WHICH IS A LUXURY FOR ME:
The perfect fit of a product to my needs and preferences – I mean two different things here. Firstly, for a long time I have been trying to buy things that I really like and, according to my own assessment, really fit me. This eliminates most of the well-known handbags, some of which I could theoretically like but have become so tired of that I’m bored with them before I can even think of buying them. Such a built-in anti-virus program on it-bags. This does not apply to the exceptional classics, which I can count on the fingers of one hand. Secondly, I consider things made especially for me, tailor-made – literally or figuratively – to be a luxury. At first glance, this may seem like a staggered loop, purely for nostalgia-soaked enthusiasts. In fact, it’s a step into the future – 3D scanners and printers and other such technologies are beginning to open up a wealth of possibilities for affordable, precise personalization, what is often referred to as the “new industrial revolution”.
“Experience”, or the environment surrounding the shopping experience – I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to see the video of the event organized by Alexander Wang. It is terrifying. Fans of the brand were invited to a mysterious event, and after arriving at the venue and a long wait, they were informed that all the stuff in a pretty big room they could just take for themselves, for free. You can see what happened later in the film – it’s not entirely clear whether this is an authentic account or a set-up with hired extras, I hope it’s the latter. In any case, it’s the exact opposite of how I imagine luxury shopping to be. If I’m going to leave a lot of money in a shop, I’d like to shop in comfort, without crowds, with knowledgeable staff and bonuses like free tailoring and possible repairs.
Responsibility – if I’m paying a lot for a product, I want to know that part of that amount covers production with the smallest possible footprint and decent wages for employees. We don’t think about this when we buy, because a huge part of production has moved to the other side of the world. Our aunt no longer works in the factory and it is not our river that turns green. But it is worth thinking about, if only because the effects of fast fashion may yet reach us.
New technologies/functionality – technology is advancing and materials have increasingly amazing properties. If someone designs a nice city coat that will keep me warm regardless of the temperature, or shoes that will never freeze my feet, I’ll gladly splurge on them financially.
Authenticity – I want to pay for real quality, not empty declarations used by the marketing department. The real pleasure of wearing it instead of the pleasure I am led to believe because of a well-known logo and a large sum on my bill. This is particularly important to me because, as my wardrobe is quite small and I have learnt to choose things I don’t get bored with, the clothes and accessories I own I wear not only often but also for a long time. The challenge for me is to differentiate between the two types of brands – while ostentatious logos don’t work on me, I can easily fall for stories about long traditions, love of craftsmanship or domestic production, which don’t necessarily have much in common with the truth. It is even more difficult because, as I wrote a few weeks ago, quality is a very subjective matter and cannot be measured in any units. That’s why I still plan to spend a lot of time exploring different brands to minimize mistakes when spending more money.