Luxury, the holy grail of retail. The dream world of the ever-thirsty consumers. A £20k handmade bag in an exotic reptile skin with engraved personal initials. A Lamborghini in a 6.5litre superfast engine and single digit mpgs. A private vacation on the Maldives, pardon your own island. A 20 bedroom mansion in Saint Tropez.
Bling-bling. Heaven for most ears. This is, however, luxury a decade ago, expensive and somehow old-fashioned.
Cheeky marketing brains have turned this coveted word into a gold mine as luxury has stepped down to the high streets so everyone can chop its own deluxe piece. “Limited”, “Exclusive”, “Finest”, “Superb” and “Excellent quality” shout in a fierce battle from Louis Vuitton through Gap to Tesco.
But is luxury really possible in a world when big brands are nothing more than monopoly supermarkets for designer goods?
Is luxury really a designer watch made under a licensee company with other brands’ watches under the hood?
The BIG question is: How is the luxury market evolving when nothing is hardly that rare anymore? What is actually 21-st century luxury?
Oxford Dictionary gives a simple definition: “Something difficult to obtain”.
In a world of endless consumption, there’s no doubt in one thing – nothing ever seems difficult to obtain. And if it is, it’s quickly copied by other players as not to miss their share from the cash cow a.k.a. the current trend.
Surely natural resources are limited. There’s a certain amount of land, water, oil, precious stones, metals, forests, wild-life creatures. Shall we grow cotton or lettuce is simply dictated by the market demand. However, the serious dilemma of the future is where this will take place.
With constant deforestation pushed by our steady explosion into the billions population, it comes to no surprise the figures for living flora and fauna have been plumbing rapidly through the years while we stare at windows dreaming of our next purchase.
Moreover – few of us realise even that nature has been taken from us, turned into a product and sold back in a luxury package. Feeling thirsty by chance? Grab a bottle of posh island mineral water to go with that free-range organic eggs from happy-running, football playing, sun-bathing hens. All adjectives your grandmother would never had heard of.
Inevitably then - what is the future meaning of luxury? Should it not move from using the rarest and finest resources available to start protecting them?
Or shall we wait for the moment when there’ll be no more resources at all? Aren‘t conscious, responsible and recycled the new synonyms on the horizon?
Because 21-st century luxury is a car that drives like a Lamborghini but relies on electricity.
Because 21st luxury is a bag that doesn’t kill but preserves the exotic reptiles with a donation.
Because 21st luxury is a mansion with a small farm and a vegetable garden all running on sustainable, renewable eco energy.
Because simply luxury is already the possibility to think brightly about the future without sacrificing the present.
A real luxury lover,