I took the inspiration for this post while reading an interesting article on Business of Fashion “The Luxury Brand Balancing Act” written by Helena Pike http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/the-luxury-brand-balancing-act regarding the issue that many brands face about preserving the rarity concept behind their own strategy.
What I notice more and more frequently is that many established Brands are considered per default “Luxury” brands or, as in this case, “Fashion Luxury Brands”.
But, are Fashion and Luxury part of the same category in terms of “Brand”? Or, aren’t they diametrically opposed?
A misunderstanding in this sense can take a Brand into trouble.
The definition of a Brand and its own positioning is a crucial step towards the achievement of success and the establishment of a relevant Brand. Too often we erroneously think that the only slight difference between luxury and fashion is the price positioning. This is definitely wrong.
Exactly like the choice of a Brand Ambassadress. Shall we go for Charlize Theron or for Gigi Hadid? Both stunningly beauty, the first one is an Academy Award winner and one of the brightest stars of the movie system while the second one is a young, renown and among the most sought after top models of our time. Blond hair but very different characters and VERY different target.
“Forget Luxury; as a great company you have to keep evolving” ANGELA AHRENDTS
“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury” COCO CHANEL
“Luxury is the opposite of vulgarity” COCO CHANEL
“Fashion fades, only style remains” COCO CHANEL
LUXURY is a timeless attitude, a state of mind, a forever lifestyle. It is represented by the “icon”. The Kelly, the Birkin, the Loro Piana camel fabric, the Chanel jacket, the handmade shoes, a Fendi fur, a Patek Philippe watch. There is nothing seasonal in luxury.
“What people sometimes interpret as quirky is my attempt to subvert the concept of luxury by introducing elements that are considered ordinary or commonplace” MIUCCIA PRADA
“It’s a new era in Fashion, there are no rules” ALEXANDER MC QUEEN
“What is exciting about Fashion is innovation, not repetition” SUZY MENKES
“Fashion is made to become unfashionable” COCO CHANEL
FASHION is an ever-evolving attitude, is change, is experimentation, is revolution. It is represented by the IT-bag, the shoes heel, the color palette of the season, the ever-changing accessories. It’s the Prada bucket bag, the Givenchy Bambi shirt, the Fendi Karlito.
That’s why every single Brand should clarify first of all: am I a FASHION or a LUXURY brand?
The difference is not a matter of pricing, it is a matter of target. To whom am I talking to? Am I à la Hermès, Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli or am I à la Prada, Givenchy, Versace?
Anything is possible but a successful Brand will never define itself as a Fashion Luxury Brand. Never. Ever.