Luxury used to have a very clear-cut definition. A luxury item usually had a hefty price tag, came from a well-respected legacy brand, and was accessible only to a certain income level. Now, the luxury goods market has been entirely disrupted—even the word itself can be interpreted in many different ways. This was apparent when Louis Vuitton recently partnered with fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who is known for his tendency towards streetwear, and Gucci released a pair of sneakers for its Pre Fall 2018 line.
This past June, at the Voice of Luxury conference put on by The French-American Luxury Exchange, luxury insiders discuss the ever-changing definition of luxury. Read some insights below, according to Quartzy:
The changing definition of luxury is due to shifting consumer values. Today’s consumers are heavily focused on image and storytelling. When a brand’s success is placed on their ability to tell a meaningful story, it becomes possible for them to sell a product—such as sneakers or sweats—that would historically not be considered a luxury item.
Luxury is more inclusive than ever. The luxury market is not nearly as exclusive as it used to be. Rather than a walled-off privilege, it is becoming more attainable to the everyday consumer. At Rent The Runway, a consumer can rent a designer jacket or dress for a month.
Brand ambassadors don’t need to be A-list celebrities. Usually strictly reserved for the major celebrities, social media influencers—such as YouTuber Jeffree Star for Chanel—have become the face of luxury brands.
As far as consumers are concerned, luxury is never going back to the clean definition it was before. From now on, it’s a constantly changing entity. Quartzy notes, “As a mindset, it’s a tricky one for luxury labels to maintain, when part of what makes a product desirable, whether it’s a Chanel bag or a rare pair of Jordans, is that not everyone can get it. But the world is changing, and luxury will have to change with it.”
For more info, check out Quartzy.