“A luxury item is something expensive which is not necessary but which gives you pleasure” – Collins English dictionary
Going way back in history luxury has always represented status – a symbol of your place in society. If you could afford a luxury item, you hade made it, but does that still hold true today?
I have read recently that millennials (people born in the 1980’s/1990’s) aspire to experiences rather than objects, but when they purchase things to own, the definition of what is a luxury item has changed.
Ten to twenty years ago, if you asked someone to list luxury items, it would have included expensive handbags, watches, jewellery and maybe 5-star hotels. Nowadays, a lot of those brand names can be seen on the high street and are obtainable to more people (less exclusive) – not helped by the illegal cheap copies!
Quality, not exclusivity, is now the key definer of luxury for consumers globally. Outward displays of wealth are less common, and in its place are items that demonstrate the consumer’s knowledge, as well as their social and environmental awareness.
|Past Luxury values||Current Luxury values|
|– Exclusivity||– High quality/craftsmanship|
|– Showy richness||– Authenticity|
|– Expensive||– Elegance|
|– Elitism||– Meaningfulness|
|– Rareness||– Experiences|
|– Pretentious||– Individualisation|
In summary, luxury has become much less “look what I have” and has moved towards “look who I am”