The meaning of ‘new luxury’ and how you can live your life by it
Typically, luxury is a divisive word, describing something that is enjoyed by certain people or groups, but not all. The elite and privileged have an access all areas pass and those who don’t are left to wonder what it’s really all about.
But, our world is ever-changing, and in fact, brings with it a new definition and view of luxury. Millennials are to thank for this so called evolution, which sheds new light on luxury. It’s no longer that we crave possession of nice, expensive items - it’s that we are suddenly starting to realise that the definition of luxury is a little too simple and exclusive.
Cue new luxury, which sees a shift in our desire to simply own possessions, but rather acquire experiences. Luxury is no longer about keeping up with the Joneses but rather focuses on the quality of our lives and the experiences that inhabit it. No longer driven by a desire to simply own expensive possessions, new luxury sees a shift towards seeing the world, understanding art and seeking out the best that our local towns and cities have to offer. As consumers, we are becoming exponentially more aware of quality, craftsmanship and culture, seeking to know and understand how things are made and their ethical imprint on the world, rather than mindlessly consuming.
Luxury is no longer unattainable, and confined to those who society deems most fit. It is about seeking enjoyment in live and truly experiencing the wealth of its beauty. Luxury could be taking a trip to a local farmers’ market, and understanding more about where our food comes from. It could be seeking out a luxury, eco hotel, or sourcing only items with deep roots in craftsmanship. In its simplest form, it could be enjoying a sunset, a perfect cup of tea, a gripping book or a stunning piece of artwork in a local gallery. These experiences remind us to love the lives we have been given, thinking about our actions, rather than mindfully wasting them.
Fashion’s nonconformist designer, Vivienne Westwood perhaps began redefining luxury before we even knew it. As a longstanding advocator of new luxury, she reminds us to make smarter shopping decisions, focusing on quality, not quantity. Likewise, Marie Kondo also perfectly exemplifies the meaning by inviting us to only own possessions, which truly make us happy, encouraging us to de-clutter our homes and avoid mindless spending.
While this kind of new luxury is easier to obtain than its predecessor, it does require a little thought about your experiences. You could wake up in the morning, boil the kettle and mindlessly drink a cup of coffee. Or, you could get up 10 minutes earlier, choose your favourite freshly ground coffee, brew it and enjoy it as you watch the sunrise. Two similar activities experienced in two very different ways.
So, new luxury reminds us not to live our lives mindlessly; to break free from the habit of routine and ignite curiosity. Be inquisitive about the origin of your next piece of clothing. Learn to value its craftsmanship and acknowledge the beauty of nature. The creativity of man is an investment and deserves to be valued above all else.