The influence of pop culture on luxury fashion

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Michael Zahariev | Co-Founder | Luxity | mail me | 


Luxury fashion and pop culture have shared an inseparable bond for decades, and in 2023, two remarkable examples have captured the spotlight – namely Jane Birkin and Pharrell Williams.

Celebrity collaborations result in limited-edition pieces that become highly sought-after collectors’ items while adding to the celebrity’s legacy that they leave behind.

For example, following the bag’s rise to fame, the value of the Birkin has outperformed the stock market and gold in terms of return on investment due to its exclusivity created by Hermès. When it comes to resale the value is often over 150% of the current new price. This is expected to increase further following Birkin’s recent passing.

History in the making

Singer/actress Jane Birkin was the cherished muse and namesake of Hermès’ iconic Birkin bag. Through this collaboration, she changed the game for leather bags, making them not only a statement piece but also adding an element of practicality following her idea to add pockets sizable enough to carry books, for instance.

One could say she was one of the first influencers whose laidback style combined with luxurious quality became a symbol of status.

Although the initial release of the Birkin bag experienced a slow uptake due to the popularity of Chanel at the time, an episode of Sex and The City resulted in it becoming a household name in the 90’s after Samantha exclaimed the immortal words, “It’s not a bag – it’s a Birkin!” – another example of the influence of pop culture.

A new legacy

Highly acclaimed music artist Pharrell Williams was recently appointed as Louis Vuitton’s Creative Director, adding a fresh and dynamic perspective to the brand.

While having partnered with many luxury names before and being a style icon for many, Pharrell has now become firmly entrenched in the fashion world after he was sought out by the company.

His first ad campaign in his new role is already heavily influenced by celeb status, combining the music world with fashion featuring a pregnant Rihanna holding multiple Louis Vuitton Speedy bags. The Speedy, one of Louis Vuitton’s most recognisable designs dating to 1930, has now had new life breathed into it by making it even more appealing in 2023 through this campaign.

As the advert was only published in June of this year, it will be interesting to see its impact on sales going forward, but my prediction is that through its talkability and relatability, the brand will see positive results.

Written in the stars

When it comes to why pop culture has such an influence on luxury fashion and vice versa, there are several factors.

Pop culture is constantly evolving, and it thrives on novelty and innovation. Luxury fashion, on the other hand, seeks to set trends and create unique and exclusive designs. When the two intersect, luxury fashion finds new avenues for expression, while pop culture gains access to high-end, cutting-edge designs that capture attention and set new standards.

Icons and celebrities also often act as brand ambassadors for luxury fashion houses. When prominent figures don luxurious creations on red carpets, at events, or in their public appearances, it creates a powerful association between the brand’s exclusivity and the star’s charisma. This association can elevate the brand’s image, leading to increased desirability and exposure.

Pop culture represents the prevailing tastes, preferences, and lifestyle choices of the masses. Luxury fashion designers and brands keenly observe these cultural shifts to create collections that resonate with a broader audience.

In conclusion

By tapping into pop culture trends, luxury fashion becomes more relatable and accessible to a larger segment of consumers while creating collectors’ items in the process.

As the digital world evolves, and pop culture becomes even more entrenched in our daily lives, I believe this trend will only increase further. Therefore, those wishing to add collectors and limited-edition items to their collections based on celebrity influence should start doing so now to reap a future return on investment while embracing current fashion trends.


 



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