The Arc of Luxury

There are a number of iconic luxury brands that have stood the test of time: Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Gucci to name a few. What do they have in common? What inventions influenced the growth and erosion of luxury fashion? Who has been bitten in the arse of expanding too fast? Nathalie Atkinson and Nicholas Mellamphy dissect the current arc of luxury fashion brands.

Nathalie Atkinson is a freelance culture writer, and a columnist for The Globe and MailNathalie worked as a fashion critic for more than a decade and for several years was also the award-winning editor of the National Post Style & Design section.

Sketch by Kagan McLeod


Nicholas Mellamphy has a long career history in luxury retail including as the visionary for the luxury boutique The Room within The Hudson Bay Company. He is currently working on a new luxury retail concept and as a freelance consultant to global fashion brands and design houses.

Photo credit George Pimentel






Luxury brand Hermes has its roots in equestrian goods. Graphic credit

An ad from Louis Vuitton circa 1898 showcasing the brands origins in trunks and travel. Photo credit Villanova University.

This book is an excellent read into the trajectory of luxury brands. Though from 2008 it is safe to say that somethings have changed.


Marshall Field department store, Chicago 1906. The advent of the department store in North America altered the landscape of access of luxury goods from inception to today. Photo credit Chicago History Museum

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