Thursday, June 12, 2008

Why do you buy brands?


Photo credit: LogoBlog

For a long time I never really cared about brands, but that was also when I didn't know anything about fashion. At first I thought I would be fashionable if I wore designer brands so I tried filling my closet with anything to do with designers. I cringe in embarrassment when I remember what I used to think of fashion. Just because someone's wearing a Jean Paul Gaultier skirt or an Hermes trenchcoat, doesn't translate them into a fashionable person. It took a while for me to understand that, and now I'm not so into brands like I used to.

I know many people that buy brands to show their status to the whole world. They want everyone to know that they're weathly by wearing the Chanel sunglasses, walking in the season's hottest shoes, holding their Birkin, driving the latest Porsche, and on and on. But they're not really into fashion or whatever they're buying, they're into money: who's got the most expensive things and if they're on top or not. Hey, there's no problem with that, but there's a fine line when people like to clarify their status and when they just like to show off and be snobby. It's really irritating sometimes and intimaditing to many people.

Then there are those people with low self esteem and are insecure of themselves. Like the "uncool" kids at school who wear Abercrombie & Fitch to fit in and try to be popular. Or even adults who brag about using a MacBook, but can't explain why the computer is so good because they just bought into the brand.

The people that I like best are the ones that buy designer items because they actually like the product or have an interest in it. I wouldn't go out and buy one of Ralph Lauren's outfits just because it's a big brand, but because I actually think it's stylish and something that I'm comfortable in.

I do think that people mistaken the power of brands and don't understand that there are many negative sides to buying a brand. Brands can say a lot about the person sporting them and people will look at you in a different way as well. But it's not a bad thing to have designer items, but I'd like to caution people to understand why they are buying brands and actually live by it.

36 comments:

ellie said...

Very informative post. I try to stay away from name brands, actually.

Owner of this space ;) said...

i understand and tbh i think we all used to be like that before we actually understood what 'fashionable' really meant!! - definitionpoliticalspeakspace.blogspot.com x

Margherita. said...

I think there is something about designer brands that often radiates class. Theres something exciting in knowing you have that piece. Plus, I think a lot of the time the designer pieces do have a little something extra to them. That being said, I think everything should be in good measure. A designer piece with some vintage or with a cheap shirt.

alloftheabove said...

suuree! :) i added you on ours just now. :)

MR style said...

u buy brand, u buy yourself !! there's a german sociologist who said we are what we're buyin ?!!!! and i guess it's so true !

The Clothes Horse said...

I don't like obvious labels and I can't afford BIG brands. If I ever do buy a designer item it will only be because I feel I can't find that thing elsewhere and I think the quality is high.

Cupcakes and Cashmere said...

i completely agree with the fact that brands can actually create negative images of people. when i was in high school, i was obsessed with labels (but on a much lesser level like gap and abercrombie & fitch). i now refuse to wear things that scream the designer's name, and even go so far as to avoid purses that have logos. great, informative post!

Hanna said...

The brands issue is very topical in my country, I guess, as well as the rest of Eastern Europe. The thing is that you can find so many fakes of "brand products" on our markets that it makes my head spin. I still don't get why you would buy flip-flops, for example, that have the Chanel sign on them, when you know that they are not actually Chanel because they cost around $10. Why? I often see people wearing fakes with brand names screaming from them, but what's the point? I agree with you, it's not the name that matters, it's the style and comfort.

Leeann said...

Well put! I won't fork over a wad of cash on a designer item just for the name. I have ot actually love the piece!

PS...I tagged you on my blog. Feel free to participate if you wish =)

ill informed said...

I like your thoughts on this. I always find a cheap vintage piece much more exiting than an expensive brand name piece. And yes i used to think the same before i knew fashion.

pammish said...

hi love! ur blog is growing!! :)

while i never really cared about brands ever since, im actually growing a "fetish" for them! i guess it started when i realized i have soo many things in my closet but none of them really stands out, or actually lasts for a couple of years.. theyre so temporary. i will get my screaming logo handbag soon as a gift for myself. i "need" it cos i need something timeless and classic. another advantage - i could actually re-sell it when i get bored! hence, I wud like to think that i want to buy designer stuffs cos they are "investments".

while i really hate those snotty bitches who look down on people who dont use "their" preferred brands.. ugghh..

true, people get them for different reasons.

yam^Artfingers^ said...

i totally agree with what you were saying...and of course..i do remember when i grew up, i cant really hang out with those rich kids that flash brands in everything they wear, thinking i can only afford brands with less 3x the price.and as what mr style said,'u buy brand, u buy yourself !! there's a german sociologist who said we are what we're buyin ?!!!!'They are born with different kind of mindset and lifestyle.not that i hate rich people but its just the way it is.

Sharon Rose said...

fashionwise, I think brands look more stylish when mixed in with high street and or vintage-certainly not top to toe in it!!

atelier said...

I've never been a brand obsessed, but I've to recognize that the more you know about fashion, the more you love brands. I like them because all they represent in fashion, not to show I am wealthy or something like that.

Danz said...

I buy things either because I need them or simply because I like them. Just because it's a brand doesn't mean it's perfection, they get things wrong sometimes.

michelle said...

I completely agree. Designer brands doesn't necessarily automatically make you fashionable. And I'm somewhat biased just because I can't afford anything designer and am slightly bitter :P

fashion herald said...

This is a great post, you bring up some interesting points, esp. that people don't understand there are negative sides to buying a brand.
Yet still one of the first things I do is look at a tag when shopping. But I like to think it's to stay loyal to those brands I think produce higher quality clothing!

Alice said...

I'm not a lover of obvious brands and i usually hate people in total-look- of X brand, so ordinary and not creative. Fashion is different than show social status or how much rich you are.
Walking around fashion streets in Rome, as Via Condotti, Via Borgognona, Piazza di Spagna...i usually dressed to observe people and i try to understand who they are from dresses and co. I see tons of luxury brands stuffs but a few of really fashion people.
For myself, i love beautiful things, who doesn't?
I love more create my own style.

Have a nice week end.

Siljesfashion said...

Very nicely put. I must say I have a thing for nice vintage pieces either they are of a certain brand or not.However, I do think its a big difference with wearing head to toe designer and owning an item you love. For me its all about loving what you own and mixing designer items with high street for that personal look. I would never wear something only because it was designer. Have a great weekend!

Asian Models Blogger said...

Interesting observation! And I think the same logic applies to almost everything we do from magazines and books we read, food we eat (it's very chic to eat sushi in NYC), cars we drive, house we buy, and even people we date. :-)

Savvy Gal said...

My sis used to call me the indiscriminate Chanel buyer, which I was guilty of that charge. Nowadays I won't follow trends blindly or just buy brands blindly, instead it's really important to define one's own style and shop accordingly. I still adore all the Chanel suits I purchased over the years but some bags and ready-to-wear pieces I would rather forget how much money I wasted on them.

Ash1314 said...

I believe there is a huge element of status to it....if you can buy similar "chanel style" glasses from f21 or some other brand (thats of decent quality) where is the justification in spending $600 to have the "branded" version....Hmmm..well the rarer an item is..the more people go after it..the more they want it...we create this hype..then uy into it..im no exemption.....I occasionally
"indulge" too.....maybe I need to look a little more sociologically into this...lol

Ash1314 said...

p.s. your blog is coming along great =)

Hunters Glory said...

I agree with you in every way with this blog.

A dreamer said...

My mother used to be weird like that. I'd ask her why she wanted the gucci monogrammed bag and she said "I only like the ones with the monogram or the ones that are instantly recognisable as gucci"- which basically means she wanted something that screamed "RICH DESIGNER BRAND!". She's gotten over that designer craze now.

When I actually get out of school, get a good income or whatever, I want to buy things that I really love, regardless of brand.

A dreamer said...

by the way, I have linked you.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Great blog, I found it after going through a comment you left on my blog once- I meant to add you to my links, and have done it now! (I'm a lazy bum who rarely updates her links)

This is a rather thought-provovking post, because certain brands tend to put across their 'message'- for lack of a better word- and a lot depends on whether that message (for people who are really buying into the brand) gels with how you want to come across. I've always been a believer in taking things and adapting them to my style, rather than adapting myself to a brand and its image. And this is true not only of brands, but of everything- the things we do, the music we listen to- half the time I end up feeling like it's really about wanting to be seen as 'the kind of person' who buys X brand of clothing/listens to X band, than actually being that. It really does call for thought..

dresstoexpress said...

I know lots of people who are so into their logoed bags and designer clothes. Unfortunately they wear things with zero style and little imagination which makes them look more like fashion victims than fashionistas. In asia they eschew vintage clothing cos they feel only the poor wear second hand items! Its a very sad situation when people think money alone can buy style.

CoutureeYourself said...

I mix up designer and average prices point clothing.
I love designers for their good quality and its nice to indulge but not everything needs to be desinger.

Exchange links ?
coutureeyourself.blogspot.com

kitty kate said...

couldn't agree more. being fashionable takes more than just buying something b/c someone else says it is cute & it costs 500 dollars...its about loving something so much you have to have it!

* Fashion Dreamer * said...

I did a lot on branding and consumer behaviour at uni, my degree wasnt technically fashion-related but I linked it to fashion as often as I could! Theory suggests it's to do with prestige and status. There's also the issur of quality as well. I personally don't care what brand I wear, I'm more into the actual clothes rather than a brand name. I think brands are very overrated and I don't feel a particular affinity with any brand, more the designer and their individual style

Pamcasso said...

great post. I guess I tend to buy into brands for a few reasons, one being that having the name makes me feel like I;m getting a trusted product, which the company will back-up if any problems occurred. Another reason is that I try not to support knockoffs.

SKYLA said...

The REALLY annoying thing about brand names splashed across everything is that it really degrades the label. Take Chanel, a revolutionary label in fashion, yet in day-to-day life it's actually almostbr/>> a tacky label because the wrong kind of people are carrying things with the big C's splashed across them. Fake ofcourse. Good post. And i agree with you on the celeb goss thing in your post above.

Cheryl Lynn said...

Well said. I like and feature brands that I can trace an interesting history to. I favor designers that have a passion about what they create; brands that it's easy to see that hard work and superior workmanship are key.

You are very bright and savvy, my darling.

aschlee said...

I with ya on that. I hate when people buy brands just to say they have it. If I buy an "IT" brand it's because I like the product.

I think if you have a few good designer pieces that's really all you need. Besides it's fun to mix and match "non-designers" with high-end names like chanel 'n louis vuitton.

Anonymous said...

great blog. i really agree with this post. sometimes buying brand names is about conformity and belonging to a group, and not about fashion. i am often a bit turned off of an item if a lot of people have it and therefore search out smaller designers and lesser known items