Back in the late 1980s, the Prada backpack - made out of black or tobacco-brown parachute fabric trimmed in leather - became the "it" bag for many would-be fashionistas. It was hip, modern, lightweight and at $450 expensive, but not as expensive as the stratospherically priced bags made by Herm's and Chanel. According to the fashion reporter Dana Thomas, that Prada backpack was also "the emblem of the radical change that luxury was undergoing at the time: the shift from small family businesses of beautifully handcrafted goods to global corporations selling to the middle market" - a shift from exclusivity to accessibility, from an emphasis on tradition and quality to an emphasis on growth and branding and profits. With "Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, " Ms. Thomas - who has been the cultural and fashion writer for Newsweek in Paris for 12 years - has written a crisp, witty social history that's as entertaining as it is informative. Traveling from French perfume laboratories to Las VReseña del editor:
Once upon a time, luxury was only available to the rarefied and aristocratic world of old money and royalty; luxury wasn’t simply a product, it was a lifestyle. It denoted a history of tradition, superior quality and a pampered buying experience. Today’s luxury marketplace would be virtually unrecognizable to the old-world elite. Gone are the family-owned businesses that were dedicated to integrity and quality; the industry is now run by massive corporations that focus only on growth, visibility, brand-awareness, advertising and above all, profits. Quality has long since been replaced by quantity, and almost all of the manufacturing has been outsourced to large factories in places like China, where your expensive luxury brand handbag is being put together right next to a one from a mass-market label that costs substantially less.
Dana Thomas has dug deep into the dark side of the luxury industry, finding out all the secrets that Prada, Gucci and Burberry don’t want you to know.
She visits the last bastion of old-world luxury—Hermès, which is still based in France, where old-fashioned highly skilled artisans still make their coveted Kelly and Birkin bags by hand. But most of its competitors in the luxury fashion business have outsourced; they’ve gone corporate, they’ve gone large scale. Thomas takes us right into the action, from the scent factories in Grasse that manufacture Christian Dior and Prada perfumes, to the crowded factories in China, full of workers gluing together “Made in Italy” bags by the thousands.
Thomas goes from duty-free luxury emporiums in Hawaii, packed with tourists clamoring for discounts on their favorite luxury brands, to Japan, the most luxury brand-conscious society in the world. She takes us behind the scenes in the weeks leading up to the Oscars to witness the wheeling and dealing of luxury brands to dress stars for the red carpet. She meets middle-class Midwesterners who spend their entire paychecks on Louis Vuitton bags and Japanese collectors who enshrine hundreds of coveted Hermès and Gucci items in their tiny Tokyo apartments. Thomas has interviewed corporate heads and factory workers, the old-money, old-luxury clients and the new luxury-obsessed middle-class consumer in order to paint a surprising picture of “New Luxury” today.
Deluxe is an uncompromising and rollicking read about the real world behind the glossy spreads in magazines and fantastic dresses on the red carpet. What is the new definition of luxury when the advertising for the luxury lifestyle is targeted mainly towards the middle-class masses? What are we paying for when quality is no longer quality? How did luxury lose its luster?
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Descripción Penguin Books Ltd (UK) 2007-08-31, 2007. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0713998237 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Nº de ref. de la librería TM-0713998237
Descripción Penguin Books Ltd (UK), 2007. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 713998237