the grass is greener on the internet

How Jetstar’s bringing down Louis Vuitton
August 19, 2009, 2:58 pm
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Can you tell if this is authentic?

Can you tell if this is authentic?

Being a bit of a label addict when it comes to material goods, I tend to notice branded gear. But it doesn’t take a brandslut to notice the number of Louis Vuitton bags that have been swanning their way around this university recently.

For a while I was intrigued. Recession? Poor uni students complaining about lack of jobs? Surely designer labels are out of the question.

Then I realised…there’s two phenomena at work here.

Group 1 has realised that they can’t spend as much as they used to, so if they only buy one thing to look cool it needs to be instantly recognisable as well as versatile. The ‘it’ bag does it all. (And don’t think I’m just talking about girls here.)

Group 2 has taken advantage of the ridiculously cheap flights offered by carriers like Jetstar to head over to places like Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia where ‘LV’ is widely available. And it’s not South East Asia unless you buy at least one item of dubious designer origin.

Unfortunately for Group 1, perceptions of the label’s value can be cheapened by the actions of Group 2.

Louis Vuitton has one of the highest brand values of the luxury labels, with other LVMH offerings Moet & Chandon and Hennessey close on its tail. I don’t like their move to the mass luxury market on principle but you’ve gotta respect their success and the fact that they’re one of the most easily recognisable brands to fashionistas and plebes alike.

But being this popular has two drawbacks – you are susceptible to a flood of fakes and you can start looking like a cheap offering to brand snobs like me.

True, the price points are carefully set to take advantage of the price-quality inference, but why pay more when everyone else has it?


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