What does luxury mean today? The definition is not the same for everyone. But one point have many to agree on: luxury is in the quality, not in the price of accessories. Coco Chanel said: “Some people think that luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity”. But what about today? “Luxury doesn’t mean high price. Luxury means the highest product quality”, says Alexandre Arnault, CEO of Rimowa and son of Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH. His thoughts are close to those expressed last autumn by Alessandro Bogliolo, CEO of Tiffany. But not only. Also by Montblanc‘s creative director, Zaim Kamal.
Luxury it’s in the quality and not in the price
According to the young Arnault, 27, the word luxury is “too tied to the price”. At an event organised by Goldman Sachs, as reported by Business Insider, Arnault said he did not like the description of Rimowa as a luxury brand. “When you think of luxury, you think of stores where you can go to buy things you can’t afford – are his words -. For me, when you buy a 4,000 dollars Louis Vuitton bag, which is a lot of money, you buy a luxury product. A product made with the same level of craftsmanship, quality, with all the features that make it desirable. I don’t think the price should go into the equation”. A concept also applicable to Rimowa suitcases. The brand is gaining prestige, explained the CEO, not because it sells a suitcase for a thousand dollars, but because the suitcase is made of anodised aluminum alloy and handmade leather handles. As well as the pieces from the latest Dior x Rimowa collection made with coarse-grained calfskin.
Alessandro Bogliolo, Tiffany CEO, doesn’t like the word luxury, to the point that he avoids it. “I like to define Tiffany as a legendary brand”, he said last November at Bloomberg’s The Year Ahead summit. “Younger generations have a different approach to the concept of luxury than older ones”.
Again, Zaim Kamal explained in December 2019 to Business Insider that high-end brands are no longer able to define the word luxury. It is up to the consumer to do it alone. “People redefine their sense of luxury and everyone’s sense of luxury is different”, says the designer. After all, the notion that the term luxury defines a product of excellent quality, rather than its price, is not wrong. Also because anyone can put a price on a banana and sell it for 120,000 dollars.