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Luxury vs. Contemporary Brands in a Designer World

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The coveted luxury of the world's top designer brands may now have to acknowledge competition from contemporary brands. Famous luxury designer brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton have become household names in the fashion industry, recognizable by a single glance at their logo.

However, the hype and prestige have begun to wane as a result of quality issues and stereotypes associated with these brands. Consumers now look to contemporary brands like Tory Burch and Marc Jacobs, which excel in both quality and affordability.

The fashion industry has a collection of designer brands that have stood the test of time. From handbags to jewelry, these brands cater to customers who want a little more luxury in their lives and are willing to pay the price.

With the rise of social media, so-called luxury consumers can now showcase their designer finds on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and even YouTube channels dedicated to luxury and designer brands.

Brands that highlight this type of lifestyle are frequently seen in the media, especially when celebrities are seen in the press carrying the latest Chanel handbag or wearing Christian Louboutin red-sole heels.

As a result, the price points for luxury brands have risen significantly, making them affordable to those considered to be in the upper classes of society. As a result, wearing luxury brands in the crook of your arm or on your feet conveys this notion of wealth and classiness that not everyone can achieve.

Contemporary brands are known for having lower price tags than luxury brands, but their popularity appears to be overshadowed by household names. This could be due to the stereotype that designer brands cater to those with higher incomes and who are part of their society's elite.

Contemporary brands such as Coach and Michael Kors are well-known in the fashion industry, but the growing stigma that these brands are aimed at the working middle class appears to devalue the brands and the people who support them.

Still, the success of a designer brand in the fashion industry is determined by the brand's overall quality, from its ethical foundation to the quality of its products.

As people in the media voiced their complaints about the quality issues they discovered, designer brands' reputation for poor quality in their products grew. Louis Vuitton and Chanel, for example, have been chastised on social media for a variety of issues with their handbags, such as hardware and leather malfunctions, and with the companies' price increases, consumers are receiving poor value for their money.

The ethics of high-end luxury designer brands were also questioned. According to BBC News, the Dolce and Gabbana scandal in 2018 accused the Italian fashion house of racism because of ad campaigns that disrespected Chinese culture.

As a result, consumers, such as luxury YouTubers, have begun to promote contemporary designer brands for their superior quality. Tory Burch is one example of a woman-owned designer brand that has remained relevant in the media and fashion industry. With a lower price point, more consumers can afford the same, if not better, quality of this brand, which is known for the double T logo found on their popular Miller sandals and handbags in materials such as leather and nylon.

Regardless, both luxury and modern brands have had their fair share of successes and controversies that should not be overlooked. According to a story in USA Today, luxury brands have faced racist accusations, but their focus has shifted to inclusivity in their brands when it comes to supporting racial and ethnic diversity.

According to the Daily Mail, the contemporary brand Tory Burch has also been called out for cultural appropriation and issues with copying authentic cultural fashion styles from other countries, showing that any brand can be scrutinized in this industry. 

The designer world of fashion may not be a part of every consumer's lifestyle, but it is a beacon of raising awareness for not only the business but also the ethical concerns that arise from such a profitable industry.

The designer world, as a part of the business world, displays its economic status with small leather goods and expensive shoes, but the true name that luxury and contemporary brands make for themselves and their consumers will ultimately determine the rise or fall of this industry.


Edited By: Dawlat Al Hennawy

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