What does luxury mean to you?

What does luxury mean to me? If you’d asked me this question a week ago, in all honesty, I think I would’ve given you a different answer. Since then, I’ve been reading the book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, as recommended in Becca’s BTS. And it’s kind of changed my opinion!

This book is fascinating. Seriously. One of the most compelling non-fiction books I’ve read in a while. It’s a history lesson, a business book, a culture book, and a fashion book all in one. It discusses every aspect of the luxury industry — the clothes, the perfumes, the bags (oh, the bags), and how each major design house got started (i.e., how they used to be) to how they evolved into global brands. It explains why a Birkin might actually be worth the cost, why these days most handbags are, in fact, NOT made in Europe (it’s more likely you’re buying machine made goods from China that are glued together. Seriously.), and why designers who had no roots in fragrance were pushed into creating them. It even discusses the rise of the personal stylist, featuring none other than Rachel  Zoe, who was interviewed for the book long before she ever became a reality star.

Before reading this book, I would’ve said luxury meant one of a kind. High quality. Handmade. An item that’s storied, or has history. This book has definitely turned many of those perceptions on their head! Does it mean I won’t still lust after a gorgeous, designer handbag? No. It just means I have to come to terms with the fact that I’m what the book defines as middle market. Read it and you’ll understand!

My overall review of this book? Two very enthusiastic thumbs up. Fine holiday fun! It’s easy to read, the sections flow seamlessly into one another, and trust me, you will definitely learn something. I’m about 75% done and can’t wait to keep reading! Get your copy here.

So, what does luxury mean to you? Tell me below, but if you read this book, be sure to tell me if it changes!

 

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32 Comments

  1. 4.5.12
    Annie said:

    Incredibly well-articulated review. I’m definitely going to check this out during my next trip to the bookstore!
    p.s. loved the Clueless reference haha

  2. 4.5.12

    Definitely will be reading this book. I feel like luxury has become a crazy necessity for everyone around me {especially in this blog world} and you know what, I don’t really care about it. I’m not a bag person, I don’t need a Celine {obviously, stunning} but it’s just not me. I choose to find luxury in little things – a manicure, a good meal, maybe a new pair of shoes. Excited to read and understand the layers!

  3. 4.5.12

    Fabulous article! And PS, I LOVE the Fendi, D&G and Givency bags!

  4. 4.5.12

    bahahahha. your Clueless reference was, hands down, my favorite part of this post…. but I am very interested in the book now. Definitely going to check it out. Thanks for the reco.

  5. 4.5.12
    christin said:

    right now it means “something i cant afford” lol.

  6. 4.5.12

    I need to check this one out!

  7. 4.5.12
    Emmy said:

    Oooo I really want to read this now. Sounds incredibly interesting!!

    Thanks for sharing.
    XO
    Emmy

  8. 4.5.12

    Dinners at Komi, El Bulli, or Le Chateaubriand, my own chateau with a stable full of warmbloods in Provence, and a closet packed to the gills with Louboutin’s, Birkin bags, and haute couture gowns/ clothes! Reality… I’m most likely middle market as well. Definitely interested in reading this now!

  9. 4.5.12

    That book changed my perspective, too! I read it a couple years ago when it first first came out, and now I want to read it again. Have to find it so that Becca can borrow.

  10. 4.5.12
    Tricia said:

    Hermes screams luxury to me. I must check out this book.

  11. 4.5.12
    viv said:

    I’m buying this book tonight! Perfect read for the train to Baltimore this weekend :)

  12. 4.5.12
    Ashley said:

    This was a great book review!! I’ve been searching for a good fashion book to read (besides my monthly installments of Vogue, Glamor and Instyle) Thanks Victoria !!

  13. 4.5.12
    Joelle said:

    This sounds like a really interesting book. I might need to go pick it up soon! Thanks for the recommendation my dear :)

    xoxo,
    Joelle

  14. 4.5.12

    My perception of luxury has been turned on its head after years of working in marketing for retail clients. It’s absolutely fascinating for me to watch the branding and PR teams at these fashion houses launch a campaign that creates demand without regard to price and sometimes even quality. (Hello, $179 cotton tank top!)

    Bloggers and fashion publications spread the word for free (creating more demand) and it only takes a few successes before the name carries as much value than the goods they’re selling. So long as the overall look is fairly unique, people will happily buy it so that others will know that they did. It’s the holy grail of marketing!

    My favorite tidbit lately is the fact that the first people to use Hermes packaging as a home accent are on the PR/marketing team at Hermes/LVMH. Not a coincidence. :)

  15. 4.5.12
    nuha said:

    i’ve been looking for a good read, and just may have to pick this one up. I think for me the most enticing things about these bags are that they hold their value. The odds that you can give these bags to a future daughter are high and thats important to me. But to answer your question, to me, luxury is an unnecessary object that gives you infinite amounts of pleasure – no matter what the price :-)

    http://nuhasofiyan.blogspot.com

  16. 4.5.12
    Crystalin said:

    Great review lady! I’ll definitely have to pick it up.

  17. 4.5.12
    Anna said:

    I’m definitely going to be picking up this book! I love stuff like this…especially lately I’ve been very into reading about things along the same lines. I definitely think spending $1,500 on a Chloe bag is a luxury. Maybe my mind will change after reading this?

  18. 4.5.12
    Kate said:

    This book has been on my list FOR EVER…great review! after I’m done with Moonwalking with Einstein (pretty sure you reviewed that one too) I’ll move on to this.

    <3 Kate
    http://www.theforgetfulwife.com

  19. 4.5.12
    Nnenna said:

    It sounds like a fascinating book! I would describe luxury exactly the way you did before you read the book, so I’m curious as well to see if my opinion changes!

  20. 4.5.12

    I’m intrigued! Downloading now.

  21. 4.5.12

    This is going to be my first post-hunger games read! Thanks for sharing my dear!

  22. 4.5.12
    Lisa said:

    I absolutely love that book – there is so much amazing information packed within and it really does make you think differently and appreciate the heritage of some of the older brands discussed. Marketing has truly overtaken fashion.

  23. 4.5.12
    Neda said:

    I’ve heard about this book and now I can’t wait to read it!! Thanks for such a great review. xx

  24. 4.5.12
    Becca said:

    I love your review and am really looking forward to reading this book. As I’m pretty familiar with production, and certain realities of retail I’m really looking forward to diving into this book. The idea of luxury has really been on my mind lately. I really do believe in product that has a story, and is made with care and engagement in the process of making. I want to be supporting authenticity and in a way simplicity.

    • 4.5.12
      vmacandcheese said:

      It’s interesting how this book shows how the stories of the founders can be exploited or sort of stretched to sell an ideal. In some cases, the original designers weren’t even making clothes or perfume or anything else! In LV’s case for example, he made travel trunks that could be stacked on the back of a carriage. So different than making clothing or shoes.

  25. 4.6.12

    Great review–this looks like a must read. I really want to hear about RZ too.

  26. 4.7.12

    Now I can’t wait to get this book! Very intrigued.

  27. 4.17.12

    Don’t know how I missed this the first time around, but I’m really eager to read this. Working in leather goods and retail for so long, I’ve been to factories and tanneries in Italy that makes some of these luxury goods and definitely have had my opinion changed. I’m excited to see what the book says, however!

    • 4.17.12
      vmacandcheese said:

      Erin, you will love this one!

  28. 11.2.16
    Magy said:

    Anew collection of all the above are fabulous

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