You have all read it am sure. "The Emperor Who Wore No Clothes" and am sure you all recall that the central theme of Hans Christian Andersen's story is that illusion depends at least in part on self-deception on the part of those being deceived. The Emperor and his courtiers pretend he is wearing clothes because they do not wish to appear foolish; in the end they look more so.
So is your industry just that?
I recently did a poll on @langsdale_ltd Instagram to see what myths were out there from your perspective and most importantly, what are the hacks and ways to break such a myth?
Enough said about what I have to say, I want to swing it back to YOU!
I'd love to start gathering more myths in, so here's an example to get you thinking and sharing. One that is so close to us and UHNWI because we can't all go outside without them - clothes! This ties in nicely with the heading of this piece too and the underlying message that Hans Christian Andersen was pushing out. Can you take a guess at what am trying to get at?
In the last few years, more and more handmade businesses are popping up, and thriving.
BULK VS ONE-OFF
In these modern manufacturing days, sellers can make higher profits by making goods in bulk. In turn they can sell their goods for cheaper, and people can get what they want for not much money.
BUT, cheap and easy isn’t ALWAYS better, it turns out. I myself love both the feeling of having something handmade by an artisan, and the feeling for creating something by hand myself having tried my hand at it with sustainable home decor as an example but here we are talking about clothes.
YOU ARE SPECIAL
Each person in this world is unique, with their own thoughts and ideas, their own bodies and histories. It makes sense that we humans would be drawn to things that are also unique. Things that, in a way, reflect something that is at the very core of who we are. We also dress to represent who we are.
IS CUSTOM MADE JUST AN EXTRAVAGANCE?
Let's put ourselves into this pair of "shoes" then. Have you ever wanted to have a dress or suit sewn specifically to fit you? Tailors are still around, but the majority of us just own mass produced clothing because it’s low cost, even if it’s ill fitting or poor quality. But why! Custom-made it not just reserved for UHNWI!
The virtue of frugality is hammered into us pretty hard sometimes. It seems like a waste to throw money at a luxury like a custom fitted piece of clothing, doesn’t it?
My answer is no, it’s not a waste. And by the way, I do think that frugality is an important virtue. But for me, owning something that is crafted specifically for me is a way of acknowledging that I’m not just one of millions. I’m the one an only me! Same applies to UHNWI and what they are after. bringing us back to show that we all actually seek the same.
It’s not that I/we/they deserve something special and extravagant because I/we/they are more special than anyone else. Not at all. It’s just one way of showing what is already true about us.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
The power of personal connection - there is something powerful about knowing the maker of the things we own.
Deep down we and UHNWIs desire more than just utilitarian function, or cost savings, or convenience. We don’t dismiss these qualities when making decisions about what to spend time or money on. But we just want more.
We want history and meaning and human connection. We want quality and beauty and thoughtfulness of design. We want things that speak to us, not just things that are useful affordable and easy.
Regardless of who we are, we are quality connoisseurs of “custom made” and it isn’t just for the rich and famous. And it’s not a wasteful extravagance, as we may have been taught to think. It fulfills us on a deep level, and that’s no waste.
What it all boils down to - it serves a purpose. And purpose is what makes the world go round now. It is what aspires to you, me and "them" (UHNWI). It is what sets others apart.
So does Andersen's symbolism in all this have sense then? This expression that describes a situation in which people are afraid to criticise something or someone because the perceived wisdom of the masses is that the thing or person is good or important.
So is luxury affordable? Is it for everyone? What is luxury?!
Ready to push boundaries with Myth vs Reality? Then join in on the bandwagon and be the first to hear about what it entails when the information is available.
Now speak your mind candidly below.