Bling is in our nature – there’s life in luxury yet

Clare Dowdy’s feature ‘Bye-bye bling’ (DW 16 July), which examines trends in luxury brands, looks at an interesting area but comes away with the wrong conclusion. It’s not really ‘Bye-bye bling’, but more like ‘See you later’.

I think it’s a bit short-sighted to call the death of opulence and the ornate just yet. Whatever the climate, it will always be human nature to want to show off success, though the accessories may change from time to time.

Having said that, we have seen design change to reflect the current mood of the nation, with ostentatious, unabashed public displays of wealth becoming much more muted. We’ve also seen the paring down in design to a simpler, understated and leaner look with a high focus on quality.

The top tier, many of whom are unaffected by the crunch, will continue to spend as they have always done. It’s in the mid segment, traditionally luxury’s key growth area, where we will see a cooling off.

While many people are reining in their credit spend and starting to live within their means, I have to say I think Brits are addicted to shopping. It’s embedded in our national psyche. It’s careless to predict the death of bling because it’ll be back bigger than ever, albeit with a different brand. That’s the nature of consumption.
Simon Bailey, UK chief executive, The Brand Union, London EC1

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