His royal highness the box
The market seems to have gone crazy and, worse still, it is not known what it will surprise us with next.
I can’t travel, so I started reading more (not only my favorite authors); after all, one needs to know what’s going on in the world. Skipping all the catastrophic news that are unbearable without anesthesia, I now review lighter topics more often. On the website of the British weekly magazine “The Sunday Times”, I recently came across the following headline: “Keep those designer handbags, we’ll buy the empty boxes instead.” I started reading and couldn’t believe my eyes. The author of the article, Louise Eccles, writes about the new trend of buying paper bags and empty boxes of luxury brands online. To those of you who think this is a purchase for a good cause, I hasten to inform you that it is not. This trend is not about protecting the planet and recycling. No, ladies and gentlemen, this is a game of appearances. Who is playing it and why? It turns out that the paper bags and boxes in which luxury goods are packed have also become a marketable commodity. As L. Eccles writes, customers are ready to pay hundreds of pounds for Chanel, Louis Vuitton or Tiffany packaging in order to “decorate” their wardrobe with them, i.e. create an elegant background for social media posts. It’s about creating an illusion that here I am, back from a big shopping trip and I haven’t had the time to unpack yet, but I wanted to immediately share my happiness with my followers (and others), because I always share every happy news with them.
So if you can’t afford a Chanel purse, a Tiffany’s necklace or a Rolex watch, worry not: buy a box and a paper bag, and you’ll have a substitute for luxury for a mere few hundred euros. When you come back from online shopping, arrange a suitable scenery from your spoils (i.e. packaging) that will look good in a photo, take a photo with it (or make a short video), upload it to Instagram, Pinterest or TikTok and voilà. Upon seeing your handiwork, your followers will surely sigh that they too would like to live your life of luxury.
What has the most value? Both the packaging of well-known fashion houses and selected watch brands (obviously not the niche ones, since only the select few know them, and this does not guarantee the “wow” effect and hundreds of comments under your post) are very popular. The highest prices are achieved by packaging with the Rolex logo – paper bags sell for an average of around 40, and boxes for around 360 euros. Empty Omega boxes, in turn, can sell for around 160 euro, and Breitling for around 130 euro.
As you know, every trend is driven by someone or something. According to L. Eccles, the “box fashion” arose from the desire to imitate the lifestyle of the rich and famous. And among the most followed celebrities, the Kardashian clan is currently in the lead. For many of their followers, the Kardashian and Jenner sisters are an oracle in almost every area of life (meaning: they’re rich, so they probably know what’s good). And since each of them loves appearing on Instagram surrounded by luxury products, their followers want to emulate them. The problem is that luxury costs money and not everyone can afford regular purchases in boutiques of top brands. So we’re back to the starting point, i.e. the game of appearances.
As I read the article, I laughed hysterically every now and then – it was a defense mechanism by which my psyche tried to somehow cope with the excess of emotions. After reading it, it was difficult for me to recover; so I went to work in the garden to relax. Fortunately, everything is the same there: flowers are blooming, weeds are growing, and the aphid attack here and there.