Blog: Prada trainers on the wrong footing
Leonie Barrie | 10 November 2005
“Prada has taken over from Burberry as the new must-have label for chavs,” was the quote in The Sun newspaper this week that would have had fashionistas spluttering over their cornflakes and clearing out their designer collections. The story came to light when expensive Prada hi-top trainers were banned from several nightclubs in northern England after being increasingly worn by troublemakers – more commonly known as chavs.
The problem of a brand suffering image problems by being adopted as the unofficial uniform of a group of yobs has already been experienced by Burberry – whose distinctive check was banned from UK pubs and bars last year before manifesting itself in sliding sales for the company as its image became more and more tarnished.
Unfortunately, it seems a minority have ruined it for the majority. But perhaps the luxury goods makers have themselves had a part to play in their fall from grace. By launching entry-level products to maximise sales to the masses, traditional notions of luxury have been revised. Luxury is no longer reserved for the privileged few and, with their more downmarket associations, Prada (like Burberry) now risks alienating its core customers. It must surely be praying its newfound popularity with this new market sector is just a fleeting fad.
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