First and foremost, people have intrinsic value, not clothing, shoes or accessories. We attribute value to these items (1) because they literally serve the function of protecting us from the elements and (2) because they [can] serve to highlight the natural assets of the wearer. So McQueen and Carhartt do both literally clothe you, but they are intended for very different purposes and are not equitable.
The chasm separating some brands widens when accounting for craftsmanship, materials, heritage, etc. and all of these factors serve to reinforce the notion of "brands" to whom we so readily pledge allegiance. The challenge remains finding designers whose products are equitable for each client's needs and goals.
Next time: Fashion as a tool for communication.