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Luxury's Timeless Allure: How Opulence Defies Economic Logic

By Avisha Chaudhry

November 2023


In the world of economics, where efficiency, thrift, and practicality often reign supreme, the concept of luxury stands as a captivating enigma. It defies conventional economic norms, thriving even when economic indicators suggest it should wither away. This article embarks on a journey to unravel the timeless allure of luxury, exploring the various facets that make it a force to be reckoned with in a world driven relentlessly by numbers and efficiency.


 

"Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten." by Aldo Gucci

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If it's exclusive, then it's definitely luxury. These meticulously crafted products aren’t just scarce for the lack of sale but for the rarity that ignites desire, which increases their sales. They’re limited to be sold to limited people and the club for being in that segment elevates the sense of self-worth beyond any price tag. Hermès Birkin bag painstakingly handcrafted in limited numbers not only increases its waiting list for years but captivates in the thrill of owning a Birkin bag to inflate the entry fee and be part of an exclusive club, where luxury is a rare and highly coveted treasure.


Charlize Theron for J'adore Dior

Make me a fragrance that smells like love,” Christian Dior’s Luxuries of Love stories in a bottle, ‘J'adore' and 'Miss Dior’ aren’t just scents; they're emotions and aspirations captured. The psychological spell of luxury exudes opulence, femininity, and unwavering self-confidence.

When you wear a Dior fragrance, it's like adorning yourself with love, instantly uplifting your spirits and celebrating beauty. You become a beacon of elegance and allure, leaving an irresistible impression that lingers in the air and on your skin. It isn't just a possession; it's a symbol of prestige and personal achievement. Beyond the physical, it bestows emotional benefits that draw us in. In a world that values status, luxury becomes hard to resist.

Marilyn Monroe, The Asphalt Jungle 1950. Photo by Everett/ REX Shutterstock

The timeless style of luxury’s allure forgoes its prices because “Fashion changes, but style endures," and Coco Chanel's expression is exemplified by Chanel Little Black Dress (LBD) curated in 1926 which is classic, simple, yet elegant, all at once. “One is never over-dressed or under-dressed with a Little Black Dress,” Karl Lagerfeld’s design remains in Vogue even today, epitomising that true luxury transcends fleeting trends. Whether handcrafted leather bags or Swiss-made watches, the luxury items are built to withstand time. They are highly appreciated, becoming cherished classics passed down through generations, surpassing the standard economic norms.

Photo by ESR Italia

Autumn-Winter 1966 collection, Yves Saint Laurent's iconic piece: ‘YSL Le Smoking’ revolutionised the industry, explaining its enduring brand legacy power in his philosophy of “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” The tuxedo suit was a daring departure from traditions, empowering women with its menswear-inspired tailoring, pushing boundaries and etching its mark in fashion history. Its elegance and cultural resonance have made it eternal, and a heritage of excellence which cultivates trust, allowing it to effortlessly command premium prices to preserve its charm.

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The "Marmont" bag maintained its popularity and resilience in times of adversity such as the pandemic, for its timeless design, iconic double-G hardware, and quilted leather. The Gucci bag remained sought after due to its online presence, celebrity endorsements, its adaptability contributing to its fame. “The great affair is to move,” Gucci smoothly sailed luxury while the humble with humble prices drowned, because inflated prices of luxury’s attempt to appeal, adapted to changing consumer needs via virtual experiences, demonstrating loyalty, offering comfort and stability.


 

Splendours of luxury continue to transcend all boundaries of economic theories because of their inflated prices which inflates their consumers. “The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive.” Coco Chanel. The game luxury plays with the consumer is creating its desire and value in their eyes, through the psychology of economics. By decreasing the supply of its products whose demand is increasing, it opposes the economic laws of demand and supply and falls under the articles of snob appeal to tempt consumers and make them yearn to have the product due to its scarce nature. The desire for the product increases but the supply doesn’t, why? It’s a business of reputation, and luxury makes the consumer want to pay the price it commands making it a price maker. This intangible force paradoxically increases the worth of the product and these existing consumers contented with the benefits of having an ‘exclusive club’ membership also have the privilege to sell their luxurious products at an appreciated price because of the lack of supply. Luxury emerges victorious over all norms, crises and changes, in a world where economic principles often dictate choices. It stands high as a reminder that opulence is powerful and extraordinarily defies rationality, continuing to lure all and offering membership into a world where the pursuit of richness knows no bounds.


 

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