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Originally Posted by Couture_Tribe View Post

Luxury is perfectly inelastic demand, you get a vertical line called demand curve on your graph, x-axis being quantity and y-axis being price.

When this happens, changes in price will not change demand by a budge, because there is absolutely no substitute for that luxurious item, examples include authentic Van Gogh painting. No substitute means it is not possible for people to be satisfied by switching over to product B just because price of product A had changed. (It is physically possible to switch but not possible due to this item's uniqueness, i.e. using gasoline to run your car, it is still possible to ride a bike).

The same story applies to the supply side of the story, you cannot substitute by replacing unique craftsmanship or technology.

Let's not be mean by using husband and wife as an example to understand the concept of perfect inelasticity.

Anyhow, according to this analysis, luxury is rare or unique items. What constitutes rarity can be contextual, dependent on social groups, country, human population etc.

I just wrote your paper for you.
Well, that's the basic explanation you'll get from a microeconomic class.

in a less empiric explanation, luxury is quite a subjective topic, making its perception variable from people to people.
For luxury to exist, something else (not luxurious) has to exist in contraposition. Therefore, comparaison by itself is attached to the idea of luxury.

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^ I am not sure whether I am understanding contraposition in this context.

Are you suggesting that we find the platonic essence of luxury?

Are you also suggesting that we find the intrinsic property of luxury?

It can be similar to finding the platonic essence or intrinsic property of beauty, meaning it is highly subjective, only exists metaphysically in the eye of the beholder. Nonetheless, satisfaction gained from owning luxurious items and what counts as an luxurious item, both variables do tend to correlate positively with price. Hence, luxury is a sufficient condition for high price.

Luxury can also be a necessary condition for high price if you assume it must be scarce. Scarce items are desirable, high desirability can also lead to scarcity, both which causes the price tag to be high. Purchasing luxury requires wealth, wealth is very scarce in the sense that we all have a budget constraint.

Hum, consumer theories do hold quite well to explain the notion of luxury. Anyhow, I should run to Bernard Arnault and collect six figures in US dollar for my research paper.

"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers".
James Thurber
"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it."

Last edited by Couture_Tribe; 08-12-2012 at 06:45 PM.
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help me with my

that's luxury right there...

"It is not money that makes you well dressed: it is understanding."

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Hi melisande! I love that topic! I took my masters in luxury management, and i remember the concept of real luxury always was the most interesting discussion! I wrote an article about it a long long time ago, but ill give you the link and of course i dont claim to be an expert on the topic, but i hope it helps you out anyway!

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luxury is super lux hotels ,spa , travelling the world like a jetset, anything Chanel.

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Originally Posted by LorenK View Post
I am currently writing my dissertation on the idea of 'Redefining Luxury'. It's an area of which interests me within the fashion landscape- I am focusing upon this idea of 'what does luxury really mean', is it defined by price point? Or is it something more? I would love the chance to speak with other fashion minded people, who have strong view points on the luxury market and I will include any of your responses within my research. So how do you define luxury?

Please also take a few minutes to answer my survey about the luxury market!
I am certain this will be a very interesting dissertation indeed! For me luxury is defined on a more qualitative basis and not limited to apparel. For example I believe Apple produces luxury items, just as L'Occitane. The commonality those brands share is a high standard for producing aesthetically pleasing, well made products.

To limit the question to fashion: I think a luxury products in the most pedagogical sense would be limited to couture, bespoke or made-to-measure, and exquisitely crafted accessories and perfumes. For me a luxury clothing item usually carries a justifiably large price tag because at a minimum a portion is hand crafted, but ideally it would be the entire product. An exception can be made if the item is completely manufactured by machine as long as the quality if far superior than other machine made products in the same category.

Examples of brands I consider luxury: Many of the major design houses when under the direction of it's namesake (the most prominent being Cristobal Balenciaga). Hermes, Bottega Veneta, Chanel, Dior (couture), Savile Row tailors, Tom Ford, Patek Philipe, Rolex, John Lobb.

Brands I do not consider luxury: Modern day Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, etc.

I would also like to recommend a book called Deluxe: How luxury lost its luster by Dana Thomas. I am not sure if you have read it, but I believe it would be instrumental in assisting you with your research as it is written about this very subject. Another book I would like to recommend is called Luxury World by Mark Tungate and that is about several brands that keep the torch of luxury burning in crafting, jewelry, watchmaking, automobiles, aeronautics, yatchs, real estate, hotels, art, retail, digital, wines and spirits, food, cosmetology, etc. (I pretty much typed out the whole table of contents lol). I have another book called The End of Fashion by Teri Agins. I have not read it yet, but it may be a good resource for your work.

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