This is an interesting question. I would argue that all 'needs' are relative to (and reflect) a specific desire. At the most basic level, a need for food and water relate to a desire to live. If we abstract upward, the 'need' for goods of conspicuous consumption relate to a desire for social validation and acceptance. Veblen does not explicitly make this point - he merely describes the role that consumption plays in signifying social status. He does, however, touch upon needs and desires implicitly, noting that when one becomes accustomed to a certain standard of living, it becomes very difficult to regress and what once seemed like luxuries start to feel like 'needs.'