How Do You Take Your Luxury?

For those that cannot justify forking out £1000 just for a new phone, there’s a new line of consumer products in the not luxury but luxury arena.

Luxury Lite is a phrase we’re going to be hearing a lot of but what the poodle does it mean?

Luxury Lite refers to the segment of commercial products available to those of us that aspire to being able to afford so called luxury items such as a Gucci watch, a bottle of Chanel perfume or even a de GRISOGONO watch, but simply don’t have the means.
In their place are attainable goods like artisan pizza, private jet hire and celebrity dress rentals.

What luxury brands require is a place at the top of the food chain, what we, the regular punters, can have are luxury lites, a Starbucks coffee or some shredded pork carnitas.
Luxury Lite – the illusion of buying into a luxury or premium lifestyle, but at an affordable price.

You’ll also find terms like ‘preferred’, ‘signature’ or ‘collection’ in use today – and the clever marketeers could also add an air of exclusivity by using the age old ‘limited edition’ label as well.
Some online stores are even relating to the base instinct of labelling some products as ‘last one available’ or telling us that ’27 people just bought …’ therefore creating the illusion of FOMO.

An obvious downside to this is that a brand then becomes diluted. In a recent case, The luxury British brand Burberry burnt just under £29 million worth of goods, including around £11 million of beauty paraphernalia to counteract this possibility.
Apparently, Louis Vuitton is considered a “brand for secretaries” by many wealthy Chinese.

The current social media obsessed world we live in pushes us more and more into a sense that we are entitled to luxury.
If you’d rather go for something ephemeral, hire a jet and a few models for a couple of hours, bring some mates and you too can live the Instagram lifestyle. You won’t even need your passport as we’ll not be leaving the ground.

There’s also the move to provide a more personal retail experience. Essentially this is nothing new, up until a few years ago you could walk into a store and be attended to by knowledgeable, aware and interested sales staff – the salesperson would take an interest in you, not just your wallet, your purchases would be hand wrapped, not just chucked in a plastic bag, the doorman would hold the door open and wish you a good day.
These days you can still find this type of service, but it’s rare which then also leads to the feeling of something special or ‘luxury’ when it does happen.

What we term as ‘luxury’ has always been generally available but its interpretation has changed over time.
Up until recently an outside toilet was the norm, so having one indoors was considered a luxury. Of course, having an outside toilet today is called ‘glamping’!

To me what counts is having a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in and food in my belly. Anything above this, to me, is a luxury – lite or not.

FURTHER READING