Most of us have an inherent need to be accepted and will alter the way we present ourselves and our buying habits accordingly, says Yoan Massie in an interesting article about the world of fashion. Over history, the following of fashion and trends has been more about personal validation, self-expression and social acceptance rather than practicality or economy. Today, is this still the case? In the present economic climate, there appears to have been an adjustment of values from the everyday consumer. The onset of the global financial crisis (GFC) has been a driver for shifts in the ‘luxury vs. necessity’ boundaries. And Mr Massie continues: “Business guru and author, Costas Kataras points out: “Brands are no longer about products, services or experiences but have risen to a ‘pseudo-status’. There is deep engagement of the human psyche with brands. The consequence of the human encounter with brands by far exceeds the simple transaction at the shop, and affects the future of society and its well-being.” In an economy fuelled by uncertainty, cash-strapped consumers are favouring simple pleasures, frugality and conservation over extravagant indulgences. Materialistic culture has been rejected and even people who have the money to spend, appear much more hesitant about showy displays of cash. It seems the latest essential fashion accessory is a social conscience. ‘Eco-chic’ is a term that has become increasingly prevalent. Defined as combination of trendiness and environment, being eco-chic is not just a look, but a mentality. Nowadays it seems as though purchase decisions have less to do with the prestige of the brand and more with the practices of the brand. Read the fuel article by Yoan Massie “The Death of the Bling” with clear reference to Costas Kataras’s book and the “The Death of the (Arrogant) Brand” .
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