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What once was is run
DeluxeHow Luxury Lost Its LusterBy THE PENGUIN PRESS; 375 PAGES; $27.95As a teenager, I sometimes slipped into with a friend jeremy scott wings for what can only be described as a Cinderella moment. We vied to find the costliest evening gowns, rolling our eyes at some, while grandly instructing clerks to put others aside. When the stacks got big enough, we declared that "Daddy" would be in soon to pay for everything. Then we scampered out, giggling at our audacity.
Those adventures were our chance to frolic cheap mulberry bags in a forbidden world. We imagined that we were elegant debutantes who belonged in such a grand store and could have the best of anything we buy celine bag desired.
Now, such fantasies seem isabel marant so . unnecessary. Open your mail, watch television or drive to the mall, and the finest luxury goods are paraded right before your eyes, pitched to anyone willing to pay the jordan for sale asking price. No longer do such brands rest in the hands of craftsman-like boutiques; instead, they belong to multinational bayswater mulberry bag conglomerates. Profit-maximizing strategies have overtaken old notions of beauty or quality. As a result, famous-name purses are stitched together in a few minutes in an Asian sweatshop and marketed to Middle America.
Those brands seem to tempt us with an enchanting proposition - "[B]uy our brand and you, too, will live a luxury life," Thomas writes. But that's a hollow promise, she asserts.
"By putting an emphasis on the logo and spending more than $100 million a year to advertise it," she writes, "luxury companies made their celine bag online brands, rather than the actual products, the objects of public desire."
The executives running these famous brands have "sacrificed [luxury's] integrity . tarnished its history and hoodwinked its customers," Thomas fumes.
Whew. Don't look for a copy of this book at an outlet mall.
The stories of the artisans whose names became big brands - including the likes of , jeremy scott wings shoes Louis Vuitton and - are fascinating. Thomas, a longtime culture and fashion reporter for publications that include
Thomas adidas originals jeremy scott brings us up to present day, too, peeking into big brand workshops around the globe. Some are dazzling, others ghastly. In the special-orders workshop of Hermès, outside Paris, artisans wear white coats and listen to iPods as they scrutinize the finest alligator skins and fit diamond clasps onto handbags. But she also visited a counterfeiter's workshop in Guangzhou, China, where children sew luxury labels ("Versace" and "Dunhill" and the like) onto cheap copies.
"[P]eople don't believe there is a difference between real and fake anymore," she writes. "[C]onsumers don't buy luxury branded items for what they are, but for what they jeremy scott shoes online represent."
No one is eager for goods made cheap at the expense of workers' health. But it's hard to get as agitated as Thomas about sharing the glow of fancy goods. Consumers of isabel marant sale all economic hues want clever designs and nicely made items. If bayswater mulberry bag there are a lot of them - so be it. Volume shouldn't alone make a good tawdry. "It means more people are going to celine handbags barneys get better fashion," , editor of , tells Thomas.
But Thomas seems more comfortable with another source, who notes: "To me, luxury is something you want to reach for, that is unattainable."
Yet even Thomas concedes that stunning luxury still exists: quietly, out of sight. Thomas has a luscious section late in her book in which she describes Daslu, a luxury fashion emporium in São Paolo, Brazil. It offers reverential service, exclusive items, shocking prices - everything that luxury once was, when Louis Vuitton made adidas wings his first trunks for Parisian aristocrats. I suspect that there are other oases of luxury throughout the world - and the fact that they have no "brand" recognition outside of a handful of Gulfstream-owner consumers is inconsequential.
Thomas has done a marvelous job of chronicling how brands once jordan 11 bred known exclusively to the super wealthy have become just another item in a shopping mall. But it's hard to shed jordan 11 tears for "luxury." You might have to look further than a Saks Fifth Avenue department store. But where price does not matter, classic luxury still thrives.
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