Today: Jun 17, 2024

Fashionista: Part one

Gabriel Muniz – Special to the Southern News 

It doesn’t take a marketing expert to realize that multinational corporations and retail chains selling name-brand goods have mastered turning wants into needs. Consider the world of fashion, an industry that takes in billions annually and spends an equally insane amount on advertising alone.  For a country that exports the most mind-numbing examples of fashion, mass-marketing to those living in the states and abroad, in order to most effectively drive growth and reap unimaginable profit, it is essential, if not the key difference between life and death, to make money appear as widely available as the product itself (hence credits cards, debt, and clothes still in closet).

The irony lies in the fact that, though the fashion industry has upwardly expanded since the recent advent of TV, color magazine, and social media, especially as consumer demand has increased exponentially, it’s most prominent players – the Louis Vuitton brand, for instance – have sacrificed exclusivity for wide availability, in effect exploiting the workers producing such goods and significantly underselling desperate consumers.  In other words, fashion shoppers, especially those looking to buy high-end retail, are buying goods that are both corporatized and overpriced simply for the pleasurable psychological effect it offers with credit cards they can barely pay off.

A brief history lesson, by the way, on the household name Louis Vuitton.  Though the name may bring images of finely crafted bags with the famous “LV” logo emblazoned throughout and the “Made in France” tag neatly tucked on the inside to prove its authenticity, this sought after name has since become, according to Dana Thomas, author of “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster,” “a publicly traded luxury conglomerate called LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton” —LVMH for short—run by French Tycoon Bernard Arnault.  “The McDonald’s of the luxury industry,” as it has been called, LVMH has more than fifty fashionable brands under its name, including Givenchy and Tau Heuer watches.  Indeed, all this influence and money for a man whose company about 150 years ago reportedly began in the working-class Paris suburb of Asnieres-sur-Seine!


This is the path that the fashion world has essentially taken since becoming a worldwide phenomenon, capturing the minds, fancies, and, sometimes, literally, the bodies (yes, the slimmest body is the most desirable, one of the tenets of the fashion world) of clothes-hungry youth in their prime.  After all, why market to those groups who are either too out of touch for eccentric trends or too poor to pay, or for that matter, even look at the price tags attached to fashion-trendy products? These money-hungry, profit-driven businessmen have instead found their time and effort better served by targeting the highly insecure, beauty-crazed, sometimes literally “zombified,” materialistic people who have nothing better to do, and in many cases, can’t even afford to, flaunt symbols of status!

Not only are consumers being duped into thinking that name brand equals status, but they are being psychologically conditioned to support behavior nowhere near in keeping with what one would expect from a respectable, responsible individual.   Name brands abound in regard to the promotion of stupidity and destructiveness, apparently what it now takes to be fashionable.  For instance, the label Obey proudly promotes the coolness that lies with wearing shirts reading the following, “Obey Propaganda.”

Someone wearing this shirt is, indeed, someone not understanding what the word means and the implications that result from following such a foolish command.  By obeying, they essentially become what another fashionable brand wants them to be: a zombie.  That’s right, the brand Zombie, (produced locally for which I give slight credit) has “fashionized,” if that is even a word, to be a zombie—a “Zoned Out Mindless Behaving Intoxicated Earthling,” according to some shirts.

Part two of this article will be featured in next week’s edition.

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