The Role of Fashion Brands in Creating and Maintaining Privilege
Do you remember the first time you went shopping with your parents, or the first time you bought something with your own money? If so, do you remember how hard it was to decide what to buy, and what effect that purchase had on your identity? Now imagine that same feeling multiplied by billions and practiced in different ways across cultures around the world every day. That’s what being a fashion brand feels like, and it’s an experience of power and oppression that affects the lives of consumers and producers alike.
Luxury brands create wealth
- When people buy a luxury item, they often use it as a symbol of their class. For example, the guy with the branded suit wearing it to the club or the girl with her $300 designer purse taking lunch with her boss might think I deserve this because I am better than these guys. On top of that, our society’s consumer culture teaches us that owning certain things make us happier than we would be without them. So why wouldn’t you want to surround yourself with luxury brands?
- The fashion industry is huge and continues to grow each year which means that there are countless opportunities for new brands to emerge from all over the world.
Luxury luxury is key
Luxury should be something that the individual or group can afford, yet it should feel like a rare commodity. They want to know that there are only a select few that can buy these items. In order to achieve this illusion, brands like Gucci created a person who is representative of their ideal customer: wealthy and always with an air of exclusivity. The idea was so successful for Gucci, that it became clear to other brands how important this imagery was for attracting wealthy shoppers. As long as the brand has its own lofty ideas about wealth and luxury status, they have no trouble finding someone who shares their values enough to purchase products at high prices. For example, Moncler sells $5,000 coats with fur-lined hoods. These coats are never actually seen on anyone outside of Moncler’s marketing campaigns. There is a disconnect between the way people dress themselves on the street and what luxury brands sell to them in store windows. Customers end up spending lots of money for items that aren’t practical for everyday life; and because those products never get used, the customer isn’t satisfied and spends more money on new purchases.
Bode & Bamber provide personalized service by having your measurements taken on-site, taking into account a client’s figure type as well as comfort preferences. They also work with clients to ascertain their style profile in order to create designs that they will find most flattering. All garments are made of premium fabric sourced from around the world, made to order and tailored specifically for the client’s measurements. Every garment is constructed with precision, paying attention to every detail that can make or break a design.
Successful lifestyle brands play a huge role in maintaining and propagating privilege. A luxury brand or a company that sells aspirational goods are not just selling clothes or other objects, they are selling an idea. It is not just your brand that projects a certain idea, it’s every element of your brand that influences the perception people have about you. From how your models look to what products you sell, it all contributes to an image. To get a piece of the market share we need to convince consumers that our product is better than all the others on offer. Consumers will buy what we tell them to want so be careful about messages sent out through branding as it may reinforce existing power structures by portraying false desires for luxuries where there is no need.
Can anyone be fashionable?
Anyone can be fashionable as long as they take the time to find what works for them. There are so many affordable clothing brands that let people purchase fashion for less. It is all about finding what fits your lifestyle and looking for bargains to stretch your budget. Most importantly, it is about self-love! Embrace how you look, love who you are, build yourself up from the inside out. When we fill ourselves with positive energy we reflect on the outside. We have the power to change our perspectives on what we feel beautiful in and that is something no one can take away from us!
The importance of social status
Even though many brands have become more democratic in their offerings, their customer service, and their pricing over the past decade, there are still ways that high-end brands maintain a privilege. They do this by continuing to offer higher priced products that offer a luxury feel for those who want them; by opening stores in lower-income neighborhoods but not actually catering to those demographics; and by targeting customers with aggressive advertising campaigns. So what does all this mean? It means that if you’re buying an item from a designer brand, it’s possible that you’re helping perpetuate economic inequality.
It might seem like a small thing on your end – like what difference does it make if you buy one $2k handbag rather than another $2k handbag? But fashion is big business: it has created and perpetuated inequalities across generations; it has been used as both reward and punishment by families through history;
What we wear plays into how others see us (and often how we see ourselves), while also informing how we present ourselves in other aspects of our lives. In short, clothes matter – so let’s make sure they matter responsibly!
Self identification/social acceptance
For many people, clothing is a way to express their feelings or thoughts about themselves. For example, if you are wearing an expensive outfit that would be considered luxurious, this often signals to others your socioeconomic status and can generate respect from those around you. Individuals who wear more affordable clothes may feel less privileged because they do not have the resources to dress like wealthier individuals. It is clear how style communicates with social class, but there are other ways fashion can provide a sense of comfort, too.