Back in the late '80's, in the days of "M" Magazine, many of us bought the brand instead of the clothes. Take Charvet: 150-year old house, retail headquarters in a mansion in a "good" part of Paris, expensive (and therefore exclusive), and pictured as being worn by various wealthy (and well-dressed) members of the French aristocracy. Well, that's how an M reader wanted to picture himself, so he'd buy Charvet for the "image" (yes, someone else's image). M never really discussed quality of construction. Now we have mass-marketing (chiefly of logos), EBay (where a real Charvet tie starts at "$1 NR"-not very "exclusive"), and legions of Asian fakes copying "logoed" brands that are too easily recognizable (e.g. the ratio of Hermes tie fakes to real on EBay must be 20:1 and "Hermes" belts start at $9.95). SF emphasizes knowledge of quality and construction, not a "famous old name" (unless the name itself is high quality). It's opened my eyes in this regard (though I admit that I'm continuing the bad habit of buying Hermes ties). Apart from Japan, I wonder if, in 10-15 years time, the "prestige" Vuitton, Hermes, Rolex, etc, brands will still enjoy reputation and high mark-ups or will "name" for most consumers just be related to familiarity with style (inexpensive Polo goods all made in Asia?). What's your opinion and does it matter at all?
post #1 of 19
2/28/05 at 12:56am