ASOS, the website you turn to if you want a cheap copy of a celebrity outfit, has launched a ‘luxe’ range. Still named after the stars, and still copied straight from outfits they’ve worn, the range is much the same in concept, just more taxing on your wallet.
The pieces appear to be pretty and the quality looks like it could be good – though without seeing the fabric it’s always hard to tell. Our question, though: is this a brand extension can ASOS pull off?
Brand extensions are tricky – if designers like Stella McCartney continue to extend out, making their brand widely accessible and hence less exclusive, will they survive? After all, the reason people are willing to pay much more for a designer item is not just the quality, but the exclusivity that comes with it. If every second person down the street is wearing a cheaper version which still has the brand name attached, then that exclusivity ceases to exist. Of all the designers currently doing collaborations it is Stella who is most likely to fall into this trap of a devalued name; she is literally everywhere.
As for ASOS; they are known for their very cheap ‘celebrity-inspired’ outfits. Now they’re trying to be know for their somewhat-cheap ‘celebrity-inspired’ outfits. Do their market go there for very cheap, and will they be interested in the somewhat-cheap offerings? Will they be willing to spend a more sizeable amount on what is still, essentially, a cheap copy?