In most English dictionaries, “luxury” is defined as a life of great comfort and abundance. Coco Chanel defines it as the absence of vulgarity. And Lwren Scott defines it as a state of mind.
Yet, the concept of “luxury” is a highly fluid concept. “Luxury” to some people can only be defined by spending a lot of money on things that are top of the line in their class. To other people, “luxury” is acquiring unique things, limited editions, and living experiences only a few people can. Yet, some others believe that “luxury” is excellence, married to minimalism.
In effect, “luxury” cannot be defined strictly; because no one definition is exclusive nor exhaustive. We are living in an era where you and I can define “luxury” as anything that makes us feel good, happy and comfortable. A whole array of things under subjective definitions can be promoted to “luxuries“; whereas “things” that are currently in high demand will drop down from the definition of “luxury” the moment supply meets demand.
I’ve encountered lately, a lot of interesting re-definitions of “luxury“, I’ll be sharing them here with you as I endeavor to find out more on how to subjectively define “luxury“:
“Time and silence are the most luxurious things today”: This definition by Tom Ford is one of my favorites; as the most expensive Hermes bag will do me nothing if I do not have a couple of hours per day for myself.
“For me, true luxury can be caviar or a day with no meetings, no appointments, and no schedule”: Michael Kors puts it perfectly, defining a scarcely found break in a busy life as a luxury.
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“Luxury is in each detail”: Hubert de Givenchy is basically telling you that luxury is in things well made; not in the biggest logo you can find.
“Luxury is not to be compelled by obligation”: I am not sure what Ashton Kutcher meant, but in fashion it translates to acquiring luxuries because you truly want them; not because you are peer pressured (or socially pressured) to have them.
“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury”: What Gabrielle Chanel is telling you here, is that you do not have to stop breathing to fit yourself in a Herve Leger dress, nor suffer sore feet for a Louboutin Pigalle; if it doesn’t feel good, it is not a luxury.
“An expensive car says you have money, a customized car says you have taste”: There’s no mention of luxury here, but I see this as a new definition of luxury. Luxury is not about buying expensive things, but about knowing which expensive things to buy.
“Luxury falls the moment supply meets demand”: This is one of the rules of luxury marketing, which also can serve as a definition of luxury. Simply put, it is no longer a luxury when everyone already owns it, or even can buy it.
These quotes and their interpretations, as well as countless new age definitions of luxuries; are there to tell us that a “luxury” is a not a “thing” nor a strict list of defining criteria; but rather a fluid concept that “aware” people know how to customize and make their own. A concept that can be applied to a bag, a car, a trip, a good book, an event, a glass of wine; or simply to a time well spent.
The new age definition of “a luxury” is increasingly moving further away from monetary value; and closer to exclusivity, excellence, subjectivity and value added.