In this series ‘Luxury Musings’, we spend time rediscovering and exploring how to describe and express luxury.
You are invited to discover luxury from a fresh perspective.
There is so much to understand about luxury.
Unfortunately how it has been described in recent past, typically in the name of marketing or the use of a luxury strategy on brands that are premium or not luxury at all, creates more confusion than clarity.
Here we aim to take a fresh look for clarity at it how it is described and understood.
As a result, years of confusion took the gilding off the word and rendered the word ‘luxury’, diluted to the point of meaninglessness. However, that is not to say that there is no meaning in luxury. There is in that which is true luxury. To begin to find it, let’s explore the understanding of true luxury by looking at it from a different perspective.
According to the book Meta-Luxury Brands and the Culture of Excellence, written by Rebecca Robins and Manfredi Ricca, the definition of luxury has already been damaged beyond repair. “As we have seen, the term ‘luxury’ has been overexposed, overstretched, deformed and diluted, and as a result is now worn out beyond recovery. We believe there is no longer the opportunity to reshape its meaning, and to bring back a deeper, comprehensive and universally acceptable sense to it. Every year brings to the shelves new books on the subject, new conferences convening discourses on variations on the theme of luxury. As a result, every year seems to bring up new new definitions, with the ultimate result of making the word ever more meaningless.
“There is a paradigm resurrecting authentic art and science, and bringing together craftsmen and connoisseurs not manufacturers and consumers.”
“Ultimately it is about a culture itself, based on the quest for an absolute.” The authors of the book refer to the new paradigm as a term coined META-LUXURY, is a “form of luxury that escapes the cliches of so-called luxury. It is about luxury beyond luxury.“
It is in meta-luxury that there is clarity.
Let’s take it a step further with a means for visualisation to go beyond the simplification that poses a problem in understanding luxury.
The Problem : Simplifying the Definition of Luxury.
Most views or descriptions try to distill and simplify luxury. True luxury cannot be simplified. Trying to simplify it renders the description incomplete. Lets look at the problems with simplification.
Luxury is and always be complex in nature. Luxury simply, ‘is’. The problem with most people’s descriptions or understanding is they tend to be narrow views, only looking at one aspect and declaring that aspect is ‘it’, luxury defined. but it is not. Some even attempt to distill the definition of luxury. Luxury, cannot be distilled. It is far too complex for that. Luxury is so much more than one dimensional; it is a complex eco-system, a business model, a state of mind, a way of thinking and more. Luxury is multi-dimensional. Thought it can be experienced and expressed sharing a singular view, a singular view alone, does not capture the full definition of luxury, and by that I mean ‘true luxury’, or meta-luxury.
A Solution: A Fresh Perspective – Giving Shape to Understanding Luxury.
A shape that fits is that of a gemstone.
Why? Because like a gemstone, like luxury is multi-faceted.
Seeing Luxury as Multi-Faceted and Complex
Imagine a facet of the gem represents a facet of the luxury definition. All the facets together make looking at true luxury whole.
What we aim to do here in this illustration is give some clarity and a way to visualize the complexity of luxury. We illustrated this concept below to give visual representation to describing and understanding luxury, by giving it a multi-faceted shape and indicating facets of luxury.
So when thinking about the definition of luxury, think of it like a a gemstone, with its facets representing the aspects that make up the description. Together the gem with all the facets, (the definition of luxury) can be whole. But it’s not fully defined if only regarded in one or just a few of the facets.