There is no single definition for the word “luxury;” the definition itself has been debated by theorists for decades, all of whom have agreed that the term is highly subjective. However, we do know that the general public likes luxury and that people work hard in order to attain prestigious items.

With this mind, some questions remain: How is the perception of luxury created? In what ways do luxury brands use luxury theory and strategy in order to maintain their brand image? And finally, can those principles be applied to mass-market products in order to create an elevated perception?

The Luxury Paradox aims to explore those questions; both academically and through application. Luxury principles will be applied to nine mass market products in order to elevate those items to prestigious standards and showcase the creation of luxury perception. The goal is to expose the manipulation tactics of the luxury industry and bring awareness to their use of misleading devices—but, in a humouristic way.


Creating this capstone project during the pandemic was not easy to say the least. With lockdown procedures put in place during the start of this book’s creation, the process of completing an art directed photoshoot—let alone nine—became one that was full of obstacles. Shopping malls and studios were closed, outdoor and indoor gatherings were limited, and there was always a risk when exposing yourself to those outside of your social bubble.

This project encouraged me to dig deep, find creative solutions with limited resources, and create a compelling story through art direction, photography, and branding. There was no greater pleasure than seeing my creative vision come to life; for those reasons, this capstone also reinforced my aspirations for pursuing a career in art direction.

With that being said, I would like to acknowledge my amazing family, friends, models, and capstone leader—without your help and support, this book would not have been possible.