Having worked in luxury retail for several years now I have often been challenged to design presentations and experiences that represent the definition of luxury. In the retail world we try to define luxury through materials, objects and non-necessities but I honestly don't think that it is the concrete but more of the conceptual that represents luxury. The meaning of luxury cannot be defined by one definition. Chances are we know what luxury is and think we can ultimately harbor it through possessions but when you really step back and try to define the word more often than not, luxury represents an experience or the emotions that arise when our individual selves feel we have exceeded our life's expectations.
To me, luxury is lying in my bed on Friday evening with my husband at one side and my dogs on the other. It's the knowing that I don't HAVE to be up for work the next morning and that I can sleep in, in complete comfort knowing that I'm with the one that I love most. It's almost like a feeling of being blessed. In another way, luxury can be the first sip of a glass of Dom Pérignon, the second you sink into a tub filled with the perfect temperature of hot water and bubbles or moment after you and your horse have landed that outrageously wide oxer that was set within an in-and-out line (this is horse talk but that experience is like non other). In reality luxury does not have to come with a high price tag.
I was recently reading through the April Vogue Living Australia (which by the way, is my favorite magazine right now). The touch on this very subject and asked several taste-makers what their definition of luxury was and everyone gave a different answer. The broke the word into 3 areas: Experience, Memory, Object, Here are a few of my favorites, after the jump.
Luxury is. . .
André Leon Talley - Contributing editor, US Vogue
"To be able to take control of one's life, health, and the pursuit of happiness in a way that is joyful."
Martin Raymond - Co-founder and strategy and insight director, The Future Laboratory, London, UK
"Solitude, emptiness, big skies."
Alex von Heeren - Founder of The Huka Retreats
"The freedom to choose and the time to do the things one wants to."
Ilse Crawford - Designer/founder, Studioilse, London, UK
"An adjective and not a noun. In an era of faster, cheaper, newer, more, it has a strongly human dimension."
Liane Rossler - Designer/Artists/Seed Planter
"Objects that look and feel beautiful, and age well. They have a quality of authenticity, and have been thoughtfully considered from the design process and the making right through to the end life. It can be something like a beautifully soft blanket, or a chair that feels great when you sit in it, or a cool breeze on a hot day."
Lady Weinberg - Designer
The article in Vogue Living is so lovely I had to share my favorite parts. Isn't it refreshing to know that it's not all about material things? When you read this, what thoughts come to mind about luxury? What does it mean to you? Thanks for reading. . . my best, Lauren.