Luxury between heritage and sustainability


The spirit of luxury has always existed, in all societies. Ostentatious and founded on its heritage from the past over millennia, it has entered the modern era in the 19th century. How to define the soul of luxury through its various reincarnations?


Quest for excellence and beauty, luxury manufactures the most beautiful and rare goods. It was originally reserved for the wealthy upper classes and has become affordable, making sure to respect its quality and aesthetics requirement. It doesn't replicate the old models but is now creative. It was before the demonstrative theatre of the social status and has transformed itself into quiet luxury, where very expensive goods remain discreet. It means today intimist and inner experience. It has connected with art and is opening itself to sustainability, becoming green and committed. Eternal myth that has always reinvented itself, luxury has a privileged link with suspended time, the core of sustainability. These were the words of  the French philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky, at the opening of the Sommet de Luxe et de la Création, which took place in Paris on June 15th, 2023.

Though the biggest luxury groups are western, luxury has diverse origins as evidenced by the ancient oriental tradition in the domain of perfumes or the Chinese porcelain fever of the 19th Century. Sociology and science have always influenced luxury. The irruption of digital technologies and the artificial intelligence have impacted the way of luxury consumption. Luxury has preserved its core, algorythms are powerful tools, but remain tools. Today we buy luxury goods of foreign culture, all over the planet. 

Today, the ecological crisis at the new geological age called the Anthropocene(*) impacts the life cycle of the goods, from the sourcing to the sales, through the manufacture. Luxury is adapting to become more virtuous. A new generation of customers prefer to live an experience rather than to buy things, it has been necessary to build emotional connection with them. Luxury must even more be based on empathy, sincerity and authenticity by adopting a rigorous CSR policy in the frame of a reasoned growth.

Logo and photo © Centre du Luxe et de la Création

(*) The Anthropocene is a geological epoch dating the commencement of significant human impact on Earth's geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change.

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Tuesday 2 May 2023, 11:33