Luxury has become a game of fools’ gold. As hard as it is to believe, statistically the majority of the 1st world has seen an exponential rise in financial reach. We are by far one of the ‘richest’ most indulged people in the history of people. As a result many are able to afford much, go on vacations, buy things.
And boy do we like to buy things. The majority of our GDP (80%+) is spending. That means what we do for the world is buy things. It’s a hard pill for me as a mom because if my kids hear from me one more time ‘be creators not consumers’ they are going to start pulling their hair out. Ha! Guess we’re even. This is a very hard sell to a child when their peers and the adults they see on say YouTube subscribe to the exact opposite mantra. They are pure consumers. Buy All The Things!
I feel the more powerful our consumerism has become the sillier the idea of luxury has become. Take the infamous Birkin bag by Heremes. If you’ve never owned, seen or touched one you’ll have to take my word on this. I bet if I put a well made similar leather purse in front of you and a Birkin bag you would be hard pressed to tell me why one costs $50K and the other $500. Same with a crisp white shirt from The Row and a well tailored one from a mid brand. You’ll scratch your head over why one costs thousands of dollars and the other a few hundred.
We’ve become the Emperor in the Emperor’s New Clothes. There is so little difference between most luxury goods and a well made comparable (other than that logo) that we have invented inch high tightropes to make things appear aspirational. Since we the people put aside our ability to think individually a long time ago our herd mentality has us running right over the cliff accepting these silly premises. We either buy this overpriced stuff or we envy it but we rarely question it.
I’d love to see us start questioning it. Or better start creating, anything. The change in consumer debt to surplus would reinvigorate this country. We might start to see those infrastructure improvements every politician for decades has been promising us.
Then again modern wiring and nice roads aren’t as sexy as $3k red bottomed stilettos. So, maybe not.
In homage to my youth, a song that caused one of my friend’s moms to ban Madonna in the house. So quaint. If she only knew the future…wait maybe she did.