Just popped across this interesting little tidbit from the New York Times, that essentially says what I’ve been saying –not nearly as well but with about three times as many words– for years.
Rather than rely on obvious logos, expensive products use more discreet markers, such as distinctive design or detailing. High-end consumers prefer markers of status that are not decipherable by the mainstream. These signal group identity only to others with the connoisseurship to recognize their insider standing.
It’s a secret handshake.
I think it’s tough for aspirational big girls because accessories are often the only things that fit and there’s a temptation to use visible logos to signal you’re fashionable, except it’s almost always a losing bet. There is nothing more cringingly middlebrow than seeing a perfectly nice, stylish-ish girl dressed in perfectly nice, stylish-ish clothes with a pair of sunglasses whose enormous D&G you can see from space.
It goes straight from decent girl in decent clothes to “As You Can See From My Name-Brand Clothing, I Am Not Poor”