There is been a lot of discussion about the yawning gap in income here in the US. Besides being political fodder, the conversation has brought up many uncomfortable truths we might rather not deal with -- for example, how should we as a society level the playing field for the disadvantaged? How can we ensure greater access to quality education across the board? How do we create a fairer taxation system?
As a fledgling luxury brand, there is inherent discomfort in knowing that our brand, as all luxury brands, may be symbolic of this great divide. We inherently are recognizing and catering to people who have more than others -- with the intent of earning some of that wealth. And while there is a certain patina to being considered a luxury brand, at the end of the day, we are solving problems that affect many regardless of their income. For example, in the case of Blu Salt, are women who are not in the top earning / net worth bracket any less in need of high-quality, sustainable carry products?
When discussing the need for yet another luxury brand, let's consider the following: typically, what does one hope to get with a higher priced/luxury product? In my case, I am usually looking for a high-quality, well-designed item. Brand names are used as short-hand to convey those technical attributes -- good quality finishing, durability, beautiful accessories, etc. To that end, these aspects of producing a high-quality product do cost money, and the higher price points on brand name goods reflect that. However, there is some element of signalling as well that occurs, and this is where brands run into issues -- when the brand name become more a representation of wealth rather than a reflection of the product itself, we have to wonder if luxury products are truly serving the greater good.
How should we then build a luxury brand? Blu Salt was born to blend luxury and functional design - the prices we charge are reflective of that ideology and of the work it takes to bring products like ours to life. We aim to provide value for money by providing sustainable materials, a vetted and well-paid supply chain and expertly designed products. With regards to the brand recognition of luxury, we are all for being associated with high quality and aesthetically pleasing work. However, in order that we not fall into the trap of designing purely to be recognized, we've focused our efforts on creating silhouettes that are functional and starkly minimalist. We typically display a logo on the exterior and nothing more. Our customers are people who are not looking for that signalling effect but rather appreciate our understated, design focused ideology - and reward us with their business accordingly.
We hope this provides more insight into why Blu Salt was created, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic too.