BLOG+

Luxury brands - article for "Men`s Fashion" Magazine

2009-02-26

Darek Gocławski

In the previous issue of men's fashion topics touched on climate-related store. The subject of today's article is a luxury brand.
 
A man has needs. I divide it to the basic needs - related to ensuring the conditions for (survival) life and the artificially created - for example, the desire to explore, gambling, etc.
Luxury brand does not have to exist - it is rather a product of the needs of a small group of customers, it`s the object of observation and / or desire of wider group of people but most people are not interested (mostly because it is not available or exists in another "environment").
Luxury brands provide their existence as based on human needs to stand out, pleasure, building the image (person, company, location, etc.) and others.

Often recurring features allowing the brand to use the term "luxury" are:

- Unique (limited edition, hand-made / finish, long-term processing)

 brand recognition, item or service among specific target group ( watches among collectors, patrons of restaurants, fashion experts)

- Difficult access (eg, club memberships required, high price)

- No practical use (decorations, alcohol, tobacco products, art, so-called "gifts")

- Design (distinctive object or experience scenario - for example, a visit to the spa)

- Uniqueness, innovation (eg new technology)

- And at the end the most important: a series of closely matched and consonant elements.

The kit includes:

- Objects or services that are goods of the brand (eg watch, spa turnus)

- Leisure styles, behavior, understanding or lifestyle (eg, "white-collar Wall Street," the young, beautiful and rich from Beverly Hills)

- Stories - stories (real or created) associated with the brand (eg the legend of the creation of the company)

- References - comparison and associations with existing brand and brand positioning places or events (for example, a conscious choice of the place for fashion show)

- Activities - any activity that is expression of brand "life" gives consumers the opportunity to contribute to the world  or "brand" (eg, collection show, club meeting, sponsored events, "launch" of new products / services).

- Feelings - created by various means of experiences and highlighting some feelings of communion with the brand (for example, the process of visiting the showroom)

- Principles which should be kept during usage of brand product (services, goods)  - for example, careful cleaning, storage

- Specific places where brand consumers can express and possibly meet (certain clubs, social gatherings, events).

- Codes which "insiders" can use in the comprehensive manner (abbreviations, signs, symbols, labels, logos, etc.)

- Brand ambassadors - luxury brand invite those who are authority figures: celebrities, people well-known in the world of culture, business, expressing their life values as associated with the brand

- Own culture - luxury brands care about their image (your company, your employees, corporate culture) with equal attention, they create an image of their goods, knowing that the recipient of luxury goods receive the final product along with all the baggage associated with the reference (the place of production, authorship, culture of the sells organization, the quality of supporting materials, language and ads places).

Discussion of all aspects of the above-mentioned elements, and specification defining characteristics of the luxury brand would take a little more space, so let's focus on practical ways of presenting a luxury brand.

1. Quite popular rule is that the smaller the density of goods per m2 of store the more of the uniqueness of the products

2. Another rule of thumb is - the closer the effect of "gallery" - the more unique the presented offer (the result of a combination of prevailing gallery name in place of silence from the pounding of heels consumer / staff).

3. Rule: calming of the senses and building unreal environment in which we present the product brings closer contact with the subject of the service. The more we can cut off from the street noise and accidental light from the street, street rush, ordinariness of staff (with the help of retailers -professionals, enthusiasts) to add a nice smell, an unusual arrangement  - it`s easier for consumers to open up to your item and associated emotions / benefits

4. Another principle: focused light instead of directional flood lights - a well-designed lighting can emphasize the uniqueness of the object extracting it from the environment. Light plays an active role in building the mood in creating theatrical chiaroscuro effect, which emphasizes the uniqueness of the interior.

5. Quality, quality, quality. Offering a luxury product, provide "luxury" on all levels: language, which we use in materials that promote good staff behavior, the quality of the finish materials at point of sale, the packaging and a consumer farewell.

6. Tidiness - the basic principle and requires no comment

7. Consistent expression of the brand principles and their actual usage as the foundation of brand power, strength resulting from tradition and an increasing number of regular consumers

8. Personalization - matching the product to individual needs (if necessary or possible) - tailor-made suits, travel organization according to the needs

9. Price adjusted to a particular segment of the market (competition), offering the quality and experience associated with the product. The high price is the benefit of having luxury brand, as well as the necessity (to prevent popularizing of the brand). Too high price decreases sales quantity, low price popularize the products.

Luxury brands are often copied and are subject to "polarization of users." Chanel, Boss, Armani, Louis Vuitton, etc. are often seen on the streets of India, China or Africa, where users of the brand name or logo are not aware of what the logo means. In southern China, I met a very popular chain of clothing stores under the name "Mirror", which offers a faithful copies of the latest luxury brands creations. Often there`s a catwalk photo on the rack with the product, showing which design has been copied. Cost of faithfully copied creations (including the cost of counterfeit accessories, finishes) ranges from 6 to 30 euros a piece. For comparison, the cost of a burger in a well-known fast food chain is about 1.5 euros. The name of merchants (Mirror) indicates teir full awareness of copying designs and a sense of humor.

Design Studio A + D did not participate in the formation of "Mirror" shops.

 

According to Wikipedia, luxury brands in fashion / accessories are:

 

A

 * Alfred Dunhill

* Ana Locking

* Andre Garcia

* Andrew Marc

* Angelo Litrico

* Armani

* Audemars Piguet

B

* Balenciaga

* Blancpain

* Bottega Veneta

* Breguet (watch)

* Breitling

* Brioni

* Brooks Brothers

* Bulgari

* Bulova

* Burberry

 C

* Caraceni

* Cartier SA

* Roberto Cavalli

* Celine (brand)

* Chanel

* Charvet Place Vendôme

* Shiatzy Chen

* Chopard

* Christian Dior SA

* Coogi

* Corneliani

* Cortébert (watch manufacturer)

D

* Davidoff

* De roemer

* Di-amanda

E

* Eley Kishimoto

F

 * Façonnable

* Fendi

* Fiorucci

* Folli Follie

* Fuchsia (clothing)

G

 * Girard-Perregaux

* Givenchy

* Goldvish

* Greubel Forsey

* Gucci

H

* Hamilton Shirts

* Hermès

* Hidesign

* Hield

I

* International Watch Company

K

* Kiton

L

* La Clandestine Absinthe

* Judith Leiber

* Loewe (brand)

* Longchamp (company)

* Louis Vuitton

* Luxottica

M

* Maitres du Temps

* Mandarina Duck

* Max Mara

* Missoni

* Mobiado phone

* Montblanc (pens)

* Moxon Huddersfield

* Mulberry (company)

N

* Ulysse Nardin

* Nooka

* Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory

P

* Cesare Paciotti

* Carlo Palazzi

* Patek Philippe & Co.

* Perry Ellis (brand)

* Pol Roger

* Polo Ralph Lauren

* Prada

R

* Raymond Weil

* Red or Dead

* Rolex

* Sergio Rossi

S

* Saint By Sarah Jane

* Salvatore Ferragamo Italia S.p.A.

* Santoni

* Ferdinando Sarmi

* Swarovski

T

* TAG Heuer

* Tiffany & Co.

* Tod's

U

* Urwerk

V

* Valentino SpA

* Van Gogh Vodka

* Versace

* Vertu

Y

* Yves Saint Laurent (brand)

Z

* Ermenegildo Zegna

 

Interesting that there is no such brand "Ferrari" - offering clothing with the emblem of the brand's cars, etc.
 
Descriptions of the pictures:

Watchmaker salon "La Boutique Suisse" - Warsaw, ul. Chmielna 9

Boutique offering luxury brands, including Audemars Piguet, Bell & Ross, Longines, Rado, Omega, Hermes, Piaget. Prices from hundreds to hundred thousands PLN. Luxury atmosphere is underlined by perfect lighting (several thousand of LED light sources), refined interior design details and equipment, carefully selected finish materials (including natural wood veneer), location, dress and behavior of specialized personnel, scent, living flowers, set of carefully selected brands, exposition (single subject sometimes exhibited in a display case with a length of over one meter)

A + D, 2008.

Jewelry Salon "From Time to Time" - Warsaw, Golden Terraces, level +1
Salon offering brands: Chimento, Chopard, IWC, Maurice Lacroix, Bulgari, Dunhill, Montblanc and others. In the offer mainly clocks, watches, timepieces and jewelry. Offer is complemented by accessories, Vertu cell phones, professional press. Industry associated professionals rerularly meet on site. This emphasizes further influential role of the salon. As another image building element there is also regular e-mail sent to the clients and updated news on the brand`s website (eg http://zegarki.info.pl/1045/zlote-tarasy-budowa-salonu).  Luxury atmosphere is underlined by interior proportions, special lighting fixtures, finishing materials used (concrete, steel, stone, wood), individual brands original furniture used in the store, professional service, a way of presenting the products. In a very exclusive interior salon successfully sells medium-priced products, without losing the character of store supporting the brands with the highest price range (up to several thousand PLN).

 

A + D, 2007

Accessories Salon Design (image of scaled model)
Store with ​​more than 200m2 offering products (add-ons, accessories, gifts) from brands such as Cartier, Boucheron, Tag Hauer, Dior, Longines, Fendi, Burbery, Raymond Wail, Piaget, Dunhill, Dupont et al. The project involved the shop window covered with full height white silk curtains. The idea behind usage of curtains was to limit direct sunlight operation and create an impression of exclusivity. As time passes natural silk becomes golden in glow that gives incredible feel of warmth inside while keeping the curtains glitter. Surrounding the entire sales room with curtains allowed to merge the interior and different brands furniture. The floor was supposed to be as free as possible from the freestanding elements. Furniture is suspended cast aluminum displays so it reflects in the floor emphasizing natural beauty of snow-white marble used. System of positioning showcases is designed to allow individual exposure of product - without disrupting communication with materials of other brands.

Summary: almost 200m2 store without any furniture, surrounded by three-meter-high curtains of white silk located in a very busy section (rotunda) of Galeria Mokotow was designed to emphasize the singularity of place and offer.