Good morning everyone,

YLF Book Club is back this month with Dana Thomas' informative book about the big players in fashion and how the luxury industry has completely changed over the years: Deluxe - How Luxury Lost Its Luster.

There's a huge amount of information in the eleven chapters, and I found it a very compelling read. Call me nostalgic, but I particularly enjoyed the parts in which the author describes the history behind each brand and tells us more about the people who originally founded luxury fashion houses like Louis Vuitton. The description of how products were handmade - a rare occurrence these days - with much care and attention to detail always fascinates me. I have the utmost respect for handmade quality, and the passion of designers who still believe this is possible today.

I loved the "Sweet Smell of Success" chapter that tells us more about the inspiration and creative process behind the bestselling Hermès perfume "Un jardin sur le Nil". (fascinating also how natural and synthetic ingredients are added 'on top of each other' to create a signature scent) And I was particularly peeved to learn that many companies are now diluting and cheapening ingredients in classic perfumes to lower the cost of production.

Money rules the fashion world nowadays, whether we like it or not. That's the biggest leitmotiv throughout the book. Giant concerns buying and selling off fashion houses for huge profits, business decisions based on financial considerations only with little regard for original quality or the human factor, designer knock-offs and the tragic story of child labour, the birth of duty-free shopping...

I'm very curious to hear your take on all this. And as always: feel free to start new threads if you'd like to discuss one or more aspects in more detail.