Price on request

Price on request
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First Published: Sat, Mar 31 2007. 12 33 AM IST

Updated: Sat, Mar 31 2007. 12 33 AM IST
How many times have you seen this phrase in Indian fashion and lifestyle magazines?
When we launched Lounge, we were clear that these three words would find no place in your favourite Saturday magazine. We saw no reason for you to request anyone for anything when we could provide you with that information. Readers have a right to know how much the products we feature cost, right?
So what if we have to fight a thousand battles to get you the information.
Everyone knows the luxury market is booming. Everyone knows there are lots of Indians who own Fendi beds that cost Rs30 lakh or Birkin handbags that start at Rs3 lakh or Lamborghini Murciélagos that are now available at your neighbourhood car showroom for Rs3 crore.
Problem is, nobody wants to discuss prices. Why?
Perhaps it’s because, as Radha Chadha and Paul Husband point out in their book, The Cult of the Luxury Brand, many luxury purchases in India and China are paid for in cash (Page 25). Or perhaps it goes beyond any fear of the omnipotent income-tax man.
Maybe it’s because the rules of consumption are changing so fast. And our attitudes about spending money on beautifully-crafted goodies, that seem to cost an inordinate amount of money, are struggling to keep pace.
Or perhaps the reluctance to discuss prices simply stems from the knowledge that these discussions will eventually reach nosey aunt Pammi from Amritsar. And then she’ll have 20 questions about our latest purchase. So, just as we hide our lovers and our smoking habit and the story about the time we danced naked on a bar table in Sydney, we hide the price of our latest luxury purchase.
Of course that makes our job at Lounge that much more difficult, but then we’ve sworn you won’t read those dreaded words: Price on request.
Enjoy our luxury issue which has four extra pages. It’s an accurate reflection of what’s available, how much it costs and how all of us feel about it. And don’t let the prices shock you, luxury is here to stay.
Tell us about your last luxury purchase. Write to lounge@livemint.com
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First Published: Sat, Mar 31 2007. 12 33 AM IST
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