Sunday, May 19, 2024

The appeal of luxury brands

Chiang Rai, Thailand: September 30, 2019 – Close-up and top view of Chanel elegance women’s accessories fashion black shoulder leather bag with golden chain in box.


By Victoria Campbell

Luxury brands continue to have a hold on consumers with their unique style and investment. Quantity is the focus of fast fashion or cheaper brands. However, for luxury brands, quality is more important than quantity.

Luxury brands use the best materials and designers to create long-lasting and distinct pieces. The detail on luxury is immaculate. The items’ details help set the brands apart, influencing people to buy the brand.

However, Mollie McKenna, a student at SUNY Plattsburgh, has a different view.

Sustainability is a motive for McKenna, and buying from luxury brands does not mean they are more sustainable. It can be a poor investment, especially if one changes their style.

As a college student, McKenna thinks it would not be affordable to purchase luxury items, and these luxury brands are based mainly on microtrends that she doesn’t think she would wear long term.

Brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Burberry advertise their products’ uniqueness and quality to influence people to buy. Overall, luxury brands not only help with the environment, but the quality can last a lifetime.

Buying luxury could help with a consumer’s self-confidence appeal and can make one feel good if they are able to afford it.

McKenna does not look for luxury. Instead, she aims to find products she likes rather than looking for a label. She would rather thrift and save clothing from going to waste and being dumped in fields.

“I prefer thrift luxury over buying new. Actually, I very rarely buy anything new at all, but I tend to lean towards pieces that feel better quality regarding construction or materials, “ McKenna said. “I wouldn’t say I prefer to shop luxury because I know some luxury items aren’t the best quality and wouldn’t be worth the splurge.”

However, McKenna thinks that with age and a more stable and defined style, purchasing something from a high-end brand could be realistic, especially if she wears it a lot.

Luxury brands ending up in landfills have decreased in comparison to non-luxury brands. Several would prefer to resell rather than throw away the desired piece.

Brands such as H&M, Zara, Shein and Forever 21 focus on quantity and mass production rather than quality and attention to detail like luxury brands do.

You can not deny the attention to detail and uniqueness of luxury brands. 

McKenna said several luxury brands are unique and worth it in the future. Still, she finds brands like Louis Vuitton or Gucci unattractive, and she would never consider wearing them because she sees the design as tacky.

If consumers shop more selectively, spending more on luxury will limit the number of products going to waste, helping the environment financially and consumers will spend less money.

No matter what, the production of fashion items negatively impacts the environment. However, if we purchase less, it will decrease environmental waste.

Lack of sustainability is a significant issue, and luxury brands map out the fabric production and networks of clothing manufacturers differing from cheaper, more affordable brands.

 “Sustainable fashion is determined by the company’s practices to reduce their harmful environmental impact. Some cheaper brands have fantastic initiatives to ensure their products’ production is sustainable,” McKenna said.

McKenna said some luxury brands have unbelievably horrid waste and damage the environment during production. She recommends looking into the brand’s greenwashing practices and learning about the impact on the environment.

While luxury is worth it for some consumers, students like McKenna believe it is an investment, and until finding a stable style, it is not worth spending money on such products.

Luxury products are worth it depending on the person and while McKenna sees why a consumer would invest in luxury, as a college student the investment can be too much, or there are options to get high-quality products elsewhere.


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