Yesterday I was walking through Neiman Marcus (great place to park in front of to get to the mall) and I noticed these bad boys:
They retail for $125 for the pair and every purchase goes towards Disney’s strip mining efforts of George Lucas’s (still) white hot brand. Perhaps because I was bored, I also went looking at suits as well while I was there and came across one that fit fairly well. A sales agent recommended I get a Tom Ford suit instead that retails for roughly $4000. Don’t get me wrong, the suit looked nice on me (it was used for a recent James Bond film on Daniel Craig) but to spend 5x more than I was willing to spend on a suit seemed a little ridiculous.
But this begs the question…how much is design worth?
I ask this because I recently bought an older used Porsche which after 5 days had it’s engine implode. I bought it with 40,000 miles and there was already a failure in the intermediate drive shaft after only a hundred or so miles: voila $15K of work needed to be paid for.
The cufflinks, the suit, the car…all these designed objects catch other people’s eyes…and all are thoroughly designed. But at what point does design become over the top and needless when creating a product. A twenty dollar pair of cufflinks will probably do on a $400 suit driving around in a $12,000 car.
Doesn’t sound fun though.
The advantage of having a ‘designed’ product to sell is that if the design is of quality, you can sell a higher ticketed item. You sell a higher ticketed item, you have the potential for even great profit margins. You might think this is common sense, but there are personalities out there so averse to creating luxury items, so adamant that there is no market for highly designed quality goods that they refuse to invest in design nor see its benefit.
This is where I step in.
As we clear this mini depression of ours, we’re going to enter an age where people are more concerned about stability, would rather live life autonomously, and prefer to get their desires met without any frustration. Newsflash: this means to capitalize on this trend it’s best you create a high quality, highly designed almost deliberately expensive product worthy of name dropping and worthy of being gawked at. As a society, the West has moved beyond innovation, moved beyond ambition and is now entering an era where we have to do things right, or not at all.
Keep this in mind when you put pen to paper.