The definition of luxury
I have been questioning lately the meaning of the word “Luxury” and looking in the dictionary for the definition of luxury, I read this; “Luxury: the unusual intellectual or emotional pleasure or comfort derived from some specific thing, something producing such pleasure or comfort, and of course, the use and enjoyment of the best and the most costly things that offer the most physical comfort and satisfaction”
While things like prestige, exclusivity, and premium price tags are the enduring hallmarks of buying luxury items, however, there is much more to luxury than that. There is an evolution and change to the definition of the word ‘luxury’. This new definition centers on the more easily attainable aspects of luxury; something that our modern living, mass consumption lifestyles have caused the masses to move away from and now, we are returning to them: they are the aspects of quality and comfort. These seem to be coming back and are definitely much sought after.
“Luxury” is also a state of mind and a sensory experience. The Luxury experience extends beyond ownership of a ‘luxury’ good. There is the appreciation, attention and enjoyment that makes luxury. There are many simple luxuries that can be added without cost that can shift you into a luxurious way of thinking. Being luxurious involves how we experience the things around us. What things do you do to make your everyday a little more luxurious?
I think the trend here is a movement back to purchasing quality and with quality, also comes comfort. Comfort in the materials used that effect the feel and experience, comfort knowing that quality lasts longer than a consumable from leading and holds its value, sometimes that value over time appreciates. And particularly where fine jewellery and luxury goods are concerned, now one benefits from better customer service experience that only buying a luxury brand brings.
Very recently financial forecasters and luxury industry experts alike reckon that ‘luxury is becoming the new normal’. There is a flaw in that thinking and it is further damaging to the already fractured definition of luxury. Mass manufactured products possibly need to raise the bar and offer higher quality instead of the disposable nature they pose to restore consumer confidence.
I have asked a few of our fine jewellery designers what their definition of luxury is when the definition continues to evolve as the markets expand and new emerging markets demand more of luxury goods, services and experiences.
“Those are my words – luxury really is that to me: having the time, the resources and the will to get your message, your vision, your work out there.”
“I associate luxury with pleasure and quality, but not excessiveness. It can be found in small and simple things or moments. It’s a real experience that makes you feel special.”
“Luxury to me is something intangible. Its a state of mind, it has to do with freedom and the control over time.
But if I had to talk about luxury in a material way, I would say that it is the conquest of something rare. We always searched for rare objects, because they immediately infuse us with power and personality. Especially now that there is this great individualism.”
“Constraining luxury to noble and high craftsmanship material only is inconsequential. I see luxury in every sunrise & sunset, in nature, in family & friends, in happy gatherings…”
Luxury is in the details; it is in simplicity, peace, harmony, optimism and love for those who choose to see it.”
“Luxury is when beauty complements functionality; it is the privilege of enjoying a service or owning an object created according to a designer’s vision and praised for its precious materials, exceptional craftsmanship and overall long-lasting quality.”
“Luxury means something different to each person. For me, it’s something that elevates me. The best way to elevate something is to add light – and diamonds do just that.”
“Mastercraftsmanship has always been a luxury – a machine is a tool and the results are only as good as the creativity and skill of the mind that works them. Good design is a luxury too; qualities that contribute to that – perspective, independence, investigation, time – are increasingly becoming luxuries in themselves. Good things come to those who wait and having the confidence to hold true to this is perhaps the greatest luxury of all.”
“Luxury is thoughtfulness; it is the employment of imagination, craftsmanship, authenticity of ideas. Luxury is the unique input of creativity and passion morphed into an object that does not shout but rather whispers words of desire.”