What is Luxury?

October, 19 2022


Luxury: A condition of abundance or great ease and comfort.

I believe that the definition of luxury is relative and individual, what one considers luxury often reflects the absence or abundance of ones lifestyle; a person with a lack of time would consider time a luxury whereas someone with a surplus of time would consider it a normality.

To Each Their Own


Luxury comes in many forms, from goods to services to the outrageously extravagant it remains open to interpretation. The unique values we hold dear often define our outlook on luxury. In my case having grown up constantly on the move from boarding school to a 10 year career on yachts my luxury at that time was for most, normality; the “nine to five” life people sought to flee, that sense of community and consistency in my day to day life became a luxury I could not afford, regardless of financial status.

On the other hand, my family and friends from a distance craved what they considered luxury; the regular travel, living on a superyacht chasing the sun around the world; this was relative to the abundance of what they had, and the absence of what I had.

I suppose, in simple terms: The grass is always greener on the other side.

Luxury Then and Now


Luxury has always had a correlation with consumption, in some regards even wasteful consumption. However is this changing? A new definition of luxury revolves around values and responsibility, consumption still takes place, but new generations like Millennials and Gen-Z appear to be more conscious and profoundly reflective whilst doing so.

Previous generations (baby boomers 1945 - 1964) experienced the upswing of economy and optimism, which resulted in luxury translating to material goods; a house, a car or watch. Today new generations focus more and more on socially relevant issues; sustainability and health for example with has led to new concepts of luxury:

  • Sharing over owning

  • Wellbeing and work-life balance

  • Experiences over assets

  • Knowledge & Transparency

  • Digitization & Accountability

It has become a holistic approach, where luxury also means driving positive change.

Democratization of Luxury


Luxury has often been an elitist term, this is changing every day, the new movement towards “public luxury” is on the rise. People and luxury brands are increasingly integrating luxury into their everyday lives, high end luxury brands like Louis Vuitton are teaming up with younger brands like streetwear brand Supreme, Omega with Swatch. These obvious counter movements to the traditional understanding of luxury are being adopted by large corporations who are adapting to these new luxury values.

Now, not all are following in the footsteps of Omega and Louis Vuitton. Companies like Tesla and Lamborghini do not advertise as they know their target audience will not be reached and hold little value or interest in marketing to your “average joe”.

Don’t get so busy making a living, that you forget to make a life. - Dolly Parton

Once more thanks for reading.


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