Before debating whether a brand is a luxury brand, high-end, or not: check your privilege.
There are many aspects that affect one’s circumstances.
From Uniqlo trending as a relatively higher-end brand in the Philippines, to the Charles and Keith debate in Singapore caused by TikTok just prove that different brands mean different things to different people.
In the last week of December 2022, a debate was stirred on Twitter about Uniqlo as one of the higher-end brands in the Philippines because their products actually sometimes cost more than the current minimum wage in the country. Many agreed that although the Japanese-based brand is a fast fashion brand, many Filipinos see purchases from the store as a luxury because of how they are priced.
Japanese locals, however, may see the brand as affordable basic wear, but that’s because we have a varying cost of living.
I remember talking to a Japanese local when Uniqlo came to PH & they're suprised that it's treated by many here as higher end. In 🇯🇵 they consider it as one of their cheapest go-tos for affordable basic wear -shows the huge gap bet our cost of living + we're much less developed.
— Ichan a.k.a. Rara ⛏️ 👷 (@ichanisrara) December 26, 2022
Meanwhile, an innocent TikTok of a girl just sharing how grateful she was to finally have a Charles and Keith bag started a disjunct on the app.
Many came to the comments straightaway as if correcting the girl that the brand is not a luxury brand.
@zohtacothank you dad ♬ Glitch – Just audios
Zoe, who merely posted the TikTok to show appreciation for her father quickly answered the comments by writing ‘i am so happy and grateful for you, that you can consider Charles and Keith not a luxury.’ In the video, she speaks up about growing up and not having a lot of money.
She also spoke about how a single comment can instantly show who has money or not. “I can’t believe I got hate over a bag that I was so excited to have.” she says after pointing out that her father worked for the $80 bag that might not have been much for other people, but meant and cost a lot for her.
@zohtaco Replying to @cressy ♬ original sound – zoe 🦋
Comments coming to Zoe’s defense quickly outpoured, many saying their first expensive purchases also came from the brand. Many also said she had a good father for buying her something she has always wanted.
It’s easy to just simply tweet and comment on the Internet as if knowing a lot, but before saying something about someone else, it is always important to recognize that not everybody has the same access to the same privileges in life. A basic purchase for you might be an important one for another person, and that is ok.