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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


..How Luxury Lost Its Luster, by Dana Thomas.  Yes, I finally finished it.  Last year I read books like this to my homebound student--even read Atlas Shrugged to him.  Well, not all of it--there were parts I read only to myself.  Anyway, since moving up to the bigger 3A version of school, reading for pleasure has come to a grinding crawl, and that is one thing I do regret.   Paris Breakfasts (see Farmer's Wife's blog) mentioned Deluxe, so I took a chance and ordered it.   I loved Deluxe because it was such a revelation, such a peek inside the name-brand industry from the perfume to the purses, and how it has evolved from a small exclusive, elite industry to a mega bucks, mass production, money generating machine.   All of us who love to sport that designer logo make the industry what it is today.  I have made up my mind to never buy another "knock-off" because I do not want to help this counterfeit industry in any way.  Lots of little kids are used, yes, used to build the fakes.  Thomas interviewed someone who said, "I remember walking into an assembly plant in Thailand a couple of years ago and seeing six or seven little children, all under 10 years old, sitting on the floor assembling counterfeit leather handbags.  The owner had broken the children's legs and tied the lower leg to the thigh so the bones wouldn't mend.  He did it because the children said they wanted to go outside and play."  Now, whether this is true, I can't say.  I don't see how they could work with such pain, but even if it isn't, there are many kids, who are working in terrible conditions to produce a cheap version with a logo that people want.  Things do seem to make a full circle, and at the end of the book she tells about a couple of designers that haven't gone mass.  Christian Louboutin, a Parisian shoe designer (I love shoes) is one who has not sold out, and gone mega-mass. Stilettos, with his signature red soles are, are his trademark, and they are gorgeous.  Take a look for yourself at his own site (get ready for sticker shock if you want to buy). 

I like what he said about his industry, "I did not do a company to make money.  I made shoes and it became a company."  Something to think about in the age of the government trying to dream up "stuff" to stimulate the economy.                               

Another designer, who has remained exclusive, is Alice Cadolle in Paris, who specialize in luxury lingerie.  "The experience of having a custom-made bra at Cadolle is luxury in the old-fashioned sense of the term:  genuine personal attention, exquisite materials, beautiful handcraftsmanship, all to create something just for you."  A basic bra requires three fittings, and will set you back about $800!  Have a look for yourself at where there are no prices, but if you are interested you can probably arrange for your own personal fitting.  Let me know how it goes, because your description is about as close as I will ever get to this luxury.  School teachers' paychecks don't have enough lycra to stretch this far!  P.S.  I should be grading papers.

1 comment:

  1. Whew!! And I think $30 is plenty of money. I can't imagine paying $800 for a bra when I am endowed thusly!