How Do You Define Luxury? April 22 2015

So I was buying my tickets for the V&A's Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the weekend, super excited I don’t mind telling you; and I noticed one of their other Spring shows kicking off this week What Is Luxury? which explores the concept of luxury and showcases luxurious items from the past, present and future. Looks like I’ll be camping out at the V&A at this rate, a luxury in itself, but it got me thinking about what is luxury and what does it mean to us these days?

When I was younger, I remember standing wide-eyed and drooling (discreetly obviously)) outside the windows of a luxury shop, after a few disdainful stares from the staff, I finally retreating to the nearest fast food chain to console myself with a portion of fries and a banana milkshake. Luxury back then was unattainable for most of us, it offered the finer things in life including exclusivity, status and power, only available to the super rich.

Traditionally the term luxury has always meant a high standard of quality, authenticity and exclusivity. But what does it mean to us in 2015? For me, it's defined by your own interpretation and depiction, not by what society tells us it should be. Luxury ultimately is about how it makes you feel. It doesn’t come in buckets of exclusivity anymore, more like bucket loads of whatever you want it to be. It offers a sense of pleasure, a self indulgence that everyone can and should embrace. Luxury, in the retail context, is still very much about quality craftsmanship, love, care and attention to detail and old fashioned customer service now with 21st century convenience; something that is very close to our hearts at Jitterbug Jewellery.

So what does luxury mean to you? A holiday to the Seychelles perhaps, a Tiffany necklace, an afternoon in a comfy chair with your fav book and a hefty amount of chocolate,  glamping at Glastonbury? Luxury for me can come in many forms – a fancy cake and a fresh leaf cuppa – heaven; a day out at an international jewellery trade show – inspiring; sitting in the sunshine by the sea, sipping chilled wine with great friends – priceless. The point is, it can be a whole host of different things to different people. 

Bond Street may still be the epitome of luxury & exclusivity but lets face it, these days you can also find a lot of the super brands at your local Shepherds Bush or Stratford shopping mall or at the departure lounge of major airports – the lines are very much blurred.

Today it seems to be about ‘accessible luxury’, no longer available only to the super rich and dictated by the super brands. Luxury goods can have all the traditional qualities and attributes associated with luxury just without being unsurmountable and without an eye watering price tag to go with them. Luxury is clearly in the eye of the beholder so we can all have a piece of it.

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