The Death of Luxury Brands - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15216382
I was looking at sports cars the other day and a question crossed my mind: where would I actually drive this thing? Driving an Aston Martin or something through a big American city these days would probably require you to have a death wish. Similarly, people in New York and other places are being advised to "dress down" so as to avoid being mugged or shoved into the path of an oncoming subway train. There just doesn't seem to be a place for luxury stuff in the west anymore.

In theory there is still the south, yet from what I have observed for places in the south where there are some rich people, like in Texas, it's either as dangerous in Austin as it is in New York or, if you go to say Nashville, the vibe is to dress "country" or working class anyway. I tried wearing some of my best clothes out on Broadway in Nashville and I stuck out like a sore thumb, everyone was wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans and stared at me the whole time.

Random middle class areas with low crime, it's not a death wish to dress nicely but most of the people there don't have the money for that kind of thing anyway. If you go out of your way to drive a Ferrari through a random suburb where literally no one has that kind of thing, you would probably just look like a prick, or as someone who doesn't live around there, which probably defeats the point. If you're literally the only person wearing or driving a luxury item, you come across as either a narcissist or a foreigner. Ironically, luxury stuff only really works in my opinion if other people around you are doing it too. Being the only person doing it comes across as anti-social.

Is there a point to owning any of these things anymore?
#15216404
I see YouTube videos about some car testers driving lambos through the streets of Los Angeles. The lambo was a SUV. I cannot imagine owning a lambo anywhere in the US. I would be afraid of being carjacked especially if I drove into Boston. My parents once parked their car in Worcester, MA and the gas cap was missing...gas siphoning. And their car was a Chevy or Plymouth. It would have been worse if it had been a lux car.

I have a standup desk at work made of plastic and it's supposed to look like wood. I hate writing on it because the lines I write tend to look jagged, as if I'm writing with a trembling hand. This desk cost over $100.00 USD and has a crank to raise it up or down. It sucks.

I have a second desk with actual drawers and it is papered with a wood texture. It comes off easily if you paste anything on it and try to peel it off. It only cost $45 though and I didn't want anything really fancy. The surface is smoother than the standup desk I use for most stuff.
#15216431
Wulfschilde wrote:it's either as dangerous in Austin as it is in New York

Both New York and Austin are not that dangerous compared to most other cities.

Austin is dangerous. :lol:
Last edited by Rancid on 07 Mar 2022 17:52, edited 1 time in total.
#15216464
Three reasons why there is a point to having a luxury brand:
1) Quality.
2) Fashion.
3) Prestige.

Luxury brands still represent this, even if you don't think they do.

Do you know that Chinese people, when they vacation to places like New York, like to purchase luxury brand items, despite having access to much cheaper "copies", in China? Why is that, do you think?

2 reasons: Quality and prestige.

You don't have to "dress down". You simply don't go to places where this would happen.
#15216468
:lol: Well, for the people who shop for clothing at Walmart, perhaps?

To be honest, I used to have a really good George shirt. I am not a big follower of Brands, mind you. I used to get Wrangler jeans from Walmart because they were the cheapest, and still had reasonable quality.
#15217252
Godstud wrote:Three reasons why there is a point to having a luxury brand:
1) Quality.
2) Fashion.
3) Prestige.

Luxury brands still represent this, even if you don't think they do.

Do you know that Chinese people, when they vacation to places like New York, like to purchase luxury brand items, despite having access to much cheaper "copies", in China? Why is that, do you think?

2 reasons: Quality and prestige.

You don't have to "dress down". You simply don't go to places where this would happen.

When was the last time you went to any of the places I described? "Place where this would happen" include the subway, which is the only reasonable mode of transportation for like 99% of the people in New York. The dressing down is happening in major office hubs.
#15217654
@Wulfschilde I was looking at sports cars the other day and a question crossed my mind: where would I actually drive this thing? Driving an Aston Martin or something through a big American city these days would probably require you to have a death wish. Similarly, people in New York and other places are being advised to "dress down" so as to avoid being mugged or shoved into the path of an oncoming subway train. There just doesn't seem to be a place for luxury stuff in the west anymore.

In theory there is still the south, yet from what I have observed for places in the south where there are some rich people, like in Texas, it's either as dangerous in Austin as it is in New York or, if you go to say Nashville, the vibe is to dress "country" or working class anyway. I tried wearing some of my best clothes out on Broadway in Nashville and I stuck out like a sore thumb, everyone was wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans and stared at me the whole time.

Random middle class areas with low crime, it's not a death wish to dress nicely but most of the people there don't have the money for that kind of thing anyway. If you go out of your way to drive a Ferrari through a random suburb where literally no one has that kind of thing, you would probably just look like a prick, or as someone who doesn't live around there, which probably defeats the point. If you're literally the only person wearing or driving a luxury item, you come across as either a narcissist or a foreigner. Ironically, luxury stuff only really works in my opinion if other people around you are doing it too. Being the only person doing it comes across as anti-social.

Is there a point to owning any of these things anymore?



Wow. Seriously. I do not agree with any of this. I think your entire premise is wrong. I don't intend to be argumentative so take this for what it is worth:

I was looking at sports cars the other day and a question crossed my mind: where would I actually drive this thing? Driving an Aston Martin or something through a big American city these days would probably require you to have a death wish.


Until recently I drove a Porsche. It was new, flashy and fast. Not for a moment did I feel that this car made me a target. But what about the general idea that obvious wealth makes you a target? It can. A few years ago I was waiting for a cab at Victoria Station in London. The cab dispatcher warned me about flashing the Rolex I was wearing. But that was London, a city that is much higher in that sort of crime than almost any American city.

Well-to-do people do tend to tone down the displays of wealth but not for fear of crime. What you may not be old enough to remember is that what used to be called "vulgar displays of wealth" were considered the sign of new wealth. It was considered to be impolite. That is a bad thing.

This did not mean that we did not drive nice cars but we did not rub anyone's nose in it. I will observe that I know a great many people who can afford a Ferrari or Lambo and absolutely nobody who does. My Porsche was pretty much about as wild as most would go. Many do drive loaded SUVs. The running joke used to be that a millionaire drives a Cadillac and a Billionaire drives a Buick. This is not untrue. Damn loaded Buick though.

There was a wonderful writer and humorist, now sadly gone, named Molly Ivans. She spoke of her wealthy, old-money mother in what I believe was the kindest way. She said of her "My mother went about being kind to people who had no reason to expect such kind treatment". Tomorrow, when I go to the clinic/feeding project I will be working with the former president of one of the largest publishing companies in the US, the former CEO of a large French aerospace company, a famous author and one of the pioneers of computer interactive videos, and many more. The money represented is beyond considerable. Anyone volunteering there would spend many a day working there before they knew any of this. My point is that there is a difference between conspicuous consumption/flaunting wealth and the use of premium brands.
Random middle class areas with low crime, it's not a death wish to dress nicely but most of the people there don't have the money for that kind of thing anyway.


I disagree. I can go 10 miles from my house and have two choices. I can buy a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt complete with the little luxury brand polo pony on the chest for $100 or I can go 5 miles from my house any buy the same one at TJ Max for $19.95. I think what the deal is these days is that the luxury branded logo wear does not automatically mean you have money. Or, to put it another way, rich people wear very nice clothing but you just can't tell they are doing it.

Like @Godstud I buy my Wrangler jeans at Walmart. (Now I know Godstud that you and I both need the stretch version to not look like a torso on stilts. 8) ) I have affected to wear golf shirts almost everywhere and have access to really nice Jersey's brand ones for $6.00 each. They look like a million bucks and I buy them 10 at a time. All for less than the cost of a single Brooks Brothers Polo.

The move away from the business suit in some companies is just as much a fashion statement as is the wearing of the suit. It is about uniforms. A business suit is a uniform just as much as the uniform I wore in the Army was. I still wear them sometimes. For consulting work I wear a suit until I know that my customer does not want me to. But I commend to you read the book, "Dress For Success" by Molloy. You will learn a lot.

What is true is that there are places where dressing in a certain way is expected. To dress down would be out of place. Here in AZ there are no restaurants where a suit or tie is required. There are plenty of places where it is perfectly acceptable. In these better places it is wise to wear your better duds. It is part of the fun.

I was once in Montana, at a friend's ranch, sitting on the tailgate of his pickup drinking a great Cabernet. We had been photographing elk all day and were tired and dirty. Smelled like horses. We thought drinking the $150.00 Cab I had brought as a present from the tops of our thermos' was funny. I made the comment, "Big hats no cows". To which he grinned and replied, "Big hat 5600 cows". That is the closest I have ever seen to an old money millionaire flaunting his wealth.
#15217656
I have some upscale shirts I got from my Korean lady friend who got them from her friend whose husband was dying of cancer and loss so much weight, the clothes no longer fit him. However, he went into remission, and I asked if he wanted his clothes back, and my Korean lady friend said no. The brands included Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren, Alexander Julian, and Yves Saint Laurent.
#15227429
Does it matter? 2 ways to use a luxury car. One, drive it around your block once or twice a month and polish it every weekend. The other one is to slam the accelerator on every traffic light until inevitable you end up on a big pile of fire and smoke.

:lol:

Nah, luxury brands are doing quite well. As it happen i just got a beautiful Montblanc fountain pen today =).
#15227432
XogGyux wrote:Does it matter? 2 ways to use a luxury car. One, drive it around your block once or twice a month and polish it every weekend. The other one is to slam the accelerator on every traffic light until inevitable you end up on a big pile of fire and smoke.

:lol:

Nah, luxury brands are doing quite well. As it happen i just got a beautiful Montblanc fountain pen today =).

A 149 I hope, @XogGyux. Go big or go home! :excited:
#15227446
Potemkin wrote:A 149 I hope, @XogGyux. Go big or go home! :excited:

The last time I was there in december I had it in my hands, was tempted. The large two-tone nib is gorgeous and a bit more bouncy than other MBs. However, the large size of this black pen is a big letdown for me. It seems like I'd be carrying a small dildo on my pocket, I think my residents would make fun of me :lol: . So last time I ended up with a Meisterstuck 146 Around the World in 80 days, the full resin/blue model. Jules Vernes is one of my favorite authors so it seemed fitting. The pen is gorgeous and I am super happy with it.
Today I glanced the 149 as well, but this time I was not even tempted. I went for the for the Meisterstuck Doue Glacier. It is a slightly smaller and slimmer pen than the 146, that is a bit of a letdown, but it has a gorgeous cap with a guilloche-like pattern which I'll enjoy. The use of a cartridge converter can be handy for cleaning purposes so not too sad to lose the piston.
They gave me a gift of some stones to cool down drinks. I will probably gift it away to someone that drinks alcohol since I don't. Those things seem dangerous, my family has the custom of chewing on the ice after finishing a drink.... That could be a costly mistake if they do it with the stones :lol: .
#15227569
I was tempted yesterday while attending a festival on handicrafts and small vendors to buy a knockoff Chanel wallet. For $200 pesos. About $10 dollars USA, but the real Chanel costs about $350 dollars for a small wallet. That is the only way I could presume a Chanel brand bag. Lol. It is so bad. The knockoffs are almost as good as the real luxury brand. Pirating the luxury brands.

I think the handmade small local designers are far more attractive and they charge tiny amounts for handmade beautiful things. Why go for some corporate luxury brand over that? I would not!

As for cars? We are considering buying an economy car by Renault called a Kwid. Or a Suzuki brand car called an Ignius or a Swift. That is it. You can still buy brand new cars for less than $12,000 dollars in Mexico. But in the USA? Nothing. Phasing them out.
#15227575
Yep, sometimes the knockoffs are great. I got my wife a Chanel purse from Laos. It was $25 USD. The quality was pretty good.

I thought about getting here a REAL one, so when I went to Bangkok, I went to a Chanel store. I saw the same purse for $2,000 USD. I almost choked!!! Needless to she had to make do with some $250 perfume.

As far as I can tell, most luxury brands are simply not worth the money. I know there are exceptions.
#15227589
I am not a big fan of knock-off products. In my experience, knock off products sit in a sort of limbo that they charge more than an "affordable brand" of the same quality but do so at the expense of the name of a luxury brand.
For instance, lets use ROLEX as an example.
A basic cheap knockoff that most reasonable people can spot from far away could be $100-$200 USD, but at that price, you can get yourself a nice workhorse Seiko 5 or similar that is a better quality and finish than a cheap knockoff.
Similarly, you can go for a "replica class" Rolex that would fool most people at a glance, but those are often in the range of $800-1500 and at that pricetag you can get yourself pretty awesome pieces from brands with history (such as Tissot, Certina, MIDO, Ball, Seiko and on the higher end maybe even a cheap and/or second hand ORIS and Longines).
You see, when considering a replica, the alternative shouldnt be "the real deal", the alternative to a replica rolex is not "a real rolex" but rather, something that cost similar to the "replica rolex" and in that regards, the replica almost always loses to alternative brands in the same price range.
To me, the only reason to use a replica/knockoff is if you want to trick others into thinking you spent more than you actually did. Some people say, well I own a real Rolex submariner, but that shit cost $18k so I got myself a second, a replica submariner for $800 and I wear that knowing that I also have the real one at home safe and wont lose value if I scratch the bracelet or crystal. I guess that is an option, but really, if you are afraid of "wearing out" your watch, perhaps you bought more watch than you can afford. These items are not "investments" to the extent some expensive purse or a watch can raise in value, it is often a speculative affair that can end at any time and without warning.
I own some luxury items, so believe me this is no judgment or chastizing.
Then there is the issue of craftmanship. Not all, but many of the luxury brands actually hire the best, and they pay good salaries to have the bests. The watchmaker that assembles the Jaeger Lecoultre is not an imigrant stuck in a bedroom 20h a day getting paid less than minimum wage.
The care and craftmanship that goes into some of these products is incredible. Take for instance this video of a guy making a simple "wallet".

It is hard to tell with all the video editing, but I cannot imagine he took less than 1-2 hours to make it but perhaps even much more. At a reasonable $20/hr salary, and assuming ~$20 for materials/equipment cost and then another $20 for advertisement/storage/taxes/fees/etc... this tiny insignificant "wallet" made by a skilled and careful worker could very well cost $100+, if done in this manner. Now, a factory might get you something 90% as good or you could have pseudo-slaves make it for less than minimum wage and get it for way cheaper but that is the tradeoff that you are taking.
#15227605
XogGyux wrote:The last time I was there in december I had it in my hands, was tempted. The large two-tone nib is gorgeous and a bit more bouncy than other MBs. However, the large size of this black pen is a big letdown for me. It seems like I'd be carrying a small dildo on my pocket, I think my residents would make fun of me :lol: .

Lol. I used to think the same thing about the 149 too. But, believe it or not, there are much bigger pens than the 149 out there. The 149 is only a fraction of a centimeter longer than the 146, but is significantly thicker. This thickness makes the pen much more robust than the 146, and also makes it much more comfortable to use for long writing sessions. You can hold the pen in a relaxed grip and the bouncy nib allows you to write for hours without getting writer’s cramp. If you just need to scribble a shopping list, then I agree that the 149 is overkill. But if you want to spend hours each day writing the Great American Novel in longhand, then a 149 is what you need! :up:

So last time I ended up with a Meisterstuck 146 Around the World in 80 days, the full resin/blue model. Jules Vernes is one of my favorite authors so it seemed fitting. The pen is gorgeous and I am super happy with it.
Today I glanced the 149 as well, but this time I was not even tempted. I went for the for the Meisterstuck Doue Glacier. It is a slightly smaller and slimmer pen than the 146, that is a bit of a letdown, but it has a gorgeous cap with a guilloche-like pattern which I'll enjoy. The use of a cartridge converter can be handy for cleaning purposes so not too sad to lose the piston.

I have a 147 in burgundy, with a sweet medium nib. I use it almost every day. Yes, for scribbling shopping lists and the like. Lol. ;)

They gave me a gift of some stones to cool down drinks. I will probably gift it away to someone that drinks alcohol since I don't. Those things seem dangerous, my family has the custom of chewing on the ice after finishing a drink.... That could be a costly mistake if they do it with the stones :lol: .

:lol:
Last edited by Potemkin on 15 May 2022 18:24, edited 1 time in total.
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