Expensive Designer Sunglasses Aren’t Worth a Human Life

Expensive Designer Sunglasses Aren’t Worth a Human Life

There is a well-known secret in the fashion world: people will spend exorbitant amounts of money on designer labels despite quality, craftsmanship, and materials not being any better. It is the nature of the beast. But is it possible that we are taking this beast too far? Is it possible that fashion marketing has created a monster?

The impetus for this post is a December 6, 2019 news article published by WDIV in Detroit. That piece highlighted how Cartier Buffalo sunglasses are all the rage in the Motor City. They are also getting people killed. Take a few minutes to read the story and you might come to the conclusion that we’ve gone too far. Expensive designer sunglasses are not worth human lives.

Sunglasses as Status Symbols

At Olympic Eyewear in Salt Lake City, Utah, designers work as hard as anyone to come up with attractive designs they believe their customers will appreciate. Olympic Eyewear designs more than two dozen brands sold by retailers across the country. Retail prices for Olympic Eyewear brands are a fraction of the cost of Cartier’s.

A pair of Cartier Buffalo sunglasses will set you back $2,500. In some parts of the country, they are considered a status symbol. Those who can afford a pair have apparently reached some level of success that the rest of us can only hope to achieve. But stop and think about that for just one minute. A society that measures success by way of possessions is one that seems to have lost its way.

According to WDIV, an 18-year-old man paid the price for that measure in May 2019. He was approached at a gas station by another man who attempted to steal his sunglasses. He was shot when he resisted. WDIV went on to highlight several more cases involving Cartier sunglasses in the city.

Just Metal and Plastic

It is tragic whenever a life is needlessly taken. But to know that people are being injured and killed for their sunglasses is both mind-numbing and sickening. It doesn’t matter whose name is on your shades. Sunglasses are nothing more than pieces of plastic and metal held together with screws.

There is no way the materials used to make Cartier sunglasses cost $2,500. It would be a miracle if they cost more than $100. Anyone who would threaten someone’s life over a pair of sunglasses has big problems.

An Age of Materialism

Designer sunglasses that sell for thousands of dollars are not a problem in and of themselves. The United States operates under a capitalist economy which affords consumers the right to buy whatever they want to buy. Likewise, that same system gives manufacturers the freedom to create what they want to create. And yet, it all seems quite materialistic.

One of the fundamentals of capitalism is that companies will only sell what customers want. The fact that designers can sell extremely expensive sunglasses is a testament to the reality that people want to buy them. So in the end, materialism goes back to us.

We live in a world that places a premium on possessions. And as far as possessions go, many of us place a high value on brand names. What so many people do not understand is that branding is exclusively a marketing function. It has nothing to do with quality or craftsmanship.

Thankfully, Detroit police report fewer crimes involving Cartier Buffalo sunglasses these days. But the fact that they even have to talk about it says something. No matter what sunglasses you buy, remember this: no brand name is worth a human life.


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