To define something, we often talk of a vision, a point of view, the way we see it. What if some matters were more complex than that? What if, the real question should be: how do we feel it? So, when we went to ask people what was luxury for them, we didn’t only ask about their vision, but about how they perceive luxury as a sensorial experience. It turns out that each sense is solicited by several sectors of the luxury industry. When we asked about luxury and touch, some spoke about the quality, the sensuality of the different materials as leather or silk. We questioned about smell, they answered about the subtlety of High Perfumery, or the smell you could discover while traveling the world. About hearing, the first thing was music, music in itself (Opera, violin…), music as an addition to a universe, to a more global experience as a fashion show or as in a stay at a palace. The sight, of course, where some evoked the aestheticism of Haute Couture, the fashion store displays, the straight lines of minimalism or even some beautiful landscapes. And when we talked about taste, we were not very surprised to hear about French Gastronomy, or little treats as delicate pastries.
But where luxury can evoke dream and positive feelings, it is not always the first thing that comes to people’s minds. Actually, in a more theoretical way, we can say that there are three main attitudes toward luxury, and that, most of the time, we can divide people opinions in one of those categories*. Elitism, democratization and distance.
When we asked, for instance, Floriane (26) Brigitte (58) and Frédérique (51) what was, in a few words, luxury for them, the answers were drastically different. When Frédérique talked fondly about pleasure, beauty and rarity (elitism), Floriane, on the other hand, was more critical. She talked about the waste, after each collection, when some clothes are thrown away (distance). To her, as a consumer, a luxury product needs to be useful, a timeless and minimalist piece. Brigitte was soberer in her words. She envisions luxury as something inaccessible, and isn’t really about materialism. Luxury, for her, lies in the precious and shared moments, more in the experience than in its classy and shiny image, all exclusivity (democratization). Luxury is above all a sophisticated sensorial experience. Exclusive, it doesn’t appear to everyone in the same way, and if it is the stuff of many dreams, it should be careful of the actions that could tarnish its image, or lead to plain frustration.
Alexandra Bessieres, Della Ezzeddine, Laura Gasnier and Aude Guarnieri
#mbaluxe #DecodingLuxury #61Charron
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