RUXURY, China

You all certainly know what luxury is, but have you heard of ‘ruxury’? Well if you haven’t, it’s simple: it’s China’s version of luxury.

The name is admittedly not entirely of my own invention… Actually, I didn’t come up with it at all. I first heard of ‘ruxury’ from my two good friends Nani and Nicole, and they thought of it when they saw this store “R.luxury” in the French Concession and tried to pronounce the name:

And hence ‘ruxury’ as a term was born, but the practice has existed ever since Western luxury brands were introduced to the Mainland. Conspicuous consumption of Western luxury goods like Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci is officially out of control in China, and products emblazoned with logos, monograms, and trademarks have managed to homogenize the nouveau-riche and aspiring classes alike. Since these products have become so commonplace in China (thanks to counterfeits and a lack of taste and style), they are the best representation of the concept of ‘ruxury’… this is a prime example of a ‘ruxurious’ situation:

I mean, doesn’t luxury mean exclusivity? How can these people think that they have obtained luxury when everyone around them has the same (fake) bag?

I would be embarrassed to be caught wearing or carrying around the same exact thing as someone else, but I bet in their heads they are all thinking that they are part of some cool, exclusive, luxurious club. That is obviously not the case, since every Mary and Sue in every 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-tier city in China have these trite, boring, ‘ruxury’ bags… The concentration of conspicuous handbags is so dense that I can often snap shots with multiples of the same thing, and it’s nauseating but illustrative:

And if it’s not Burberry & Burberry, it’s Gucci & Gucci:

And if it’s not two people with the same ‘ruxurious’ bag, it’s one person in two much (pun intended) ‘ruxury’:

Does one person really need two conspicuous, ‘ruxurious’ pieces of clothing in one outfit? I think one piece is already more than enough… There are so many other things that Chinese people could buy, but they all want the same thing from their clothes: status.

This girl wants it so badly she paired a fake Burberry shirt with a fake Gucci bag… But how can Chinese people think that conspicuous counterfeits can buy and communicate status? One excuse for this outfit is that she may have been trying to do the Clash, but she needs originality for that… This combination is just ugly and isn’t really fooling anyone.

I mean, advertising has definitely been a huge influence on the Chinese consumer, so it’s great to know that Beijing is cracking down on luxury advertising. But I think ‘ruxury’ will always rmain, even if the Chinese government discourages insane advertisements.

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