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Uber Luxury - Luxury Chic

Fashion Trends 2007
Uber Luxury
Luxury Chic

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


Female Fashion Trends 2007


Luxury Chic - Über Luxury

Greater prosperity heralds a new era of understated chic and über luxury.  In a choice saturated market, where the exotic is now ordinary, and affordable to a wider audience, those choices are being perceived as having become too commonly available.  In every aspect of life, premium products have become accessible to one and all.  Because of this the number of early adopters of items has created a new snob culture, where niche shopping is used to gain cachet.  To counteract this, designers are reinventing luxury.

With more millionaires than ever, and high consumer confidence, the luxury market is growing every year by at least 10%.  For example, LVMH expects to double their performance in the next five years.  Their profits for 2006 rose by 30%.  Fendi in particular has shown spectacular growth, but of course they are innovative.  Those design houses that can continue to innovate and refresh ideas for an expanding market of luxury adopters, will be winners.

Purchasing wealth varies from those who are super-rich to those who are comfortably off.  In Europe, especially in France, research suggests the truly rich are seeking above all else the highest quality in fashion items.  Demi couture is here and smaller designers may succeed now where once they may have failed.

The luxury market has no real ceiling.  There is more than one level of market for luxury, with sub levels of luxury products.   If you think £200 or even £2000 buys a luxury handbag, well it may well be for the luxury level you find yourself at; but then there are woman who can pay £50,000 for a handbag.   The two handbags are on different levels of luxury goods.   Read about high luxury price ranges on my luxury handbag page.  The affordable, attainable luxury is the sort we might find in exclusive perfume ranges. 


Niche Ranges

Designers such as Martin Margiela owned by Diesel, make limited small runs of clothing, perhaps only 6 to 8 items of any one design.  Martin Margiela has an Aristsanal line where vintage clothes are reworked.  For example, scarce raw materials such as a 19th century huntsman's waistcoat is taken and reworked to create a customized and very individual piece.

There is a resurgence of interest in the way the best of British designers incorporate wearable street style into cutting edge collections.  This means that British Style has gained ground globally and is attracting those who are affluent.  Niche ranges satisfy small targeted groups of clients.

Importantly it's not just consumers that fashion houses have to satisfy.  Buyers are fed up of the 'Must Have' and 'Want It' item. This is being replaced by their search for unusual finds that can make their store stand out as different and fresh.  Niche ranges are filling this gap.

You are reading an original fashion trends article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©

Understated Luxury Chic

Understated Visual Signals

The affluent seek an understated look of quality that can be decoded by others like themselves, who are also early adopters of exclusive luxury products.  They require understated visual signals that spell not just luxury, but discreet luxury. The most obvious signal is not of a logo plastered all over a product, but of superb quality of materials and the highest standard of workmanship.

There is a move away from youth worship and outfits as worn by Paris Hilton.  Fifteen to sixteen year-olds may like it, but the look does not appeal to older women.  The baby boomers aged 40-60 have considerable discretionary income, 45-64 year-olds spend 25 billion dollars on apparel, which is a quarter of all sales.  Companies have realized that older women featured in adverts attract custom from baby boomers around 60 years old.  By 2007 50 percent of boomers will be over 60.  Many are exceptionally wealthy.

There is a style shift away from tacky looks in favour of leaner and sharper shapes, with even jeans becoming cleaner and leaner.

Even at high street level women with cash to spend, but with already full wardrobes are likely to take more time to make a purchase. They choose more carefully, trying to get it right by making a more considered choice.  Many are willing to pay a higher price rather than returning goods from a department store that they perceive as not quite right. 

Many women do not like walking around in a garment that can be still be seen in stores, priced and bought by others. These women will also be more fussy as they demand a better finish on goods.

Those women who already support designer fashion boutiques, or Madame shops, will return to those niche shops time and again as they tire of high street sameness.  Many mass retailers have moved from operating JIT systems to Demand Based Flow.   Fashion racing is everywhere. You are reading an original fashion trends article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©


The Rise of Online Sales of Clothing on the Internet - 2007

This year according to Mintel research, sales of clothing through the internet went over the £1 billion point. They say that since 2001 online sales of clothing and footwear have risen five fold.  With 2006 having a 44% surge. The latter surge one can suggest may be due to consumers having good earlier online experiences.

As I've suggested before in my consumer mood trends pages on site, customers are having a better surfing experiences due to broadband expanding across the world in general and in the UK in particular.  It is now easy to shop online for clothing.  When I began using the internet in the early 1990s shopping online was a comparatively unsatisfying and laborious clunky procedure that has been refined and refined and super speeded.  Now e-tailers combine their selling with targeted opt-in newsletters of all the latest products as stock arrives on their database.

The high street is good at making hot fashion trends available at accessible prices.  Mintel found people use the internet to shop for hard to find sizes.  Well I do this all the time myself.  I believe it's not just the hard-to-find size women seek, but the combination of more forward looking fashions, the hard-to-find colour choice.  They are irritated when they shop the high street, find just the thing they seek and discover that despite it being early in the season their size has already been sold from high street stockists with no more deliveries due as so many shops now offer refreshed ranges.

It's not just a matter of getting a larger or small size or petite or tall fitting, but a size that is in a desirable fashionable item. I also use online shopping to try out new shapes.  Volume has been a challenge to get right.  I really would feel less comfortable trying certain fashion forward items on in a shop, but at home I can take my time to make a decision.  In the comfort of my own home I can avoid mistakes that might be made under the pressure of an eager saleswoman.  I can mix and match a delivered item with garments in my wardrobe and easily check the colour matching.  Shopping online is also a boon for buying replacement items like hosiery, underwear, umbrellas, sweaters and other straightforward apparel.  As far as I'm concerned online shopping is something I'll continue to support.

Online retailers are proactive in offering niche markets what they seek.  If you have a self image that suggests you fit into the pages of Vogue you might see your shopping needs met at Bergdorf Goodman or Net-a-Porter rather than ASOS, NEXT or Marks and Spencer.  But the online market caters for everyone.  ASOS is affordable for those who yearn to look like a celebrity.  NEXT and Marks and Spencer do roaring online business.  Each panders to its own market.

For example Net-a-Porter offers service because its clients are women who don't need to face traffic. They pack and present items as if the recipient were receiving an elegant precious gift.  Except the package delivered is a luxury gift to themselves.  Online websites such as these have been proactive in addressing the needs not satisfied by traditional shopping mall stores. With some 60%+ of the USA female market overweight at last online shopping means the needs of all body types and purse strings are being met.  Thin or fat, short or tall, poor or rich, fashion is the way in which women of today treat themselves to reward themselves in their busy lives. 

Shifts in consumer demands and heightened global communication does mean fashion has become demystified for many.  Access to the web allows prices to be revealed and so are the outlets to buy rare or special goods.  It is therefore inevitable that there will always be a market which is linked to how unobtainable an item may be under the guise of exclusive and luxury. 

You are reading an original fashion trends article written by Pauline Weston Thomas© at ©


Page Date 28 February 2007

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About looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era.  Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values. Homelife and politics also contribute to lifestyle trends, which in turn influence the clothes we wear.  These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period.Fashion History can take no responsibility for any information on the site which may cause you error, loss or costs incurred from use of the information and links either directly or indirectly.  This site is owned, designed, written and developed by author: Pauline Thomas and Guy Thomas. This site is designed to be viewed in 1024 X 768 or higher.

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