A quick guide.
By Vibhor Sharma
Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Christian Dior, Versace, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani, Burberry, Hermes, Tod’s, Emilio Pucci. What these brand stand for and define is one word – luxury! With the establishment of iconic fashion and luxury lifestyle brands and their stores across the world, the penchant, desire and sheer lust for acquiring luxury products has reached an all new peak, where people from their 60’s and 70’s, to children as young as 10 are becoming desperate to get their hands on the latest luxury designer wear and accessories.
While a vast majority seems to be having a commendable amount of disposable income and ready cash stuffed in pockets itching to exchange them for some stunning luxury pieces, sadly, not all have the class or taste that its required in order to become a luxury shopper or a luxury goods consumer!
In India, lavishly spread luxury shopping malls have been established in top-notch cities such as Mumbai and New Delhi, the clientele of which are far from ordinary! The regular entrants at these premier 5-star malls include A-list Bollywood celebrities, politicians, erstwhile royalty, businessmen and their families, and basically the creme de la creme and the who’s who of society! While normal people who yearn to possess luxury items, save up for nearly a year or more in order to get that perfect bag or that dazzling black dress, the high and mighty don’t even bat an eyelid when they head towards the billing and checkout counter of a luxury boutique after making selections of their choice! Below is a quick guide for everyone, who either wants to become a luxury consumer, or who already is a regular luxury shopper but somehow feels that the experience is not matching up to their expectations. Etiquettes and the manner in which you carry yourself in a luxury boutique plays a major role in the kind of services you will eventually receive.
Prior to visiting a luxury boutique or store, one must always do one’s homework. Reading about the brand and its heritage, is something that will give you exposure and widen your horizons from the sole thought of purchasing that one particular product. Getting to know about what precisely is of interest to you from their latest collection is also important.
This includes knowing the product details, dimensions, materials used, sizes preferred etc. One must always read about the luxury product that one is lusting after. You as a shopper have to be clear about what you want, else the sales representative at the boutique is inclined to take you and your wallet for a ride. Being open to various options while selecting a product is fine, but you must never lose sight of what you originally wanted and what is being offered.
While you are reading about the brand and their products, keep an eye on your budget and the price points at which the products are priced. Official websites of luxury brands often show you prices of products of their own country such as in dollars, or euros, whereas the fact maybe that the same product which is available in America for about `50,000/- will be sold in India at a higher price of say `70,000/- solely because of governmental policies of India which forces most luxury brands to charge consumers in India a price higher to what they usually charge from clients in the United States or even in China. Doing one’s homework well will only benefit you in terms of saving time, money, and in getting what you want, faster!
In order to get your hands on your new favourite luxury handbag, perfume, belt, watch, make-up, sunglasses, or clothing, you must always call up the boutique and enquire if they have the desired products that you wish to purchase. If you are very certain that what you want, is all that you want, however, the boutique is out of stock, then you must request for placing an overseas order for your product.
For this they will request you to make an advance payment and within a week or two your product will be in the Store. Making enquiries for your desired items is important, else if you are a walk-in client with nothing specific in mind, there are higher chances of the sales representative convincing you into buying a product which costs more than your stipulated budget. However, if luxury shopping without a ‘budget’ is your cup of tea, then stunning creations await your arrival!
Dress for the occasion
Usually when shoppers frequent a brand like ZARA, Mango, H&M, Forever21, and the like, they tend to dress casually with either a jeans and shirt, or joggers and a hoodie! However, such should never be the case when you are to visit a luxury boutique in a high-end shopping mall. Dressing well by wearing either Indian ethnic or sharp western silhouettes is the key to having a great experience at the store. Usually it is seen, not just in India but around the world, that when a luxury shopper steps into a luxury boutique, the sales team is quick to judge the client by their appearance and clothing.
If a lady walks in wearing a tattered cotton sari, barely-there make-up, and hair which is here, there, and everywhere, the sales representatives will avoid approaching her, will show the least interest in showcasing her the displays around the store, and will make it a point to make her visit at the boutique feel most uncomfortable and lacklustre, even if the lady’s sole intention was to most genuinely make a solid purchase! On the other hand, if a lady in her early 20s or even in her late 50s walks into a luxury boutique, wearing a crisp and well-ironed salwar-kameez or even a sombre toned anarkali, with either neat flats, medium wedges or heels, and nicely done hair and make-up, the sales team will be quick to approach her and assist her in getting what she desires. Service with a smile will thus only come across if you take the extra effort of dressing according to the environment and ambience you are going to.