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The Future of Fashion – The Meaning of Luxury Apparel

Ujwal Arkalgud, EVP & Group Director at Lux Research

Ujwal Arkalgud

EVP & Group Director, Anthropology

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Jason Partridge photo

Jason Partridge

VP, Client Success

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Welcome to “Why Meaning Matters”—a Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

In this episode of Why Meaning Matters, Erin, Jason and Ujwal delve into the meaning of fashion by exploring size inclusivity, the second-hand market and sustainability.

Our homes and the way we dress are huge indicators of our values and our personalities. And, just like in the conversation around home – there’s a discernible shift in the conversations and the meaning of Luxury apparel presenting an opportunity for those in the retail space to capture more hearts and minds.

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In this episode of Why Meaning Matters, Erin, Jason and Ujwal delve into the meaning of fashion by exploring size inclusivity, the second-hand market and sustainability.

Our homes and the way we dress are huge indicators of our values and our personalities. And, just like in the conversation around home – there’s a discernible shift in the conversations and the meaning of Luxury apparel presenting an opportunity for those in the retail space to capture more hearts and minds.

Welcome to Why Meaning Matters. A Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

The meaning of luxury apparel is changing as it’s becoming more accessible to the average middle-class consumer thanks to the second-hand market otherwise known as the circular economy.

UJWAL [00:04:17] “I mean, people traditionally, we’ve thought that if something is sold secondhand, that’s depleting the brand. Today, it’s actually enhancing the brand because it proves that your products last for decades. It proves that your products potentially retain value.”

It’s not just about the item either. It’s about the research, the reward of discovery and the story that goes with it.

JASON [00:07:24] “All those things come together in one artifact. So I don’t even have to say anything. I just have to wear that thing. And someone who is in the know knows all those things about me just by seeing that article on my arm or on my back.”

A key driver of the sustainability conversation is the desire to reuse something that’s already on earth.

JASON [00:09:19] “And not just in the context of they wanted value for money but concerns around what does that mean for constantly buying and throwing away, buying and throwing away.”

Underlying the entire meaning of fashion conversation is a notion of privilege and inclusivity. Including at a body size and shape level.

UJWAL [00:11:08] “We’re seeing it rear its head with vintage pieces, but it’s also now a key driver for modern new pieces. So if you’re a luxury apparel brand, you cannot get away from size inclusivity. And I have to clarify here, size inclusivity doesn’t mean just making sizes 8, 10, 12.”

We’re starting to see an evolution of what mid-tier retail means leading to a desire to make quality pieces accessible.

JASON [00:13:07] “This is the thing that we need to take into consideration when it comes to fashion as well is that how am I able to manipulate my clothing in such a way where I can incorporate a high-end piece to work with less high-end pieces in a way that allows me to really kind of have a robust wardrobe.”

And it’s time for luxury brands to own the circular part of their own economy.

UJWAL [00:13:47] “It’s time for these brands to own that because then they can shape the narrative better. They can do and solve the problem of access, of inclusivity, both in terms of price, in terms of size, in terms of what they stand for.”

Next week on Why Meaning Matters, the changing meaning and consumer understanding of infection and disease.

Why Meaning Matters is a podcast produced by Story Studio Network and iContact Productions for MotivBase- Decoding implicit meaning behind what people talk about.

If you want to contribute to the conversation, make sure you drop us an email at hello [at] storystudionetwork [dot] com. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to SHARE it, RATE it, and SUBSCRIBE to the show!

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