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Rapha: Weaving Story Strands of Luxury

  • Catherine GloverEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Advances in Luxury book series (PAAL)

Abstract

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 in Critical Luxury Studies: Art, Design, Media, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 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 in The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 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.

Keywords

Sport Lifestyle Cyclists Storytelling Community Luxury brand 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northumbria UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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