One would think that music artists, (most notably rappers and hip hop artists) have been sponsored by the likes of Gucci Group, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, Balenciaga etc to consistently chant and incorporate their brand names into their songs. Almost as though to unconsciously influence the masses of listeners into believing that owning these brands equates to a certain ‘prestigious’ status followed by a false sense of ‘priviledged membership’ into the lifestyle being portrayed.
I can only imagine that being wrapped up in a Gucci scarf whilst repetitively singing along to “Gucci gang, Gucci gang, Gucci gang..” can only evoke to an exclusive sense of belonging. Likewise, casually sitting at the bar in your Louboutin’s and then having Cardi B’s piercing voice blaring out through the speakers: “These is red bottoms, these is bloody shoes” can only add fuel to the ego.
Going into my first job at the age of 16 and therefore having a bit of disposable cash, gave me the independence to shop for my own outfits; enabling me to dab into more ‘fashion conscious’ brands within my affordability. My favourites at the time becoming Primark, H&M and New Look. I can recall walking past River Island and TopShop with longing eyes, knowing that at the time I couldn’t quite afford their trendy clothes, but not ceasing to try them on in the changing rooms and taking mirror selfies – yearning for the days where I could comfortably fork out £40 on a pair of good quality jeans.
Essentially, the normalisation of luxury high end brands within popular music and music videos, has increased supply and demand amongst the ‘common’ masses. Additionally, the widespread use and popularity of social media gives us an exclusive access into the luxurious lifestyle of famous public figures and online social media influencers. Gone are the days where only the upper class would be seen in Chanel handbags and Prada heels; now the acquisition of such brands has become a lot more desirable and accessible.
So accessible that recently, I succumbed into the temptation of treating myself to a few high end items. The big question now being, is it worth investing that extra bit of cash? Or is it in fact just better off sticking to high street products?
From my observation, and of course being realistic about what I can afford, I have come to the following conclusions:
If you can afford it, knock yourself out.
On the other hand, in relation to high end products I don’t believe that they are a necessity. I will however admit, that the only time I am ever tempted to make high end and good quality purchases are in relation to accessories; Therefore handbags, watches and possibly shoes. I believe that possessing good quality accessories can make a difference to an outfit.
However there is a difference between good quality and high end purchases. A good quality purchase is something of high standard. This does not automatically equate high end; but all high end products are usually of good quality. Good quality products can also be found in the high street. As mentioned in my earlier anecdote, when I was 16, I longed for the days where I could afford Topshop jeans because I was able to recognise that they are of a better quality compared to the Primark and H&M jeans that I was only able to afford.
Nonetheless, it is worth noting the economic factors affecting my judgement. Had I grown up with the financial capital to afford high end and top quality brands, my opinion might be completely different. There is the possibility that I might have never even thought to browse through H&M and Primark for outfits because wearing high end fashion would genuinely be the norm.
Essentially, I believe that one can wear a jumpsuit from e.g H&M and instantly level up the outfit by accessorising it with a good quality purchase. For instance, a good quality handbag and shoes.
Overall, high end products are just that: ‘high end’. Self explanatory, the possession of such goods equates a sense of exclusivity. Same way I could never decline a Hermès Birkin handbag if it were to be gifted to me *winks*.
But at the same time, is that sense of exclusivity worth forking out that extra bit of cash for, when a similar product at good quality can probably be found on the high street?
Similarly, public figures are exactly that: public figures. Their status within society attaches to them a high number of followers – highly sought after amongst a lot of businesses. When marketed properly, these public figures are the perfect tools to promote and expose brands to consumers like us.
What are your thoughts?
Are you into high street or high end?
Time spent writing this post: 5 days
Location: University of Birmingham – procastinating during lectures
Inspiration for this post: Student asking about my handbag