Rapha: weaving story strands of luxury

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British cycling company Rapha presents itself as a premium brand offering high quality apparel, concierge travel services, boutique 'clubhouses' and beautiful publications. Since 2004, it has enjoyed year-on-year growth and in 2016 sales increased almost 30% to £63 million (Wood 2017). This chapter critiques how we can know that and know how (Roberts and Armitage 2016) Rapha is a luxury brand – contrary to its labelling as 'premium' – and how this can be established through socio-cultural sense-making of the brand offerings, through critical textual analysis. This chapter interrogates how Rapha has developed a luxurious 'storyworld' (Abbott 2008) and charts how story strands of luxury are woven through its material artefacts, texts and environments, acting as a symbolic 'red thread' that cohesively binds the brand together.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Luxury Fashion
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Emotions to Brand Building
EditorsIsabel Cantista, Teresa Sádaba
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9783030256548
ISBN (Print)9783030256531
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2020

Publication series

NamePalgrave Advances in Luxury
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


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