Luxury Brands

Luxury Brands - Portfolio Magazine Cloaked in Green by Dana...

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Portfolio Magazine Cloaked in Green by Dana Thomas September 2008 Issue Luxury fashion companies tout the eco-friendly look—but their business model is still unsustainable. “It has been said that a pretty face is a passport,” the British columnist Julie Burchill once wrote. “But it’s not. It’s a visa, and it runs out fast.” Burchill’s wisdom also applies to fashion, the trendiest of industries, which is currently being seduced by the trendiest of buzzwords: sustainability . The spring 2008 Louis Vuitton ad campaign, featuring wizened rocker Keith Richards and other celebrities, proudly declared its support for Al Gore’s Climate Project. This past Christmas, luxe retailer Barneys New York used the slogan “Have a Green Holiday” and promoted a fully recyclable Goyard canvas shopping bag. Ralph Lauren now sells organic-cotton home linens. At first glance, these efforts seem quite noble. But Vuitton sells $5 billion worth of luxury handbags, scarves, sunglasses, and suitcases annually, reaping close to $2 billion in profit—yet its support of the Climate Project amounts to persuading its celebrity endorsers to donate their fees. The Goyard bag was more ostentatious than eco-conscious, retailing for $1,065 (plus $310 for a gold-painted recycling logo). And those organic-
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2011 for the course COMM 102 taught by Professor Pike during the Spring '07 term at Rutgers.

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Luxury Brands - Portfolio Magazine Cloaked in Green by Dana...

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