The Insatiable Lust for Logos not Luxury

We can all agree, that the true sense of the word “luxury” is not the same today, as it was in the past.

In the end, if anyone and everyone can just walk in with enough money and buy whatever they want, is it really luxury any longer?

It makes the items feel and look cheap, because it’s easily attainable.

And luxury in its essence, is NOT easily attainable.

Nowadays, we have a hunger for logos, and we’re paying for it on credit

If there’s no name on it, or recognizable symbol or shape, what does it matter?

Louis Vuitton is the most copied brand in the world, because of their signature prints and checks.

Chanel, with their interlocking C’s is another lusted-after logo.

According to Juliet B. Schor, the author of The Overspent American, here are some frightening facts that we are now becoming aware of:

Since 1970, the real household income in America has risen by 30%, with a fourth of American households earning more than $75,000 a year.

With all that money, shopping has been #1 on Americans’ priorities.

Between 1979 and 1995, the average spending increased by 30% to 70%.

To pay for it all, between 1990 – 1996, credit card debt doubled, and by 1997, American household debt was $5.5 trillion.

Yet 27% of all American households with incomes over $100,00 said it wasn’t enough to pay for everything they wanted.

In Las Vegas, with sales of nearly $1500 – $1800 per square foot in luxury stores, they were all raking in the money.

Going online to Net-A-Porter is the same story — things that are in high demand, sell out within hours.

The Overspent American with Juliet B. Schor talking:

When we wear or carry a logo, it means something to us.

It means we belong to a community, a tribe of people who can recognize each other by the logo-ed brands we wear and carry.

We say “Oh that’s the newest Marc Jacobs bag”, and others in the fashion tribe nod knowingly.

When we use fashion lingo like: Birkin, LV, Loubou, or Choo.. we all know what each of those words stand for, and perhaps, can also name what we are currently lusting after from each brand.

The nouveau riche in China and Russia snap up a lot of merchandise each year, not really knowing the history behind the company, or whether or not they appreciate the new direction the designer is taking this year.

No, in China, Japan, Russia, or even up and coming India and Brazil, the general trend is that they’re buying those luxury brands simply because it’s expensive.

Rich Russians for example, will drop $10,000 to $20,000 in an hour, and in many luxury stores, Russians are now starting to buy more than the Japanese or the Chinese.

Never mind that these bags are actually produced (secretly) in third world countries, and re-tagged as “Made in Italy” to conceal its true origins.

Never mind that the quality of the materials may be a little cheaper (cutting corners here and there) because the brand is now a capitalistic endeavour, and they need to beat their earnings estimates for next quarter.

If it costs a lot, it must be worth the money, and it’s a great way to show off how successful you, your husband or family has become.

It simply isn’t true, genuine luxury any longer, but consumers don’t care.

They’re after the logo, and the symbol of luxury, and in some cases, the actual lust for the history behind that brand.

But definitely not for an actual, luxurious product no one will recognize easily and gush over.

But logos are also a turn off for some consumers

Logos are a way for people to feel and look expensive, but for me, it is the opposite.

The Kaiser (Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel) said it best: Taste has nothing to do with money.

I prefer things to NOT have a logo or a recognizable print, which is probably why I don’t like Vuitton a lot.

(I also admit that I assume all logo-ed bags and things are fake).

I want my things to be well made and a bit different from what other people are wearing, for what I think it should be worth.

I am not so concerned about the brand or being recognized for having spent $500 on a single purse by a certain designer, as I am about making sure the bag was exactly what I chose and wanted.

Not what has already been chosen for me by a high-end designer or fashion magazine who says: This is the IT bag for the season.

If I happen to like a bag by a high end designer, then I just like the design, and would even consider buying it if it weren’t for the price.

But the high price tag for something that isn’t REALLY a luxury product, makes me wrinkle my nose.

independent designers

But when we can’t afford it, how do we get it?

So even if you chase logos, or love certain designers and brands (I do!), how do you get what you want?

I mean really, how many people can really afford a $500 – $700 luxury bag every season?

It isn’t chump change, and that is considering the amount to be NET after taxes.

fake logo bags

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.