Volv Concierge Issue #41

🤯 High-end luxury has been scamming you for decades

Hey, fam!

Priyanka here, with a few interesting articles of the week followed by a deep dive about how high-end luxury has been deceiving you for decades.

📰 Some interesting 9-second articles:

  1. Stock-obsessed Gen Z is using astrology and tarot to invest

  2. Flesh-eating bacteria that kills people in two days is spreading

  3. After abortion, the Christian right is coming for divorce next

  4. Taylor Swift is blocking other artists from reaching #1 — Charli XCX now, Billie Eilish earlier

  5. Apple is treating OpenAI like they're an unpaid intern

🤯 Luxury brands have been deceiving you for a long time

Luxury brands are really not going to love Gen Z's latest TikTok obsession: fashion factories. Creators are gaining momentum online by exposing where brands really make their products, reflecting the generation's interest in transparency and provenance. While luxury labels' Instagram shows pristine ateliers, a recent report just revealed the sordid realities.

Dior or Shein?

This week, the luxury world and its customers worldwide just got a reality check. LVMH's Italian subsidiary, which makes your beloved Dior handbags, was exposed for seriously shady labor practices: workers sleeping at their machines and working around the clock in unsafe environments. LVMH did not comment. But all this so Dior can make a handbag for €53 and sell it to you for a shiny €2,600.

The labor practices—shocking. But are we really surprised by the markups? Back in the day, haute couture was the norm for elite society and drove these fashion houses. But today, your perfumes and handbags carry these companies and pay for their multi-million dollar stores on Fifth Ave.

Speaking of perfumes....

That Armani perfume you love? It's made by P&G. Yes, the same company making detergent. Most luxury brands today don't own, create, or distribute their perfumes. They license their names to conglomerates like Procter & Gamble or Coty and stay out of the creative process. When I was learning perfumery, it blew my mind that these luxury scents eventually trickle down into household products, turning into the exact fragrances you find in detergents and air fresheners.

Don't be too bummed—you were lied to a lot more in the past

In America or Japan, shopping for a Valentino suit meant you were buying one genuinely made in Italy. But, in Europe, those same suits often weren't made in Italy. Valentino was notorious for ripping out the 'Made in Egypt' tags for the European market since companies in Europe didn't have to declare where their goods were produced. Some brands even had garments manufactured in China and assembled in Italy to carry the 'Made in Italy' label... the audacity!

To sum it up

Ex-Valentino CEO Michele Norsa said it the best, "Perceived quality is more important than real quality." It's all about creating that lavish story that we happily buy into.

✨ Vibe of the week

I'm shocked by how most founders don't track their emails. If you track an Amazon package, you should definitely be using something like Mailsuite to to see if your email was read or not since that email can potentially change the trajectory of your career.

Got feedback? Leave it here.

This newsletter was edited by Ishita Sen.