My Love/Hate Relationship with Fashion- Luxury Items and Consumerism as a Teen Part 1
October 9, 2019
Recently, I watched a video from YouTuber Sophie Shohet about how someone only needs one luxury handbag. (If you want to see the video, you can watch it here) I’m a firm believer that someone does not need many luxury handbags, but only a few, or just one, luxury bags that fits their lifestyle, fashion style, and they will love to use over and over again without getting tired of it. Despite my own feelings, I, like Sophie talked about in her video, have fallen victim to the luxury consumerism and wanted to own multiple handbags, no matter the price or how practical they are to use. Fortunately, I would come to my senses and began to focus on what bags I really wanted and knew I would like instead of the current it bag that I knew I would not love for the rest of my life.
That being said, it took me years to get to the point to this point when I can catch myself. As a teenager, it wasn’t so easy.When I was a teenager, it was the early to mid 2000’s and everyone was caught up in the middle of Louis Vuitton’s massive popularity with their it bags. Including a girl in my high school, who carried her Louis Vuittons around the school, as proud as a teenager could be to be the only one in a public school that had parents that would spend that much money on a bag as a gift. If you know me personally, you’ll probably hear the story about my former classmate and her Louis Vuitton bags, but truth be told that was the first time I ever saw a bag and design I wanted.
The bag was a pochette in the Takashi Murakami monogram with white background. And it was tinny. Louis Vuitton fans and anyone who saw a pochette, Takashi Murakami monogram or not, in person will understand how tinny it is. But I loved it anyway. I hoped one day to buy one, not to carry it around high school, but to use it for a purse for church and other special events. Sure, I would grow out of the style, but then again it was something I new I would love and get a lot of use out of for years.
I continued to want the pochette until I found out how much it cost. Then, I didn’t want it anymore.
As time wore on and I began to fully understand what consumerism did to my wants and desires, I began to realize the difference between something I liked and wanted to own with the intention of using for years as opposed to something that I would enjoy only for a short amount of time and will throw away when it becomes too worn and torn. The pochette, and my reasons to own it, was driven by the desire to invest my money into something I could use for many years, enjoy, and know that because it is something others will recognize as my “good bag”. As for my classmate, her reason to own her pochette was driven by the desire to be admired for her family’s wealth and ability to freely spend money on her without concern for their own financial well being.
Although some I knew back then said there was nothing wrong with my classmate’s reasons for owning her pochette, I found huge problems with it. It was a decision that was not well thought out, as teenagers are known for doing, and it cost her parents dearly in the long run because once that bag was… um… let’s just say it was no longer able to be used anymore, she immediately wanted another one. And then years later, she wanted more luxury brand items not because they are a sound investment or offer something that cannot be found anywhere else, but because her favorite celebrity owned them.
The influence of a well known person, or celebrity, owning an item can influence a person’s decision to own that item. My classmate wanted her pochette in the Takashi Murakami monogram because celebrities, specifically Britney Spears, owned one. It was considered an “it bag” and was one of the most popular bags anyone who wanted to be cool could own.
Despite this, I was somehow shielded from luxury consumerism. I could go on and on as to how and why I was oblivious to luxury consumerism, but I’ll sum it up to I was too busy to care. I knew it was there and I was influenced by consumerism, but when it came to luxury consumerism, I was too busy working and getting ready/going to college to care. I remember adults would ask me if I would want a specific luxury item not as a gift, but as something I would like to own one day after I worked and saved for it. I would always tell them no, until I saw my classmate’s pochette in the Takashi Murakami monogram. Then I knew what kind of luxury bag I wanted.
I didn’t get a Louis Vuitton in the Takashi Muraksmi monogram for my next birthday, but I own a Louis Vuitton piece with the monogram now. I still baby it and take care of it, because it was my dream bag and I finally own it. I also learned as I grew up you don’t need to own many luxury items to be happy. Just a few pieces you’ll love and enjoy using for years to come. And I know that, although the Takashi Muraksmi monogram is considered “dated”, my Takashi Muraksmi monogram piece is one of them.
Well, that’s all for now! I have more to talk about when it comes to luxury items so expect those posts popping up in the future.