Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster

A hard-hitting behind-the-scenes look at the luxury fashion industry today. There was a time when luxury was available only to the rarefied and aristocratic world of old money and royalty. Luxury wasn't simply a product, it was a lifestyle, one that denoted a history of tradition, superior quality and offered a pampered buying experience. Today's luxury marketplace would be virtually unrecognizable to its founders. Gone are the family-owned businesses dedicated to integrity and quality; the industry is now run by multi-billion dollar global corporations focused on growth, visibility, brand-awareness, advertising and above all, profits. Handcrafted goods are practically extinct, and almost all manufacturing has been outsourced to large factories in such places as China, where your expensive brand-name handbag is being assembled right next to one from a mass-market label that will cost substantially less. Dana Thomas, a journalist who has covered style and the luxury business for The Washington Post, Newsweek and The New York Times Magazine from Paris for the past fifteen years, digs deep into the dark side of the luxury industry to uncover all the secrets that Prada, Gucci and Burberry don't want us to know. Traveling from the laboratories in Grasse, where the ingredients for Christian Dior and Prada perfumes are produced, to the crowded factories in China, where workers glue together "Made in Italy" bags by the thousands, Thomas explores the whole of today's high-end shopping experience to answer some pressing questions: What is the new definition of luxury when advertising for this lifestyle is targeted mainly toward the mass market? What are we paying for when quality has given way to quantity? Can integrity survive in a corporate culture driven to meet regular growth and profit projections? Is luxury still the best that money can buy?

Title:Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781594201295
Format Type:

    Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster Reviews

  • Joel

    Very near the end of the book, Thomas sums up her book through the eyes of a friend."I see where you're going with this: luxury companies have gone mass and along the way forgotten their original miss...

  • Joe Ringenberg

    a good read. piles of research, interviews with the best of the luxury cast(e), investigative journalism, and fashion-magazine luxury brand wallowing-in.Ten Things I can now argue for/against:1. Herme...

  • James

    I should not have read Deluxe immediately after having read Richistan. I’m a huge fan of coupling two similar books, it’s like peanut butter and jelly, or whiskey and my mouth, but this combinatio...

  • Jason Pettus

    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)I ...

  • Monica

    The gist of the book is that luxury products are no longer luxurious because, in order to reap in profits, they have been cheapened so they can be marketed to middle income consumers instead of the hi...

  • Sheherazade

    Well-researched and written, but I was hoping for more criticism of the industry itself, especially in regards to cost-cutting and the declining quality of these goods. I got the sense that as a fashi...

  • Suede

    It wasn't that I didn't like this book, but that I didn't really learn anything that I didn't already know.But, on the plus side, the author was very factual about what was going on in the world of lu...

  • Tiny Pants

    This book I had wanted to read since it came out, and it was great. Humorously, not long after I read it, I saw that it was for sale at the Kitson warehouse sale, alongside marked down Habitual jeans ...

  • Bloodorange

    4.5 stars, rounded up because this is a must-read: for those who believe in the transformative power of shopping and those who don't; for people who consider themselves unaffected by advertising and f...

  • Carla Remy

    I am very interested in the psychology of selling and advertising. How are people mentally manipulated and why do they all want the same thing? This book tells how the old family "luxury" brands chang...