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One of the most truly “revolutionary” frontiers in the direct-to-consumer retail revolution is luxury.
The industry has come a long way from being able to determine the social status of a person simply by how many indigo or purple clothes they could afford to wear.
Today, aided by a globalized, digitized economy, it’s easier than ever to make luxury affordable and accessible. Startups cut out middlemen, build direct relationships, and pass the savings on to increasingly savvy customers. New labels may not carry the heritage or distinct design direction of fashion houses, but they can deliver comparable quality for a fraction of the price.
One of the best examples of democratized luxury is Italic, a startup that sells unbranded luxury goods that come from the same factories used by some of the world’s most upscale brands, without the markup associated with a designer name. We reviewed the company’s leather bags and found them to be worth the hype.
There’s one catch: in order to take advantage of Italic’s low prices on luxury, you have to be a member. Yearly membership is usually $120, but our readers can use ‘businessinsider‘ at checkout for 30% off the fee, bringing the price to $84 for the year. Once you’re in, there are plenty of luxury goods that make the savings worthwhile, including bedding from the same manufacturers that make Frette linens, suitcases from the same makers of Away luggage, and $45 slippers from the same manufacturers as Uggs. But so far, one of our favorite finds on Italic is its scented candles for $22.
These candles are made from the same factories that produce scents for brands like Hermès and Vera Wang. They cost about 90% less than the high-end option, and they promise a comparable burn time of approximately 40 hours.
Italic candles are 100% vegan soy, and they’re hand-poured into a beautiful jar made from reclaimed ocean glass.
The 8.5-ounce candles are all $22 and have been prone to selling out in the past, but you can currently shop them in the following four scents:
I burned the Black Currant Geranium (no longer available) all during fall, and it’s become one of my favorite candles for its scent and its throw. This is one of those candles that expands to fill a space. The scent is complex but not overwhelming, and my roommates can smell it from the kitchen when it’s burning in my room a few feet away. The minimalist glass container works with any home decor too.
Personally, I have no problem justifying the purchase of a stellar candle. Scent is a comforting means of personalization, and olfactory memories tend to be particularly strong. I prefer to be stingy elsewhere and invest in the sort of creature comforts that make a $98 robe and $100 smart lights my most cherished possessions. But even though the cost isn’t my main concern, I plan to buy another Italic candle. It’s genuinely a good candle, and its affordability is a welcome perk.
I plan to buy more of the Italic Scented Candle as gifts as well. They’re particularly well suited for the job: Firstly, because the company is an interesting, little-known startup that’s fun to discover and backed up by consistently great products. Secondly, the candles are both affordable enough to buy en masse and a gift innocuous enough to give to anyone on your list. And lastly, because they’re a genuinely good deal when it comes to price and performance.
If you’re planning to hit up a good amount of birthday parties or even bridal and baby showers, and don’t want to show up empty-handed, it may be smart to buy a few and keep them on hand. Whichever ones survive the year then become gifts to yourself.
All in all, for $22, Italic does a great job of making a luxurious experience affordable whether you’re buying one for yourself or as a gift.