What luxury brands says about you?
Why do we consume luxuries? Research has found that expensive brands say more about us than we realize–they may be an advertisement of our mate potential.
Studies have demonstrated that both men and women engage in the “conspicuous consumption” of luxury goods, and use them as a means to compete in the mating market. By now, a substantial body of research has shown that the male penchant for premium or exclusive brands isn't so much about quality or function–it's a signal to attract mates. The thinking goes that material goods like flashy cars or expensive watches are a lot like the peacock's colorful plumage, which conveys their fitness to peahens. They are attention-getters that say, “Pick me, I'm a highly desirable partner.” In other words, the owner of luxury goods uses them as way to advertise his access to resources, thereby signaling that he is a highly-valued potential mate.
Women also consume luxury goods, but seem to have something different in mind when strutting a pair of Christian Loubitin boots. A new study playfully titled “The Rival Wears Prada, ” led by Liselot Hudders of Ghent University, sought to further clarify women's motives for consuming high end brands. The authors build on previous studies revealing that women eagerly embrace expensive goods, exalting them for their uniqueness, pleasure, and status that they are perceived to offer. Women also spend large sums of money on lavish vacations, designer clothes, and costly cosmetics.