Summary of The Cult of the Luxury Brand

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Asia has fallen madly, deeply, hopelessly in love, and the objects of its affection are Louis Vuitton bags, Ferragamo shoes and Burberry trench coats with their instantly recognizable plaid lining. What spurred this region-wide obsession with luxury brands? Radha Chadha and Paul Husband analyze this socio-cultural phenomenon in an in-depth study of the “luxeplosion” reverberating throughout Asia. New money is upsetting old ways, allowing people to purchase their way up the status ladder. The practice of “gifting” and a cultural emphasis on conformity contribute to the craze. Chadha and Husband identify how the luxury mania took hold, country by country, and then explain how the luxury industry started and sustained this cult. Savvy marketers can use this information to plan how to penetrate the Asian market. The prose is lively, engaging and witty, elevating this marketing manual into the fun-to-read category. getAbstract enthusiastically recommends it to those with a passion for fashion, a curiosity about the Asian shoppers’ psyche or an interest in entering the high-end Asian market.

About the Authors

Radha Chadha, an expert in Asian marketing, has worked for worldwide ad agencies. She is now a brand consultant. Paul Husband began working in Hong Kong in 1988 as marketing manager for a retail center. He is an expert in Asian shopping center planning and development.



You Wear It Well

“In today’s Asia you are what you wear,” so Asia’s fashionistas are carrying Louis Vuitton and Hermès bags, wearing Gucci and Ferragamo shoes, buying Zegna suits, and telling time with Cartier, Rolex and Piaget watches. Products from these high-priced, luxury brands are flying off the shelves in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, India, Singapore and other Asian countries. And this trend is expected to keep growing.

What explains the relatively new phenomenon of Asia’s love affair with luxury? The region is undergoing a massive transformation “politically, socially and economically.” Asians are redefining the rigid social orders of the past. Now the class you are born into no longer dictates your status for the rest of your life. Instead, money defines the new social order. What better way to display wealth than to wear the easily identifiable logos of the rich and famous.

The Birth of the Brand Craze

In the 1970s, such U.S. designers as Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren began to compete with established couture houses, including Chanel, Dior and Lanvin. These newcomers combined a more leisurely look with savvy marketing. When actress ...

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