Customer profiles of major luxury brands

I have no intention to offend anyone, make fun of certain people or judge other people’s taste in fashion. The post has been written in a humorous way and should be treated as a joke. 

Chanel

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I decided to kick off with a big one. The iconic french womenswear brand is known for its expensive handbags, iconic perfumes, and the legendary double C logo. Chanel is associated with elegance and style, the highest spheres of French chic. Chanel Classic Flap is one of the most wanted bags on Earth and currently costs around five thousand pounds.

We can often see middle-aged women with lip fillers running around shops like Zara, looking for tweedy jackets and tight black dresses to go with their favourite accessory – Chanel brooch (the only one they can truly afford). After a long day in the office, the subject prefers to stay home, put on a silky pajama and search for used Chanel bags on eBay, hoping to find something in good condition and for not more than three grand.  The kids of the subject stay in the living room with their father while the bag hunt is taking place upstairs, on the marketing agency’s MacBook Air.

Subject’s favourite daily outfit: heels, jeans or tight trousers, casual top, blazer, brooch (accessory).

Louis Vuitton

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LV is the easiest one. The LV girl knows exactly what she wants. She’s a high-maintenance work of art, like a woman from a Caravaggio painting, but in flip-flops. The LV queen loves a good tan, good nails, shopping with her boyfriend, posting pictures from days spent on shopping with her boyfriend etc. If the day out in the shopping centre happens in the winter, the subject loves to wear furry flip-flops and Canada Goose jacket to go with her Neverfull bag. She would never pay 600 quid for a scarf or 3000 for a jacket, but Neverfull, Speedy Bag, and a zip-around LV wallet are must-haves.

Subject’s favourite daily outfit: flip-flops(preferably furry, but Nike is ok), leggings, Canada Goose jacket, a boyfriend(accessory)

Saint Laurent

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The favourite brand of all the skinny, dehydrated, anxious and substance abusing gay boys. The typical Saint Laurent customer is in his twenties, over 6’0 ft tall, severely underweight, has black spots under his eyes from not sleeping and smokes a lot of cigarettes. His favourite colour is black, he hates big logos and tacky outfits. The subject’s favourite drink is iced coffee and food is cigarette smoke. Often wears Chelsea boots but distressed trainers are also ok.

Subject’s favourite daily outfit: Chelsea boots or distressed trainers, black washed out skinny jeans, t-shirt or old flannel shirt, baseball or leather jacket, a pack of cigarettes(accessory), sunglasses(accessory), iced coffee(accessory).

Valentino

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Valentino has tried everything to sell their products. From putting golden studs on heels and bags to tacky VLTN logo on t-shirts/sweatshirts/bumbags/backpacks/fucking everything. It’s a brand for people with no specific taste, who just want to have a big logo written all over their face. Gym boys in ripped skinny jeans wear Valentino Rockrunners, together with a puffer jacket, preferably Moncler. Valentino customers tend to show off their money in bars, buy everyone drinks hoping to get sex/attention. At the same time, girls wearing Valentino act like some Spanish princesses, in red gowns, red lipstick, with studded bags.

Subject’s favourite daily outfit: Valentino rockrunners, tight ripped jeans, muscle fit jumper, puffer jacket.

Balenciaga

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Let’s be edgy. Let’s wear trainers with three soles that weight five stone, parachute cargo trousers, and old vinyl tops. Let’s shave our heads, start carrying an IKEA bag everywhere and pretend socks are shoes.

Balenciaga is a specific brand. Its intention was to recreate what Maison Martin Margiela had done in the past – an avant-garde but mainstream approach to fashion. Then something went wrong(or right? aren’t sales what really matters?) and all the Louis Vuitton girls got attracted to it. Balenciaga kind of inspires us to experience the underground culture, so here we go: raving, Berghein, Berlin, leather, pills, shaved heads, IKEA…

Subject’s favourite daily outfit: Balenciaga Triple S trainers, Cargo trousers, loose-fit top, vintage jacket, earrings, a lot of Instagram followers(accessory).

 

 

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WTF? Nike over Louis Vuitton? Top10 most searched brands…

…of the second quarter of 2018, of course. Lyst is a global fashion data platform that releases an index of most searched brands every three months. The research itself includes data from over 12 000 websites: department stores or popular online-shopping giants, such as ssense.com or farfetch. So yeah, Susan, the Gucci flip-flops you bought for your Instagram-famous trip to Ibiza count too!

I don’t really wait for these rankings with a glass of wine in my hand, refreshing the website at three o’clock in the morning. To be brutally honest I stopped giving a fcuk about what people buy a good few seasons ago, but it’s still hard not to see these indexes while daily-browsing through websites like Hypebeast or Business of Fashion.

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This time the list really surprised me. The fact that people stopped searching for huge and iconic brands like Saint LaurentValentino or, like I mentioned in the title, Louis Vuitton is clearly a sign. Sometimes designers just come out with weak ideas, release the product that doesn’t sell, simply because it’s nothing special. This time though, we’ve got Nike, which on this list seems like Courtney Love in Buckingham Palace. Something’s not right. Consumer’s choice tells us that either the chunky-ugly trend Balenciaga introduced a few seasons ago finally started boring people (yes, please…) or… the idea of sportswear in high fashion got the point so extreme, people who liked it moved into… real sportswear. Selfridges, which has always been a luxury shopping destination, sells more Nike AirMax 97 than Valentino open sneakers, Gucci ace sneaker in floral or Givenchy basic model trainers. Selecting “best selling” when sorting your list on Selfridges’ website will show you more Nike and Adidas than you could expect. Vicky Pollard look is the new Chanel.

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Prada opens the list at number ten, which is satisfactory. Miuccia’s brand makes clothes for true fashionistas who don’t tend to seek attention and hype on high streets of East London. Versace at number 7 is clearly the result of the popular(and very good!) TV series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story that apart from portraying the madness of self-obsessed serial killer Andrew Cunanan, also showed the passion and craft behind the Versace brand. And apparently, that worked in brand’s favour. It’s nice to see the iconic Italian brands still rocking the list, despite some other little monsters present there.

The Italian duo of Dolce & Gabbana is back. Unfortunately, they are back, I have to say. My queen of shade, Mariah Carey, once asked in the interview about Madonna said: “Really haven’t paid attention to Madonna since I was in the seventh or eighth grade when she used to be popular.”. Dolce&Gabbana, despite their undeniable skills, are like this awkward ghost of 2005 that keeps coming back with even more cringy, unsuitable for fashion industry ideas. I understand the need for rich, golden, baroque fashion, but honey, you gotta do it right(like previously mentioned Versace?). Selling white tees that say: “I’m the new D&G model” or “D&G millennial” is just pure cringe and some wicked version of fashion diarrhea. When other designers make their shows less or more artistic, often political or just appealing and interesting, those two Italian folks send drones or 5’8 popstars who can’t even walk down the runway properly, with, oh god, some David Guetta “that’s what I call music CD” kind of song playing in the background… Bring me that Nike, man…

We wore Balenciaga at 10

I remember doing some, so called, modelling in Warsaw in 2013 and ending up in Vitkac one gloomy afternoon. It’s Poland’s first real department store selling high end brands exclusively, opened for these few thousand polish citizens who can afford brands commonly worn in western countries. We didn’t want them(these businessmen, TV personalities and WAGs) to throw money away on flights to London, so we transformed one of depressing, marble buildings in central Warsaw into that, many would say, haunted house, where sad sale advisors on minimum wage hide behind poorly merchandised rails to yawn and check the time.

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So I walked in there with someone, I don’t remember the name, but probably one of my seventy four ex-husbands. After walking past Saint Laurent Paris, back then still known and displayed as Yves Saint Laurent, we took a luxurious escalator upstairs where I saw these unique blue trainers. Displayed in the centre of fucking everything, on some silky, shitty tissues… I moved my hand towards the shoe and felt the earth below my feet shaking, temperature going up, all eyes of sales advisors on me: “don’t touch the holy grail, you poor fuck”. But I did it. Whilst holding it in my hand I started studying it like Prince studied the Bible. Then I noticed the logo printed on the inside. BALENCIAGA. Back then I thought: that’s the real luxury.

A few years later I found myself in the middle of the London mess. Together with my friends fashionistas, we consumed Frappuccinos on hungover and spoke about this new guy who started changing the game. Demna Gvasalia, designer from Georgia, who worked at Maison Martin Margiela before, created extremely popular and expensive brand Vetements (read: vet-mo). Just like Amy Winehouse into the music mainstream, he brought nonchalant I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude and image into the pompous world of white shirts and colorful dresses. Gvasalia transformed things unfashionable and common into a luxury business.

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It all started with Vetements. The success of the brand he started, transformed him into the fashion power he is today. His brand became popular thanks to oversized jackets and death metal sweatshirts that were originally meant to imitate clothing worn by people who, well, don’t give a damn about fashion and changing trends. Oh no, pardon me, I think the ironic DHL t-shirts were first, and the irony is the most important word here, apparently.

“Irony is both about making you smile or laugh, but it can also be quite painful because it asks questions. With irony, you can ask questions that are delicate, but there’s a thin line between irony and sarcasm so I have to be careful not to overstep it. I made a bag for my first men’s show at Balenciaga, which was based on the classic Ikea bag. It was ironic but also authentic. I used the blue Ikea bag during my four years as a student in Antwerp, due to its size and its price. Fifty percent of all students had the same bag for the same reasons, When I did it at Balenciaga I recycled leather that the company had on stock from previous collections, and I finished it as a luxury product. I meant it as an ironic gesture in part, taking something really cheap and moving it into the luxury realm. But it’s authentic too, and that’s why it’s been all over the internet by now. People can relate.”

Demna Gvasalia in an interview with Business of Fashion.

Demna’s idea to appropriate clothing used in the late eighties and nineties by working classes of Europe isn’t anything particularly shocking. Designers tend to go through different moments in time, political environments or historic events whilst looking for inspiration. In the case of Balenciaga’s reinvention, the most surprising thing is Gvasalia’s consistency. It’s not like after one season of selling tired, high waisted jeans, he took an inspiration from the Olympics and sent models down the runway in swimming trunks. He fucking didn’t.

Post-soviet aesthetic became permanent for Balenciaga and remained a strong inspiration for Vetements. Designer himself is unlikely to name this inspiration in his interviews, or maybe I just wasn’t looking properly enough. But polish fashion journalist Michal Zaczynski in an article written for a London-based magazine said:

I dislike Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy. Same with that new Balenciaga under the direction of Demna Gvasalia. They remind me of everything that was the worst in the 90’s, and they’re unlikely to raise any nostalgic feelings in me.*

I guess you have to be from Eastern Europe to understand the “worst of the 90’s” part. Chunky trainers with ridiculously shaped soles made of many pieces of leather sewn together? Big ugly trainers like that? My teacher in primary school had a pair, worn with an almost square-shaped blue shirt, which looked like someone was making a computer game character that lacked most polygons. Men wearing casual blazers that were way too big? That was all they could get from second hand stores. You couldn’t just order your size online and wait for a DHL courier to deliver your parcel after 10 hours, like Amazon Prime.

I remember the popular Vetements sweatshirt my friend owned in 2016. Long, red with a slogan: May the Bridges I burn light the way. Everyone was obsessed with it. Dark, gothic, Tumblr-alternative vibe Demna Gvasalia created for Vetements is something I’d like to remember. Balenciaga reminds me of old furniture, drinking black coffee from transparent thin glasses, playing Pink Panther point and click adventure game on Windows 98 and wearing ugly grey sport sweaters because there was nothing else. And I’m not even from the eighties.

(*translated roughly from polish. The original English text not available at the time of writing this post, as the magazine’s website crashed)