Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums $5 Off Fire TV Stick Off to College Essentials Shop Popular Services pivdl pivdl pivdl  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Baby Sale
Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $17.00
  • Save: $3.82 (22%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 17 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Deluxe: How Luxury Lost I... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: - Ships direct from Amazon! Very Good: Minimal signs of wear. Dust jacket (if applicable) is intact. Spine is undamaged. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. May contain remainder marks on outside edges. Ships next business day - Satisfaction Guaranteed!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster Paperback – July 29, 2008

126 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$5.28 $0.01

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$13.18 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 17 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster + The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever + Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
Price for all three: $35.18

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Newsweek reporter Thomas skillfully narrates European fashion houses' evolution from exclusive ateliers to marketing juggernauts. Telling the story through characters like the French mogul Bernard Arnault, she details how the perfection of old-time manufacturing, still seen in Hermès handbags, has bowed to sweatshops and wild profits on mediocre merchandise. After a brisk history of luxury, Thomas shows why handbags and perfume are as susceptible to globalization and corporate greed as less rarefied industries. She follows the overarching story, parts of which are familiar, from boardrooms to street markets that unload millions in counterfeit goods, dropping irresistible details like a Japanese monk obsessed with Comme des Garçons. But she's no killjoy. If anything, she's fond of the aristocratic past, snarks at "behemoths that churn out perfume like Kraft makes cheese" and is too credulous of fashionistas' towering egos. Despite her grasp of business machinations, her argument that conglomerates have stolen luxury's soul doesn't entirely wash. As her tales of quotidian vs. ultra luxury make clear, the rich and chic can still distinguish themselves, even when Las Vegas hosts the world's ritziest brands. Thomas might have delved deeper into why fashion labels inspire such mania, beyond "selling dreams," but her curiosity is contagious. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Thomas has been the fashion writer for Newsweek in Paris for 12 years and writes about style for the New York Times Magazine and other well-known publications. She traces the origins of luxury from the mid–nineteenth century, when Louis Vuitton made his first steamer trunks and custom-made clothing was strictly the province of European aristocracy, through the fashion boom of the 1920s, when names such as Dior, Gucci, and Yves Saint Laurent came into prominence, and buyers with expendable income could afford exquisite clothing and perfume. Sadly, today most of the well-known names are owned by multinational groups, and luxury items have become commodities, where buyers crave name brands for what they represent rather than their inherent quality of manufacture and design. Thomas takes us into the streets of New York, where counterfeit items are sold that look so much like the real thing that it takes an expert to tell them apart, to the Guangzhou region in China, where children make knockoff goods under appalling conditions. She manages to remove the veil from the fashion industry with a blend of history, culture, and investigative journalism. Siegfried, David --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (July 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143113704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143113706
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dana Thomas is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, published by The Penguin Press in 2007. She began her career writing for the Style section of The Washington Post in Washington, D.C. and from 1995 to 2008, she served as the European cultural and fashion correspondent for Newsweek in Paris. Most recently, she was the European editor of Condé Nast Portfolio. She has written for the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Los Angeles Times and Financial Times in London and serves as the Paris correspondent for Australian Harper's Bazaar. Thomas is a member of the Anglo-American Press Association in Paris and the Overseas Press Club. She taught journalism at The American University of Paris from 1996 to 1999. In 1987, she received the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Scholarship and the Ellis Haller Award for Outstanding Achievement in Journalism. She lives in Paris.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Milton Fuentes on September 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
at corporate I would get a little slap on the wrist for writing this review since I work for one the brands heavily mentioned in this wonderful book.

I entered the world of luxury goods last year for an Italian brand that even it's "epicenter" store is elusive without the name of the store on Rodeo Drive. What Dana Thomas has written about the luxury brands is eye opening and condemning. From the factories in China, Santee Alley in the Downtown Los Angeles and the country side of France, you get the insiders view on how indeed luxury lost its luster. Once considered lavish and extravagant, we now see what luxury brands have done to diminish the quality and service of these high end stores and at great cost. No one walks into Gucci and buys a $2000 handbag expecting it to be made by an under paid teenager in China only to have the tag changed once it is in the companies possession to "made in Italy" for adding a handle. Small couture brands exist that retain a sense of dignity by continuing the art of exclusivity, style and hand made products that are still created and made where the tag states they're from. Even Hermes, a brand that continues to grow steadily, has retained its heritage and luxe by hand making made to order handbags and saddles.

Aside from the investigative interviews and reports on luxury's current state, you also get history lessons on the birth of luxury from Alexander the Great's wardrobe, how Chanel No 5 came to be and the creation of the "Birkin" bag for Jane Birkin by Hermes. Witty, insightful and damning, you can't help but feel drawn into this book hoping that it never ends. But all good things come to an end and what I was left with was a sense of doubt and a bit of anger.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
128 of 141 people found the following review helpful By E. Snead on August 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full Disclosure: I write about fashion, entertainment and celebrities for a living and have known Dana Thomas for a decade or more. I knew she was working on a book about luxury (yawn) and for the past three years, she was always exhausted, trotting off to China, Milan, Grasse or Lake Como, sometimes popping into my hood in Hollywood, constantly doing research for the book.

But frankly, I'm not a big designer brand buyer and would sooner plunk $400 on a Pottery Barn couch than a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes. So I never imagined how engrossed i would be by this book. In fact, I was shocked.

Dana makes this elitist world come alive by putting luxury in a historical context (Caesar wore only silk togas and the Senate was POed at the expense!) and taking the reader with her on a personal journey behind the scenes and around the world, to find out the sad truth about the decline of the luxury goods industry.

It's utterly fascinating and engrossing. And it's funny! Dana has a wicked snse of humor and pulls no punches in describing the decadent denizens of the "Deluxe" world. Even if you know nothing about fashion, couldn't tell a Gucci bag from a Prada purse, and don't own a single designer knockoff product, this book will fascinate, educate and entertain. Plus any book that can make me put down the last Harry Potter - in the middle! - has to be some kind of good read.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
56 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on July 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I just finished this last night and, sadly, I was left perplexed and disappointed. What started out as a pretty hard look into the fashion industry ended up as a garbled college essay that one would expect from a mediocre fashion design student.

My first issue was the editing mistakes. The book (or at least my copy) was replete with at least a hundred salient grammatical and spelling errors. To be clear, I couldn't tell you whether the brand names were misspelled, with the exception of the very well known ones. But those normally weren't the problem. I remember coming across a sentence fragment, which was strange. Who edited this book?

My second issue was that it just wasn't that interesting in total and was rather under-developed. Let me explain. The title of the book conveys a certain dismay with the current fashion world, dismay from high fashion being too over-priced for the quality you receive. That's what drew me to this book. I've had similar issues with so-called high fashion in recent years, with buttons falling off, hems coming out, fabrics just randomly ripping, bag straps ripping off, etc.. I was looking forward to her ripping the seams of the fashion industry. The author touches on this aspect in a number of chapters, but she treats the topic gingerly with ultimately irrelevant, unconnected anecdotes. What aggravated me the most is that she completely turns her argument around in the last few chapters, and writes about some fancy Brazilian compound filled with (presumably) the same sub-par merchandise she described in previous chapters and praises high fashion. She also delves heavily into the due diligence with which Chanel no. 5 is made. She basically says these elements are the embodiment of luxury shopping.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
69 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Keogh on August 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I heard Dana at a reading last night in NYC and HAD to buy her book. I then stayed up until 2:00am reading it... and finished it this afternoon. A true fashion insider (Paris correspondent for Newsweek), Dana has the job I think we all wish we had -- covering the couture shows, getting the "real" inside scoop on what goes on behind the fashion curtain (as it were). The stories are here, and they are all real, since Dana knows all the players -- LVMH, Marc Jacobs, Galliano, Prada...

She tells us the stories behind all the luxury items we covet -- Chanel No. 5 perfume, that Prada bag, that Dior evening dress. And most importantly, WHY we covet them. You might never walk down 57th Street, or Rodeo Drive, or Bond Street, and see the stores quite the same way.

Impeccably researched, highly informative, fast paced -- this is on my gift list for all my pals this year. A great read...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster
This item: Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster
Price: $13.18
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: hermes her bag, 2005 r6, buy used louis vuitton, chose water jet, junior handbags, luxury branding