Is Luxury Just White?

Black people taste for luxury is the result of have been lower class, economically and socially for several decades. If you are always been seen as lesser than nothing, at some point you will want to redeem yourself. The reason why black people gravitate toward luxury goods is because they’re seen as status symbols. To be seen from other people with a different eye, maybe this is the right path.

For people who’ve felt like they’ve been at the bottom their entire lives, owning something that’s a status symbol is a huge self-esteem booster. Having a luxury car, expensive jewelry, and designer clothes tend to make people feel better. If you bought it, why shouldn’t you show it?

Obviously, this approach is not being assigned just to the black community… the newly wealthy people in Middle Eastern and Asian countries (and Africa too) have the same way of showing their wealth.

If you look at the statistics black people are buying more luxury goods than ever, they are at the top of the rankings in almost all categories, cars, watches, handbags and so on… It is a wake-up call for brands. Some of them should change their marketing strategies or just focus on a different/wider target.

That said, black people are not just simple customers. Several black celebrities are working in the luxury fashion industry, not just to represent the community but also to make a real change:

VIRGIL ABLOH

Virgil Abloh was one of the most influential designers of our generation. He was a pioneer of the Black community and he changed the fashion industry, by creating a huge culture shift when it came to exploring many different trends. Virgil Abloh was able to convey art through his clothing. Before his premature death in 2021, he was Louis Vuitton’s creative director, the first black man. At the same time he owned his brand of menswear and womenswear, Off-White.

KANYE WEST

Kanye West, is definitely on the list of those who have made a huge footprint in the fashion industry and in the Black community. He created an empire with his brand Yeezy, making clothing and footwear that would pave the way for streetwear to be considered high fashion. It is important to remember that the streetwear style has always been associated to black people.

ZENDAYA

Zendaya is one iconic member of the Black community who continues to make strides in the luxury fashion industry at such a young age. Her presence on the red carpet continues to prove how much she is respected in the game. She was and still being the face of many haute couture maison like Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Bulgari and so on..

RIHANNA

She is one of the biggest icons in fashion. Her role in the Black community, as well as in the fashion world, has changed the fashion and beauty industry for the better. Both her labels Fenty Beauty and Savage X Fenty, promote diversity and inclusivity.

NAOMI CAMPBELL

Naomi Campbell is one of the most iconic and well-known Black supermodels of the 90s. She is an international style icon who has walked for almost every luxury fashion brand such as Versace, Valentino, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and many more.. She is really concernd about cultural and racial diversity issues, in the modelling and fashion industry. Her outfits off of the runway have proven that she is 360 degrees style icon, in fact she received the British Fashion Award for Fashion Icon of the year in 2019, being the first black woman to win the award.

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