Why People Buy Designer Brands

Michelle Christoffersen, Denmark

A lot of people seem to be obsessed with buying designer brands, even when they can’t afford them. Why is it so important for people, and what is the psychology behind it? Self-esteem has a lot to do with this, and many people maybe feels that they have something to live up to. They want to have the same stuff as their friends, people they see on Instagram or their favorite celebrity. They feel like the society is evolved around materialistic stuff and that it gives you status to have the brand new designer handbag.

Back to social media and the internet, it has become the best way for businesses to advertise their brand name and their products. On Instagram for example, a business can make influencers wear their clothes and advertise their brand for them. Young people see these celebrities and influencers and want to have the same things as them, hoping that they too, can get a little of the glam. Self identity and social status plays a big role here, because people want to represent a certain kind of type. The clothes they wear represent which kind of person they are (or want to be).

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A good reason for buying designer brands is, that it is good quality and there is a big chance that a pair of jeans from a designer brand is gonna last longer than one for $25 in Marshalls. Designer brands are usually made from finer fabrics and have superior stitching compares to those of bargain stores. But then again, if you can’t afford it, it is not a good enough reason that it is better quality if it costs you $200 more and a big loan on your credit card.

Brand loyal costumers to a certain brand, also explains why people sometimes pay overprice just for the brand. Apple inc. is a good example for this. A lot of their costumers are ready to by the new IPhone, Ipad, MacBook etc. from them no matter the price and even though brands like Samsung and Microsoft often gives a better quality and system in their technology compared to Apple. The costumers don’t care. They are brand loyal and they are comfortable with the brand, so that is where they are gonna stay. It’s the same with clothing and accessories brands.

I have been guilty of buying things that are maybe a little overpriced because I wanted the brand, I think a lot of us have. Sometimes it can be okay to give yourself a little extra nice thing, but you shouldn’t be in debt for it, you should save up and only spend the amount you really can afford. I think our society today, evolves a lot around materialistic stuff and who has the most expensive and trendy stuff. That’s why a lot of people feel the need to buy these things, because everyone else does it. And who wants to feel like they are worth less than the rest? No one.

 

 

 

Dark Side of K Pop Industry

Luna Speidel, Belgium

Although K Pop generally classifies “popular music” within South Korea, the term is often used in a narrower sense to describe a modern form of Korean pop that is influenced by styles and genres from around the world. The Asian pop singers are becoming more and more popular and, therefore, the music industry is pushing them harder so they can be at their best on stage, which is understandable. CDs, music videos and interviews have been taking their lives to a point where it becomes too much. Is it normal that at almost every concert at least one of the group members faints? Is it normal that they are doing more then 30 different dance routines per night for many months? We should take a deeper look and see if this is human abuse or not.

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The multi-million dollar industry that is controlling the lives of the big stars, makes everything look so glamorous and nice. But what the fans and the outside world in general doesn’t know, is that behind that fake image the artists are working 12 hours and maybe more a day every day to make everything look perfect. This leads to a form of abuse and is often hidden by the industry itself. You can’t force someone to stay on their feet and give everything they’ve got on a stage in front of millions of their fans. The fainting and collapsing on stage is a message and gives all the hidden darkness away. The industry can’t control everything and certainly not health.

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When you become someone famous in that industry, your whole life is being controlled and getting out of it is almost impossible. Things like dating and getting married are not allowed, unless the significant other is approved by the industry. Everything is made for the artists to become more famous and for that to happen every detail counts. Most of the Kpop singers need to have plastic surgery to maintain their beauty and achieve the perfect look that the fans want. But again, this is something that the entire industry keeps secret so the performers look like natural perfection. Their diets are really strict and can go to a point where these celebrities starve themselves to keep up with their perfect body image. That’s also one of the things that causes the lack of energy and fainting on stage.

 

 

With all that negativity that’s hidden, you would think that the artists make a lot of money out of it so it’s at least worth something to them, but even on that level, the Kpop stars are victims of financial exploitation. For one show, a regular Kpop group generally earns $4000, 90% of which goes to the company and 10% gets divided between the singers. The singers are also threatened with blackmail so they don’t break the contracts, which are often for long terms, and stay in the groups. In the end, it’s a really dark industry that’s is created to give people what they want so the company gets to make as much money as they can.

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Minimalism

minimalism picJulia Feldmann, Germany

Smalls steps to resist increasing consumption

A common misunderstanding of minimalism is that it is just all about having the smallest number of items in your life as possible. But when you take a closer look at the point of minimalism, it is actually about having items which you really appreciate and which add value to your life. Knowing that you don’t need material belongings in order to be happy and enjoy life will increase your mental health and emotional stability.

Having more and more things is not making people happier and more fulfilled. Mindless shopping has become a problematic trend.  There is a risk to developing an addiction to material items, especially clothing that creates a feeling of being weighed down by clutter. Clearly, it is human nature to always long for more and to progress in life in all aspects, like experiences, careers and relationships. On the other hand, it is essential to be grateful for everything that you already have and, in general, to be grateful for being alive. The clue is to find balance between both of these things.

 

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A good start to becoming a minimalist is to go through your home with a box and fill it with random items you find standing around with no obvious use. Put the box out of sight for 30 days. If you don’t need to open it, or if you don’t even remember what is in the box, donate or sell it. Start in one place in your home, which could be a wardrobe drawer, your desk or underneath your bed.

Another important aspect minimalism includes gratefulness. There are a lot of things people take for granted that are actually really special to others. This goes from having food on the table to simply owning a bed and a blanket. Often people forget how many people on earth don’t have access to these things that seem so natural to others.

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Apart from belongings like clothing and furniture, minimalism also affects wastfulness, especially of food. It’s a fact that there’s more than enough food to feed the planet, but still large amounts of people suffer from malnutrition. As a minimalist, people can try to become aware of how much they throw away every day. Next time you are shopping for groceries, try to only buy what you will actually eat.

Most recently, the textile industry has gone crazy on their sales prices. T-shirts for less than 5$ and jeans for less than 20$ are no rarity anymore. This development is the reason why we tend to buy more and more clothes just because of the bargain price. However, the majority of people only wear a small amount of their wardrobe on a daily basis. Some pieces even end up never being worn. On the way to becoming a minimalist, you have to think logically. What do I actually need? How can I simplify my wardrobe? Which pieces are unnecessary?

4 first little steps into your minimalism journey:

  1. Travel lightly and focus on the things that are necessary
  2. Only buy new things when your old stuff is used up or broken.
  3. Write down your plans and your achievements in a diary
  4. Try to find multifunctional items

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Remember that it is not a contest or a race, but about your personal comfort. There is no specific rule to start a minimalistic lifestyle, just follow what comforts you and what feels right to you.

 

 

Hedi Slimane’s “Californication”

Matilde Serri Pini, Italy

Innovation is the best way to describe the style of Hedi Slimane. In every fashion house he has worked in, he always leaves an indelible mark.

Already in the year 2000, in the house of Dior he created the Dior Homme line upsetting the whole fashion system, fusing male and female lines, tight sleeves and an occasional cravat which became the new concept of fashion. Thus, he abandons the idea of ​​”classic” typically approached by the name of Dior.

In 2007 the revelation.

The designer abandoned Dior , and decided to move to Los Angeles to devote himself to music and photography. His passions are always crisp: thus creating a sort of personal diary and archive with his best shots. It is affiliated with the local scenario, to  rock’n’roll and indie subcultures and to its emerging artists; this setting continues to revolutionize the artist’s thought.

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He returned to Saint Laurent in 2012, instilling a rock vision in the brand, thus redesigning a more youthful and accessible picture compared to something strictly traditional. A return to the full ’70s, the same Slimane claims to have drawn inspiration from his youth heroes as Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Mick Jones.

 

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But the true “californication” of the designer was completed with the transfer of the French house of Saint Laurent to SoCal. He compared LA to the London of the 70s: “an overlap of cultures and genres”.

The gesture of the designer provoked a division of opinion from those who grasp the geniality of the action ,to those who criticize without understanding the real motivations that have pushed the artist to do so.

In conclusion, as The Red Hot Chili Peppers sing about californication in a negative sense Psychic spies from China try to steal your mind’s elation
And little girls from Sweden dream of silver screen quotation
And if you want these kind of dreams it’s Californication.

In contrast, Hedi had his own version of californication, with the only difference that he knew how to capture all the positive and artistic aspects of the place, creating the califonication style , in particular LA style , a capital of fashion.

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