Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review: “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster" by Dana Thomas

by Dana Thomas
Call Number: 338.47 THO
Location: Regular shelves

Do you want to know how the color orange became Hermès’s signature color? Do you want to know how Prada’s triangle logo came to be? With Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, author Dana Thomas, the cultural and fashion writer for Newsweek in Paris for 12 years, discusses the social history of this high end industry that is entertaining and informative. Traveling from French perfume laboratories to Las Vegas shopping malls to assembly-line factories in China, she traces the evolving face of the luxury goods business, from design through marketing to showroom sales.

But her focus remains on how a business that once catered to the wealthy and elite has gone
mass-market and the effects that democratization has had on the way ordinary people shop today. Labels, once discreetly stitched into couture clothes, have become logos adorning everything from sneakers to your basic t shirt. Perfumes, once crafted by designers with excruciating detail to establishing a particular scent, are now concocted from briefs written by marketing executives brandishing polls and surveys and sales figures. Think about your own wardrobe. Do you ever have just one outfit, including accessories, that is not branded? This book is an eye opening revelation of the evolution of the luxury goods industry from the past till today.

Posted on September 8, 2014 I Blog post by E.F. (Graduate Student Intern of the LIM College Library)