Are High-End Fashion Brands, Having the Last Laugh?
Spanish fashion brand Zara was recently in news for selling check mini skirts for 69.99 pounds. What’s odd? Well, to many Asians, especially in the subcontinent, it looks much like their uncle’s ten-year-old lungi.
Tweeples didn’t waste any time and shared photos of lungis and Zara’s check mini skirt, pointing out how the company was selling Asian men’s comfort clothing disguising it as high-end fashion.
Who wore it better? And yes Zara, that's a lungi! pic.twitter.com/65KwCBxIDC
— Aaqib Raza Khan (@aaqibrk) January 30, 2018
OMFG ZARA IS SELLING YOUR DAD'S SARONG/LUNGI AS A FASHION ITEM I AM SCREAMING
⚡️ “A new Zara skirt looks very familiar to some people ?”https://t.co/uvvRI8Iac1
— Upulie Divisekera (@upulie) January 31, 2018
If you need an argument as to why it's important to have BAME people at every level in business and marketing, I give you the lungi-dads-skirt disaster by @ZARA where literally ANY Indian person could've pointed out in two minutes what the problem is with this ???
— Poorna Bell (@poornabell) January 30, 2018
Me: "Hahahahahah what's with that dumbass £70 lungi from Zara. Pachaas rupaye ki milti hai. Yeh firangs bhi naa, complete idiots."
Starbucks' barista: "What'll you have, sir?"
Me: "One Turmeric Spiced Chai Latte"
— Akshar (@AksharPathak) January 30, 2018
Are Brands selling us ripped clothes and blanket bags in the name of High-end fashion?
People also pointed out how Zara has been selling ripped jeans and tees, to buyers who do not bat an eyelid to scoff out a price in which you can buy a low-end smart phone.
Zara is selling lungi in 8200 Rs. & people r reacting like “omg, wtf, r u mad ?” , Don’t forget we r the same people who pays 6-7K for ripped jeans.
— Vodka + Cyanide (@Riskiest_Poison) January 30, 2018
Lol. People up in arms for Zara selling a lungi for 70£?? These same people who willingly drop 300+ for a pair of pre ripped jeans and a blouse made of tissue paper. If you shop at Zara you’re clearly not a bright consumer anyway. Get off your high horse. #Zara #lungi
— Nick Pierce (@MrSparkle427) January 30, 2018
The Zara T-shirts and tops, priced at 2000 bucks will not only make your mom hyperventilate, there is a fat chance your maid might confuse it as a rag.
Buy two get one begging bowl free. Sale at Zara's pic.twitter.com/keoWmlbw70
— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) June 27, 2016
And it’s not just Zara.
Another Spanish luxury fashion house Balenciaga had us at our wit’s end when it came out with a bag last year, which looked like the plastic bags we use to store our blankets in.
More astounding was the fact that it was priced at 2000 pounds since it was made of genuine leather.
I swear every Asian household has a bag like this with a blanket in it and Balenciaga are selling it for £2k??? pic.twitter.com/X0SmFVaaLK
— Ali. (@alizs_) March 20, 2017
Fashion will kill us… ???
I will just carry my duvet bag
"Balenciaga's oversized tote is inspired by classic blanket bags."
— Naomi Mutua ?? (@AKenyanGirl) March 22, 2017
Then last summer, a company called RompHim came out with Rompers for men.
The romphim might be more office casual…..just sayin’ pic.twitter.com/oFrnB70fPH
— Bridget McConnell (@BridgetMcConnel) January 27, 2018
The starting price for these rompers is 99$, which over 6000 rupees in India.
Will gullible consumers buy anything in the name of high-end fashion?
Brands and high-end fashion are the symbol of wealth and high-class lifestyle. Brand power makes a simple Cappuccino worth 150 rupees. It gives us a feeling of accomplishment, when we are able to walk in and out of a brand outlet, knowing that we have the purchasing capacity. We want to buy branded stuff, not because it is high quality, but because it has become a measure to judge social standing.
But how far are people willing to go in their pursuit for luxury? Or are the Brands having the last laugh?
I have nothing against lungi, or rompers, or bags and high-end fashion. But then sell them as what they are. Giving them fancy names is like selling Khichdi for two thousand bucks and calling it spicy risotto served with cool mint yogurt, crisp poppadum and pickled mango. I know some high-end restaurant is already selling this.
We may mock these brands for their outrageous prices but the truth is that they are having the last laugh. People are willing to pay, just because it has a tag attached to it.
Will the blanket bags and check mini skirt have the same value, if stripped off their labels? Think about it.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.