Affordable luxury is somewhat of an oxymoron. High-end design mixed with high-street quality erases the line between inclusive and exclusive, and brings fashion to the masses.
When the whole point of luxury is quality, it’s a given that making a quality product requires more work than to create a cheap product that will fall apart after a few washes. Most members of society can’t afford the price of luxury goods, so the concept of a fashion democracy is to include all, and bring luxury names to the masses. The unfortunate consequence of bringing the name associated with the quality down to a lesser quality to include more customers is hurting more than helping. The last thing the industry needs is another influx of made-in-China “designer” products. Sometimes, more is not merrier, more is simply over-saturated.
If a mass market retailer were to take a +Beryll design, such as a bag or belt, and produce thousands of units at affordable prices but in lesser quality materials, would the design not then loose its unique purpose? The hand-selected, top grain leather would become that of a cheap plastic baseball glove, and the hardware a chemically altered form of metal as opposed to sterling silver 925.
Products produced in heaps may promote democracy, but luxury is not something that can be mass produced. True luxury exists in the story of a product, the hand-crafted elements and the detailed labor that created it, not in a factory where there are thousands of others exactly the same.
Democracy in society is a beautiful thing, democracy in fashion is not. Vote for the Fashion Republic.