05 May 2010

biblio(file): deluxe - how luxury lost its luster

When Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster first came out in 2007, I remember reading book reviews that placed reviewers in the extremes of love and hate.  It was interesting to read some of the unflattering reports that seem to call for its placement on a list of banned books waiting to be thrown into a bonfire.  On the other side, proponents conjectured that those who were against Deluxe, were part of a shadowy conspiracy trying to keep hidden the explosive secrets of the luxury goods & services industry. Great marketing, huh?  I made a mental note to buy and read it as soon as possible.

Three years later, I finally got around to reading it. I have to admit that I am definitely with the 'loved it' crowd but failed to see the controversy. Maybe that is what waiting three years gets me. Deluxe doesn't necessarily explain how luxury lost its luster since it is still a shiny and thriving industry; instead it explains the histories of many iconic items, the back room business dealing & feuds and how luxury brands have spread and transformed into many different cultures and regions. Deluxe opens the the doors to a world that for most most people is still mysterious and somewhat unwelcoming. But I would argue that one of the criteria of being a true luxury brand is that it can stand up to a thorough  examination and the customer still wants (and craves) it. Right?

Perhaps learning that the new perfume to hit the market was probably created five years ago in a nondescript laboratory and was just waiting for a buyer to brand it, may tarnish the image a little. But then again, there are other fragrances that were truly inspired and born from a designer's trip to some exotic locale. What I loved most about Deluxe were the detailed accounts from the insiders -- good and bad -- and I felt that I become a more educated consumer. Overall, it is still the kind of book that you can make reference to in conversation and someone else will definitely make a mental note to read it too...hopefully in less than three years.
from thestylemusings.com
photo cred: amazon.com

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