Think about it: The pages of every glossy magazine are chock-full of advertisements and articles touting expensive, high-end, designer wares. But who actually reads these magazines? Well, pretty much average gals like you and me, i.e., girls without the six-figure salaries that would be necessary to afford such luxury items.
High-end luxury designers also appeal to the masses by having celebrities rocking their wares. Now I understand that they can't control who wears what, but we've all heard it said that designers literally throw their stuff at stars, giving it away for free in hopes that they'll wear it, we'll see it, and it'll be the Next Big Thing.
So why do they do it? To create demand, I suppose. To profit from lower-end diffusion and bridge lines - so-called affordable luxury items - the bread and butter of most of these giant corporations. As I see it, in order for something to be the ultimate luxury, it must be desired by the many yet obtained by only the few. (a tricky Catch-22 - the most covetable items will by their very nature be copied...but then at some point you risk losing out to the copies.)
I could go on, but instead, I offer a simple solution (which probably has countless flaws that my dear readers will no doubt point out!): To stem the tide of luxury knock-offs, counterfeits and fakes, I suggest designers take the following countermeasures:
- Don't advertise to the masses. Ok, so this may seem wholly unrealistic in today's digital era, but they aren't even trying to keep luxury goods elusive, exclusive, and rare. Target only your audience: the luxury consumer. How hard can this be? Instead of taking out ads in InStyle, just send mailings to your actual customers. No one will see the mailings besides them (and maybe their maid).
- Stop giving celebrities freebies. Again, I'm pretty sure that people living in Beverly Hills know where to find you. Do you really need to shamelessly promote yourself with handouts? If your product is so good, let customers come to you by word of mouth.
- Make online luxury retailers members-only websites. Luxury items will then be largely concealed behind a simple login screen. Yes, that would exclude people like myself and make me very sad - but I can't covet what I can't see, right?