The $3,074 Bra And The End Of Shame

OPINION
By Kevin Horrigan
St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

On June 10, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Italian lingerie company La Perla is selling a $3,074 bra. It is made out of goose feathers.

But not just any goose feathers. Hand-dyed goose feathers, each one lovingly sewn into place at La Perla’s Bologna factory into an undergarment made to the buyer’s specific measurements. For another $17,000, you can get a matching hoodie.

The workmanship is said to be phenomenal. As you would hope.

Why did I read this story (apart from my enduring interest in women’s haute couture)? Because it had a headline on it that read, “Who Wears a $3,074 Bra?” People have won awards for headlines that weren’t as good as that.

The story did not answer a few key questions, number one being, “Wouldn’t a goose feather bra be sort of uncomfortable?”

Number two would be, “What are the washing instructions?” Number three would be, “Why would the hoodie have to match? Is bras-and-hoodies a thing?” Number four would be, “Given that some women would require many more goose feathers than others, are all the bras the same price?”

These sorts of questions apparently fall into the, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it” category.

The key paragraph in this story was this one:

“Italian lingerie brand La Perla is undertaking a transformation that says a lot about the world’s current penchant for ultraluxury goods. The context for this is a global economy where wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of ultra-high-net-worth individuals representing 1 in every 35,000 people, according to a recent report by the Singapore-based research firm Wealth X that was underwritten by UBS. Their wealth rose on average by $1.8 million last year to $139.4 million per individual — so little wonder they don’t bat an eye at $1,000 panties. The group’s wealth is equivalent to 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.”

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