Synopses & Reviews
A hard-hitting behind-the-scenes look at the luxury fashion industry today There was a time when luxury was available only to the rarefied and aristocratic world of old money and royalty. Luxury wasn't simply a product, it was a lifestyle, one that denoted a history of tradition, superior quality and offered a pampered buying experience. Today's luxury marketplace would be virtually unrecognizable to its founders. Gone are the family-owned businesses dedicated to integrity and quality; the industry is now run by multi-billion dollar global corporations focused on growth, visibility, brand-awareness, advertising and above all, profits. Handcrafted goods are practically extinct, and almost all manufacturing has been outsourced to large factories in such places as China, where your expensive brand-name handbag is being assembled right next to one from a mass-market label that will cost substantially less. Dana Thomas, a journalist who has covered style and the luxury business for The Washington Post, Newsweek and The New York Times Magazine from Paris for the past fifteen years, digs deep into the dark side of the luxury industry to uncover all the secrets that Prada, Gucci and Burberry don't want us to know. Traveling from the laboratories in Grasse, where the ingredients for Christian Dior and Prada perfumes are produced, to the crowded factories in China, where workers glue together Made in Italy bags by the thousands, Thomas explores the whole of today's high-end shopping experience to answer some pressing questions: What is the new definition of luxury when advertising for thislifestyle is targeted mainly toward the mass market? What are we paying for when quality has given way to quantity? Can integrity survive in a corporate culture driven to meet regular growth and profit projections? Is luxury still the best that money can buy? Thomas has traveled all over the world to interview corporate heads and factory workers, old-money, old-luxury clients and new luxury-obsessed middle-market consumers, and she paints a surprising picture of today's New Luxury. With Deluxe, she delivers a fast-paced, uncompromising look at the real world behind the glossy magazines and red carpet couture and asks: How did luxury lose its luster?
What Fast Food Nation did for food service, this book does for fashion
Los Angeles Times
A crisp, witty social history thats as entertaining as it is informative.
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
Globalization, capitalization, class, and culture . . . A fascinating book.
Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek
What Fast Food Nation did for food service, this book does for fashion, exposing the underbelly of the $157-billion luxury industry and the lockstep consumer psychology behind its glamorous veneer.
Los Angeles Times
The style and cultural reporter for "Newsweek" takes a hard-hitting look at the world of new luxury, and argues that globalization and corporate greed have ensured that old-time manufacturing has bowed to sweatshops and wild profits to produce mediocre merchandise.
Once luxury was available only to the rarefied and aristocratic world of old money and royalty. It offered a history of tradition, superior quality, and a pampered buying experience. Today, however, luxury is simply a product packaged and sold by multibillion-dollar global corporations focused on growth, visibility, brand awareness, advertising, and, above all, profits. Award-winning journalist Dana Thomas digs deep into the dark side of the luxury industry to uncover all the secrets that Prada, Gucci, and Burberry don?t want us to know. Deluxe
is an uncompromising look behind the glossy façade that will enthrall anyone interested in fashion, finance, or culture.
About the Author
Dana Thomas has been the fashion writer for Newsweek in Paris since 1995. She writes about style for The New York Times Magazine and contributes to a number of publications including The New Yorker and Harpers Bazaar.