“Taste”, status symbols, and visible branding
There is a truism (which I’ve heard many times) that the most expensive products do not have splashy logos, and that it’s mainly the entry-level products with the most visible branding. Compare a $400 purse with a huge logo pattern to a $10k purse with a tiny subtle brand symbol.
EXAMPLE: [$18k Michael Kors bag has no logo, $200 bag says “MK” on it.](https://imgur.com/a/3LLiUDU)
EDITED TO ADD ANOTHER EXAMPLE: [$10k Tiffany necklace has no branding, $150 Tiffany necklace says “RETURN TO TIFFANY”.](https://imgur.com/a/XwgemtG)
I have often heard this explained in the following way (which I now see as rather classist and about to critique; stay tuned….): the “real, tasteful” rich people (who buy the really expensive stuff) are “secure” enough in their status that they don’t need the splashy logo; they just want the quality (and they can also trust that the people they want to impress can recognize more subtle signs of quality in their clothing). They also have enough “taste” to NOT want splashy logos (which are assumed to be “tacky”). That’s why the $10k purses don’t have big logos.
The “tasteless social climbers” want to show off the designer logos because they’re insecure in their status, because the ignorant people around them only recognize logos rather than subtle quality; and because these people have a “tacky” taste for logos. That’s why the $400-range purses have logos plastered all over them.
Then I realized that this explanation is very classist and simplistic. It seems to rely on an idea that people buying $10k purses inherently have more “taste” than those buying $400 purses (problematic, classist). It seems to assume that splashy logos are inherently tacky (questionable, classist?). It also seems to suggest that people who can spend $10k on a purse are automatically more secure in their status than people who can spend $400 (questionable, classist, problematic).
Has anyone else been exposed to this sort of myth about taste, status, and logos? How do you think about it?