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Today's Luxury Market Moves From Logos To Telling Women's Stories While Embracing Women As Individuals

Images: Priscilla Kabeya, Sara and Natalia Oliveira are lensed by Natalia Alaverdian for Harper’s Bazaar Russia November 2012. Natalia Alaverdian and Jama Nurkalieva choose heritage pieces from Louis Vuitton for an editorial dedicated to the luxury retailer.

LVMH shares rose this week after the company said it raised prices at its flagship fashion and leather-goods brand Louis Vuitton by 8 percent in Europe this week. Businessweek writes:

Luxury-goods makers have reported divergent sales patterns since the end of August. Burberry Group Plc (BRBY) said demand is slowing, particularly at lower price points, while Prada SpA and Hermes International SCA (RMS) said they’ve yet to be affected by the weakening world economy. Sales of expensive handbags and other items may advance 5 percent in 2012, excluding currency swings, less than half last year’s pace, Bain & Co. estimated.

Asia’s luxury customers have become increasingly discriminating in their choice of brands, writes WSJ. Gucci and Prada continue to post solid figures as the market shift towards the top end of the luxury market where the brands reside.

Business Day writes ‘The biology of luxury’ today, noting that “nobody would display a symbol of wealth if it were too common. Therefore, assessing whether luxury goods will maintain their impact, and thus their appeal, requires monitoring the extent of counterfeiting.”

If a luxury brand’s symbol of wealth becomes too common, it loses its significance.

The Smart Sensuality consumer and reader — our focus here at Anne of Carversville — is not driven by logos. In today’s London Telegraph, Anya Hindmarch talks about us as people who yearn not to be members of a club, but individuals. In the case of our readers, we add individuals with purpose.

This is a return to why people bought “luxury goods” in the first place: they wanted something personal, something unique, something they had been involved in creating - something that has a story.

When someone asked me recently to name my favourite luxury brands, I realised that the luxury experiences I relish most weren’t really branded at all. For example, there is a little shop in Milan that hand-crafts real horn glasses, and engraves the date they were made inside. I wish I could remember its name - but the point is that it’s not really the name that is important, but the product.

Today’s luxury customers want products to be about them, writes Hindmarch. We agree. It’s this intense connection to stories and the women who have created them for stories that lies at the heart of our new GlamTribale jewelry project.

When people first experience the jewelry, the word that always pops out is “unique” or “original”. The next word is “emotional” — as if women’s voices are speaking to them through the jewelry. I’m not certain that this process can be planned. The emotive experience of the jewelry is a sixth sense one, an unstated design element we’re trying to understand and cultivate.

Join us on our GlamTribale journey project. After four exciting ‘outings’ around Philadelphia in the last month, our next stop is an extended pop-up in the art district and (hopefully) a Thanksgiving to Christmas outpost in Chestnut Hill. 

Track our progress and major issues of interest to Smart Sensuality women be subscribing to our Engage newsletter. ~ Anne


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Anne Enke Says 'Sign the Bill of Reproductive Rights', So Do Meryl Streep, Caroline Kennedy, Lisa Kudrow, Amy Poehler, Kevin Bacon & Many A-List Celebrities

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a global legal advocacy organization, launched a new kind of campaign Tuesday that asks American voters to sign a “Bill of Reproductive Rights” in support of legal access to abortion and contraception. The campaign, called “Draw The Line,” has attracted a long list of high-profile celebrity participants, including Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, Amy Poehler, Lisa Kudrow, Sarah Silverman, Billy Crudup, and Caroline Kennedy.

We the people of the United States hereby assert the following as fundamental human rights that no government may deny, and that our governments at every level must guarantee and safeguard for all.

1.The right to make our own decisions about our reproductive health and future, free from intrusion or coercion by any government, group, or individual.

2.The right to a full range of safe, affordable, and readily accessible reproductive health care—including pregnancy care, preventive services, contraception, abortion, and fertility treatment—and accurate information about all of the above.

3.The right to be free from discrimination in access to reproductive health care or on the basis of our reproductive decisions.

Read, then sign the Bill of Reproductive Rights.

Related Reading: Woman As Beans | Republicans Romney & Ryan Make Chili of American Women


Women As Beans | Republicans Romney & Ryan Make Chili of American Women

I Am Not A Bean

This is an election about choice; surely you have no doubt in your mind about that. Do you choose to believe that the Republican War on Women is real? Or do you just vote for the stud muffins because they make you feel like Cinderella and you have a closet desire to be taken care of?

Don’t be seduced American women. Paul Ryan may have great abs, but he told you at the vice presidential debate that your rights are no more important than those of a bean — a baby bean that is.

You are not anti-life because you believe you are not a bean, and that as a grown woman with or without children, you have a brain — one that hopefully comes with backbone.

Absolutely no one is suggesting that you should use birth control if it causes you a religious conflict. But to support the right of any employer — ANY employer to deny you birth control as part of your insurance package because he finds it morally objectionable is an assault on ALL American women.

Romney & Ryan Believe Women Have NO Rights Under the US Constitution

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan — and the entire Republican party wants to return women to the 1950s, stripping away every right women have won in the workplace and in our rights to control our own reproduction.

Mitt Romney’s adviser on future Supreme Court appointments is Robert Bork. When Ronald Reagan appointed the defeated Robert Bork to the US Supreme Court in 1987, it was widely known that Bork not only opposed Roe v. Wade, but Griswold v. Connecticut, the decision by a Republican Court that granted women access to birth control as a right under the 14th amendment.

Paul Ryan flatly stated at last week’s debate that he doesn’t support 14th amendment Supreme Court decisions that given women expanded rights under the Constitution. His views are the same as Bork’s:

Throughout his career Bork was highly critical of the judicial activism practiced by the Supreme Court in milestone cases involving abortion, affirmative action and civil rights. Bork claimed he was a strict constructionist who would exercise “judicial restraint.” In his view, too many judges (and Supreme Court justices) had been interpreting the intent of the Constitution much too broadly. He opposed the 1965 Supreme Court decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which established a broad right of privacy that was not stated in the Constitution.  Bork was also a foe of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that gave women the right to have an abortion, calling the decision “a serious and wholly unjustifiable usurpation of state legislative authority.” The courts, he felt, should not thwart the will of the popularly-elected lawmakers, and judges ought not to substitute their values for the “original intent” of the Constitution’s framers. What made Bork dangerous from the liberal perspective was the undeniable fact that he was one of the most astute legal scholars in the country; the American Bar Association (ABA) had given him its highest rating: “exceptionally well-qualified.”

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