The rules of the standards of luxury are changing with the economic crisis still beating down. Even though most fashion designers and analysts believe that the worse is over, this recession will prove what the true luxury in the eyes of consumers is. Words such as "meaningful consumption" and "commercial" are being thrown around often, even though a few years ago, they were mainly used as insults. It is all in the hands of the consumer this time around.
Many designers have seen this change coming for the last few years but with things taking a turn for the better, consumers are now aware how cheap it can be to get certain items which were once considered "high class luxury". Pierre-Yves Roussel, CEO of the fashion division at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, explained, "The crisis itself is just putting us back into being better in tune with what luxury and fashion are about. The reality is consumers are and will be more demanding. People are looking for meaningful consumption. They are not just consuming for the sake of buying. People want to be reassured…We have to get back to the true value of things."
But do not expect luxury item prices to skyrocket overnight. Recent market conditions, coupled with e-commerce, the boom of social networking, and recent eco concerns are bound to shape the industry in the coming years.
"We designers absolutely have to re-edit our approach. It's all about going back to your roots," said Dontella Versace." The only way to entice customers to buy is to give fashion a more emotional excitement. It's also about thinking of new ways to get your collections out there – social media, Internet, virtual runway shows – that are more cost-effective, global and creative."
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