Do designer logos improve your life?

The start of luxury was based on refinement and restraint in business.

It was unseemly for the brands to push products onto their clients, and some found it distasteful to do so.

Nowadays, luxury is a billion-dollar business, both legally and illegally with their counterfeits running rampant.

Everything we read (even on this blog), watch on TV and hear on the radio has been produced for an certain purpose, either good, bad or a bit of both.

A pair of shoes from a popular TV series such as “Sex and the City”, can drive brands like Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choos and Christian Louboutins to glittering heights paved with sounds of ringing cash registers.

Even what we see at awards shows has been placed on celebrities for maximum brand exposure, sometimes by stylist bribery (not from Rachel Zoe!!!) or by other undesirable, more obvious means.

And it’s all because of us that houses are falling all over themselves to get photographed at the Oscars, or in celebrities’ daily lives, because our society is so obsessed with celebrity star power.

I am definitely not immune to lusting after what I see on celebrities, I mean, I am a girl after all!

When I see a great outfit, pair of shoes or wonderful leather jacket, I admire it and even have a tiny bit of lust for it.

So do designer logos and bags really improve our lifestyle?

Rob Nelissen and Marijn Meijers, social psychologists at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, conducted a series of experiments to test whether designer labels affect how we perceive people.

In one experiment, participants rated strangers wearing Lacoste or Tommy Hilfiger polo shirts as wealthier and higher status than people wearing unbranded polos.

In another, strangers were more likely to donate to charity if the person collecting donations wore a sweater with a designer logo.


Apparently toting recognizable designer bags and logos makes people treat you better…

…..but could it just be that the clothes are more conservative and classic and that’s what really makes the difference?

People are scared of what they don’t understand (I will still never be on board with tights as pants, however), and if you wear ‘strange’ or fashion-forward clothing, people shy away.

I can’t say for sure I’ve ever experimented with this, seeing as I don’t own any designer logo-ed clothing or accessories but I’d like to try it to see.

I’d like to wear an outfit full of logos to check reactions.

Then another that looks just as good but without any designer logos.

The control outfit, would be one where I dress like a slob — sweatpants, UGG boots, sweatshirt, hair up in a ponytail, snapping some gum… 🙂

I’m suspicious of designer bags

Especially garbage ones. JUST KIDDING 🙂

I would admit that when I see someone carrying an LV handbag, I think it’s a fake*.

*Sorry 🙁 It’s true. And I find that LV brown logo with gold patterns is not my cup of tea at all…but I do like the beige and grey Damier print/check because it’s less in-your-face.

I guess all that talk swirling around about fake bags, and seeing them all over Chinatown makes me instantly wary of any heavily logo-ed bag.

I am not saying everyone who carries one is a faker, but it’s my immediate reaction.

Afterwards, my brain processes their clothing and shoes, and if they don’t match the bag, then it re-confirms to me that the bag is a fake.

I prefer independently-made items because they look and feel more unique whereas classic bags from Chanel look the same, all the time**

**Which is the whole point of a classic, of course!


So do I look less successful?

The above pictures are more of my style (minus the super high heels)

I do notice that when I dress better, but not necessarily in designer logos, people treat me better.

They’re nicer, friendlier, warmer.. I don’t know if it’s the way I feel when I have the clothes on, or if it’s really that I look better.

Hmmmmm! Something else I’d like to try.

Anyway, who cares? It is YOUR style!

The bottom line is we shouldn’t take what anyone says for granted, but observe and rationalize on our own what their interest in our money is, and look inside ourselves for why we want the things we do.

If you want the bag, then buy it and love it.

You shouldn’t care about what other people think (even me!) and if you find joy in your purchase, then embrace it.

Just consider not buying counterfeit bags just for the designer logo

This study confirms a wider phenomenon.

A work of art’s value, for example, can change radically, depending on who is believed to have created it, even though the artwork itself is unchanged.

And people will willingly buy counterfeit goods, knowing they are knock-offs, if they bear the right label.

What is interesting is that the label is so persuasive. In the case of the peacock, the tail works precisely because it cannot be faked.

An unhealthy bird’s feathers will never sparkle. But humans often fail to see beyond the superficial.

For humans, then, the status-assessment mechanism is going wrong.


We should consider our actions and decisions on a daily basis, to have both direct and indirect effects on the people around us and globally.

A counterfeit bag is not a victimless crime; if it is the logo and the brand that you are after, you should save up and buy the real thing.

Or else you will feel like you are cheating yourself and are will now be publicly sporting the badge of counterfeit shame that symbolizes our society’s insatiable lust for a logo at the cost of young lives.

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.