In San Francisco, vulgarity, "bad taste," ostentation are regarded as a kind of alien blight, an invasion or encroachment from outside. In Los Angeles, there is so much money and power connected with ostentation that is no longer ludicrous: it commands a kind of respect. For if the mighty behave like this, then quiet good taste means that you can't afford the conspicuous expenditures, and you become a little ashamed of your modesty and propriety.
Families are like countries. They have their own language and jokes and secrets and assumptions about the right and wrong ways of doing things, and some of that always shows in the children, the way something of Germany or Australia always shows in a German or an Australian, no matter where they go. Outsiders like it or they don't, they feel at home there or they don't. It's like the taste of cilantro.
The systems of stereotypes may be the core of our personal tradition, the defenses of our position in society. They are an ordered more or less consistent picture of the world, to which our habits, our tastes, our capacities, our comforts and our hopes have adjusted themselves. They may not be a complete picture of the world, but they are a picture of a possible world to which we are adapted. In that world, people and things have their well-known places, and do certain expected things. We feel at home there. We fit in. We are members.
The success factor is a combination of intuition and honestly, it's mostly only intuition. A design business is inherently dependent upon the intuition of its chief designer. Luckily I have a track record that if you show me five pairs of shoes I will almost always pick the one pair that will sell the best. It's just a gift I have for mass taste - a link with what people want in a certain moment in time.