Friday, March 19, 2010

High Tea Party

Ever wonder what you would say to Donatella Versace or Karl Lagerfeld over tea? German novelty company Donkey Products has created a Prêt-à-porTea line with tea bags that have fashion icons such as Donatella Versace and Karl Lagerfeld perching on the top of a tea bag, that latches on to the side of your tea cup. For you it's a delicious, steaming cup of earl grey but for fashion guru Karl Lagerfeld its like soaking in a hot tub. But I think starting the morning off with a little earl grey and a side of celebrity is a good combination. I'll be on the hunt for these cute yet quirky knick knacks. With tea party season just around the corner I think this little party trick is perfect.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Diamond in the Rough

They call it Spring cleaning, a time for people to clean the clutter out of their lives. My clutter has become unavoidable and it simply can't wait for the tulips to bud. This is day one of AHA! Moments for me. Today's AHA! moment occurred at 11:56 a.m. when I realized one of my favourite items had transitioned from temporarily misplaced to just lost. Forty five minutes later and I have come out of the rubble and found my AHA! moment. Order comes from within. It comes from within you, from your surroundings and from your relationships. If somehow the balance is disrupted, trust me when I say you will not find peace of mind.

So to avoid finding yourself in this type of mess, no pun intended, I found 10 tips for a Closet Cleanse, Apartment Therapy Re-Nest. I found my AHA! Moment in tip #9 that encourages moving forward and connecting with yourself outside of your clothes. It is somewhere between my pirate shirt and my yoga pants that I found my long lost skirt. I placed it on the priority shelf and feel accomplished as I close off my day.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Flick the On Switch

Consider this a challenge. I am challenging myself and others to one aha moment each day. I began thinking of how different my life would be if I had one aha moment for the next month. Think about when you have an aha moment. It's like an electric shock that focuses you and numbs you all at the same time. Everything becomes clear and all your energy and focus is channeled into that one idea. The idea is so authentic and original you cling to it out of fear of losing it. Run and write it down! Because after the five minute tingle sensation that accompanies an aha moment wears off you begin to feel normal again and wonder why it was so special in the first place. So my challenge is to be on guard and ready to write down any idea that makes you feel sharp. And maybe, just maybe after a little while those five minutes will spread to ten, followed by a full hour that will eventually turn into one continuous aha moment that gains momentum. Till then, I invite you to join me in the search for the aha!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Guard Your Fakes!

Let us approach this topic with integrity and honesty. Please raise your hand if you are a proud owner of New York’s latest luxury item? I am not talking Manolo Blahniks or Tiffany & Co keys I am talking counterfeits! My hand is up and I know yours is too! Well congratulations counterfeit owners, these knockoffs are finally achieving luxury status. A special crime unit in New York has police raiding locations in Manhattan’s Chinatown for counterfeit goods. Within the first two days of the operation $ 1 million worth of fake handbags and watches were seized.
Sure blame New York, but the black-market knock- off industry is a global issue. China’s virtual explosion in counterfeit cell phones, known as “shanzai”, sells counterfeit phone for less than $20. The “Hi-Phone”, for example is openly sold as a knock-off of Apple’s iPhone. China has yet to launch its own citywide raid, despite complaints from legitimate manufacturers.
In today’s money tight market, the cheap fakes of Chanel, Rolex, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany are more popular than ever. The expensive price tags, brand association and luxury status are what drive demand. The raids are one way brands are reclaiming their images and brands. Nevertheless,no raid of any stature will control the world of counterfeits until consumers stop buying them.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ebay's run in with luxury becoming quite costly

For brands to maintain luxury status they must protect their reputations of exclusivity and value. Ebay is experiencing the wrath of luxury brands when selective distribution is exercised to its fullest. LVMH is fining Ebay €1.7m for not having done enough to prevent the trade of goods made by LVMH, which owns exclusive brands including Louis Vuitton, Moet Hennessy, Givenchy and Christian Dior.

LVMH is a French holding company and one of the world's largest luxury goods conglomerates. It is the parent of around 60 sub-companies that each manage a small number of prestigious brands. These daughter companies are, to a large extent, run autonomously.

Underpinning this issue is not just the sales of knockoffs, which can negatively devalue the brand, but the issue of whether brands can dictate the way they are sold. By selling genuine LVMH goods online, reselling them and providing them secondhand through internet retailers is a denunciation for the French company. An open market is the opposite of the brand of total control exercised by LVMH as part of its attempt to remain exclusive and, crucially, expensive.

Luxury goods rely on being able to control the way they are distributed. Luxury companies will release goods to certain exclusive areas of the world, charge consumers vastly different prices in different areas and restrict the public's ability to buy by selling only through certain shops or exclusive boutiques.

These companies take the benefits that globalisation gives them – cheap labour and materials – but won't pass those benefits on to the ordinary buyer.

Ebay refers to the fine as "disproportionate" and states that it will be appealing the decision in higher courts, since it believes that the injunction constitutes an unfair restriction of trade.

This battle between free trade and selective distribution brings to mind the luxury pyramid and the hierarchy within the pyramid that contributes to a brands exclusive reputation. After all, the mirage of exclusivity is the driving force behind the lust for luxury goods, and if any old online retailer can sell luxury goods at knockdown prices, perhaps it's not really much of a luxury at all.