Louis Vuitton has come out with a luxury face shield, and it’s caused quite a stir. While stylish dressers and fans of the brand might be gagging to get their hands on the new accessory, not all of the attention has been positive. There’s also been plenty of outrage over a brand seemingly taking advantage of Covid-19 to rake in the dough. But the controversial face shield might be a genius move – here’s why. For many, using a face shield is a necessity, not a fashion item that makes them feel attractive. But what if the face shield could become an object of desire? World’s most expensive face mask: US$1.5m, 3,000 diamonds, still an N99 filter Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, has often used the word “desire” to describe the allure of luxury. In other words, the driving force behind creating a luxury brand is the ability to create desire; the deep, powerful and inherent desire to be connected with a brand. The brands that create the most desire are those that create most value, and thus are able to convince customers to pay significant price premiums. When there is no desire, there is no luxury. This leads to a critical question: what drives desire? During discussions at my advanced luxury MBA class at Pepperdine University in California, luxury was described as a unique, extravagant and exclusive experience going beyond necessity that only select individuals can afford. What this indicates is that a driver of desire is – to a certain extent – unattainability. A luxury item is extraordinary and allows consumers to break out of the often repetitive and boring patterns of their daily lives. It is an escape and an ultimate treat that makes you feel alive. My professional research could show that luxury even changes us as people. Not recommended for Covid-19: Diamond and gold face mask trend Another highly underestimated driver is that luxury products change our perceptions – from self-perception to the way others perceive us. Beauty is not absolute, but relative, and luxury brands impact that. Not only do we feel more attractive when donning or utilising a luxury item, we are seen by others as more attractive, too. And since everyone endeavours to be loved and admired, luxuries can therefore make us feel better and more secure about ourselves. Luxuries also have the potential to connect us with special moments. Consider a Chanel purse that’s given as a gift by a loved one, or the Rolex watch heirloom passed down through the family. These are more than just products – they are lifelong, powerful reminders. Another critical element for luxury brands is the ability to take risks and stand out. You might be loved or hated as a brand, but consumers’ impressions of you cannot be neutral. Much like art, luxury has to be inspirational. When there’s no inspiration, there’s no desire. Finally, a luxury doesn’t have to be a product – it can also be a service or an experience, such as an unforgettable restaurant. Does Billie Eilish’s Gucci face mask even help prevent coronavirus? Once we encounter a truly unforgettable product or experience, it changes something within us, generating a profound sense of urgency to get more of it. That’s desire in a nutshell. So how does all this apply to Louis Vuitton’s new face shield? The French fashion brand has, in essence, transformed a product of necessity into a product of desire. Nobody has to purchase the Louis Vuitton face shield – but those who do truly desire it. They don’t buy it simply to protect themselves and others from Covid-19, but to escape their daily routines, feel special, and experience that unforgettable something. And that’s what luxury is all about. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .