Designer clothing is distinguished from other brands by the name it bears (and there is quite a long list of names): the rule is, the ?bigger` the name, the more excited the customer, the more expensive the cloth.
It is agreed that the history of designer clothes began in the 19th century, “Charles Frederick Worth… was the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created”2.
The Designer Clothing industry has grown so much since then…it has spread from Europe to the other continents of the world with notable designers from The Americas, Asia, and The Middle East getting international recognition and patronage.
The clothes made by these designers has also changed over the years with inputs by different peoples from different cultures with different experiences……………..the designer clothing industry today is a reflection of the creativity of the designers, the groundbreaking job of their marketers and the gullibility(or otherwise) of the people.
Why do people patronize designer clothes, is it because the materials used to make them are of a better quality or because they are the creative work of some famous designer?
Depending on the particular clothing being talked about the answer to both questions may be yes or no.
It’s no secret that you may get clothing of the same quality material as that of some designer brands at a cheaper price3, it’s also well known that the law gives designers the right to license their brand name/logo to mass manufacturing agents who would benefit from increased sales by having the designer’s brand name/logo displayed on their clothes4……………so the cloth may not be the creative work of a famous designer and may not be made of the best quality material.
Why then do people spend so much money to buy designer clothing?
The answer to this is not straight forward, but the underlying logic is this: knowingly or not, through cutting edge advertising, celebrity associations and other adept marketing strategies, the society has entered into a silent contract whereby an additional value has been attached to designer clothes besides the mere physical item being sold. This additional value is the prestige of the design name and the brand image.”If everyone agrees something has high status, then it does. But that agreement often transfers the status from the thing to the label”.5
What people go to buy when they visit an outlet that deals in designer clothes is the image that being seen with that brand bestows on them (this may be due to a particular celebrity using that brand or due to the marketing theme of the company), people buy designer clothes to get the exclusivity that having the particular brand confers on them……they are buying the status and symbol not the clothing.
So despite all the brouhaha about designer clothes, it’s really all a psychological experience……..but one that has obvious and immediate effects on reality. According to a study at Tilburg University in the Netherlands wearing designer brands increases one’s chances of getting a job, of getting a salary increase and improves one’s deemed credit worthiness?6
Some people disagree with this assertion saying that being appropriately dressed albeit with not so costly clothes opens one up to the same chances as being so expensively clad in designer clothes would7……………..whatever the case, clothes; designer clothes have come to occupy a place in our minds and society unprecedented in the past.
1. marin.edu/buscom/index_files/Page1051.htm, Chapter 7 Lecture: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, 2012.
2. wikipedia.com, History_of_fashion_design, 2012.
3. ezinearticles.com/?Why-Is-Cheap-Wholesale-Clothing-So-Inexpensive?&id=6887621, Feb 2012
4. wikipedia.com, Designer_clothing.htm, 2012
5. The Economist.com, Clothes may make the man, but it is the label that really counts, March 2011
6. Daily Mail.com, Proof dress will impress: Designer clothes can help you bag a better job, April 2011
7. Daily Mail.com, Proof dress will impress: Designer clothes can help you bag a better job, April 2011(comments)