The Curious Economics of Luxury Fashion Subject of New Book
Why does one handbag sell for five times the price of another that looks and feels pretty much the same? And how does a luxury label justify a runway show costing millions of dollars, when most of the outfits paraded will never appear for sale?
Schulich Marketing Professor Emeritus and author Don Thompson delves into these and other issues in the fast-evolving world of luxury fashion in his new book, The Curious Economics of Luxury Fashion: Millennials, Influencers and a Pandemic.
“The traditional model of luxury fashion – elegant retail palaces, perceived scarcity, fabulous runway shows, no discounting ever, no online selling – has faltered under the onslaught of millennials and influencers, all accelerated by the impact of a pandemic,” says Thompson.
The book is the result of three years of research into the marketing secrets behind luxury fashion. It includes stories about the people and inner workings of luxury fashion, gathered from New York, London, Paris, and Milan, as well as the rapidly growing markets of China.
For example, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Ball, run by Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, is the most difficult-to-obtain ticket for any cultural event in America with the longest waiting list – despite costing a hundred thousand dollars for tickets, gala outfit and hotel.
The book includes a chapter on “Death by Amazon and AI”, which examines the inroads and existential threat of Amazon to the luxury fashion world.