be associated with the spirit of a brand is so strong that they are happy to wear a copy, only to have a logo on them.

Because so many people want to have luxury products, most brands have developed several types of luxury products:

The first type is called inaccessible luxury and describes products such as haute couture clothes, limited-edition cars, yachts etc.

The second type is called intermediate luxury and is represented by high-end clothes from runway collections, expensive watches, cars and services (luxury hotels, etc.).

The third type is accessible luxury, which refers to products created in a larger series. Perfumes, cosmetics, accessories and small leather goods are the items that fall in this category. 99% of luxury items are accessible luxury.

What Defines Luxury Goods?
Luxury items are basically described by artistic content, amazing craftsmanship and international appeal. However, they need to be clearly delimitated from premium goods, which are high-quality products that don't actually qualify as luxury. For example, a craftsperson can offer an amazing bag made in their studio, but the fact that their brand is not known by at least 50% of a given country, that is not culturally charged in the same way around the world and because it is not made by a brand that is very exclusive in its distribution and reach, it does not qualify as a luxury good.

The role of luxury fashion is to offer not only high-quality products in technical and aesthetic terms, but also social terms. A luxury item is something that confers the wearer status, a sense of elegance and style, which can affect not only the way he looks, but the way he feels as well. The luxury fashion market keeps on growing, as more and more people understand that, to feel great, you can wear great things as well and engage in certain spiritually rewarding activities.

Fraquoh and Franchomme

P.S. We want to hear from you! Which is your favorite luxury brand? What role do luxury goods play in your life? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

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