As a luxury real estate marketing professional it is important to tune into the way in which opinion leaders define luxury-not just those in the real estate realm. It will help you ascertain your own definition of luxury. Here’s an interesting quote about luxury and the recession from Michael Burke, the president and CEO of the famed Italian fashion house, Fendi:
“Luxury should not be affordable. It cannot be, it shouldn’t be for everybody. The way the products are made, the quality and the work, luxury is not for instantaneous gratification, one should aspire for it. There has recently been far too much froth in an overcrowded marketplace”, adds the executive, “too much fast luxury. That’s why we need a recession so there is equilibrium and so we can return to the real values of luxury.”
Perhaps, the true value of luxury is appreciation, e.g., the pleasure and the enjoyment of fine craftsmanship. Appreciation cannot be purchased; it is an emotional response to seeing and feeling something that delights our senses. Does one have to own it to appreciate it?
Today the majority of the wealthy talk about the luxury of time as being one their most important luxuries. Their interests are veering away from the latest fashion to social consciousness, and to experiential luxury. Most talk about spending quiet time with family or just sitting and watching a sunset, or even doing nothing. Can you buy time?
If luxury is essentially experiential then luxury is for everyone. It is about viewing one’s environment as a source of luxurious moments that are absolutely free. Friends who have visited the poorest corners of the world marvel at the happiness of the people and their willingness to share their perceived abundance.