Armani, along with brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Marc Jacobs, have spent years cultivating a following not because of their overpriced T-shirts but because of their evening gowns, suits and handbags. Theirs are the labels on dresses worn to the Academy Awards.
"Value is not only quality, function, utility, channel of distribution," said Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies for Kurt Salmon Associates and former chief executive officer of Saks Fifth Avenue. "Part of that value is a customer's appreciation for the luxury connotations of that item or that lifestyle or the brand or designer who has developed over years a certain cachet."
Um, really? Did you just realize that now? How does this qualify as news?
The article's other groundbreaking insights: Armani will sell fewer $275 t-shirts than the Gap will sell of its t-shirt costing $14.50, people with money often like to buy expensive items they don't need, you could buy a similar, cheaper shirt at a discount store and many people wouldn't know the difference, and this final bit of insight from a fashion marketing consultant: "By and large, people will buy their garments based on what it looks like and what it feels like."
I think I'll try to get a job at the San Francisco Chronicle. My first story: "10 Signs Spring is Coming," with quotes from highly paid arborists about what we can expect from the trees.