Roxy Genier - Luxury Anti-Value - Fastness

FASTNESS LUXURY ANTI-VALUE #10

The one word that is synonymous with true authentic luxury is time.

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. ~ Carl Sandburg

Even the word luxury rolls off the tongue in a long and languorous way – you are supposed to feel the lilt of every letter. Say it quickly and it loses its essence, becomes something harsh on the tongue. The romanticism of luxury comes from slow production. It comes from the handcrafted workshops of some of the worlds greatest artisans, it is enjoyed by the consumer in a slow and sensual manner. It’s the thread that doesn’t unspool, the diamond that glints forever, the taste of To’ak chocolate or a fine wine that lingers.

The Dangers of Faster Living

Luxury is there to gift us a breath. Our world is a kaleidoscope clash of color, chaos, and consumerism. In a New York Post by Dr Stephanie Brown, she sketches out the danger of society’s self-destructive addition to faster living. She warns us that ‘Society is now dominated by beliefs, attitudes and ways of thinking that elevate the values of impulse, instant gratification and loss of control to first line actions and reactions. “I want it now!” or “Do it now!” are valued mantras for today’s with-it person, young or old. Add to instant action the belief that there are no limits to human power, no limits to action, no limits to success. Fueled by the grandiosity and omnipotence of these beliefs, people get high on the emotions of endless possibility with no need to ever stop or slow down.’

She goes on to say; ‘In a vicious circle, the exhausting fast pace of life promotes overstimulation and overscheduling, which become chronic stressors that lead to behavioral, mood and attention disorders.’

Luxury brands have a duty, to help their precious consumers to slow down. To gift them a moment away from the noise; to breathe, indulge, enjoy, and surrender to the serenity of experience.

Roxy Génier - New Luxury - Time on earth is our one and only global luxury

The Bling and the Burn Out

We live in an era of fast fashion, fast food, fast travel, and even fast luxury. Yes, our own bespoke brands are guilty of pushing quick, easy and superficial encounters upon their customers and calling it a true luxury experience. But with little to no meaningful interaction from the brand, barely a snippet of the chance to soak up the heritage, and more of a shove than a push to purchase a product – there is nothing positively experiential about this.

As a result, consumers are burnt out before they step in the door, we are bored long before we buy, and this sense of dissatisfaction can’t be swayed by simply swiping the credit card. We are left with hollow experiences, and before we have the chance to settle into one half-baked experience, we are already shifting our glance in a desperate attempt to find the next.

Consumers Want to be Connoisseurs

The chance to be a connoisseur is being snatched away from consumers. Beneath the surface of speed, the high-class buyer wants to take their time, they crave meaningful encounters, the chance to learn all about the ethics and values behind a brand, to rest and play within that lifestyle, to have a real conversation rather than be moved like cattle through the world, and to find their space of belonging within their preferred brand world.

FOMO, or known by its longer name as fear of missing out, should be reserved for those outside of the luxury experience. If the consumer is experiencing FOMO while actively indulging in your product or brand venture, than something isn’t quite working. Luxury needs to prevent this crisis, by not just communicating but proving, that the here and now is the most desirable thing in the world.

Roxy Génier - Luxury Anti-Values - Fastness

Slowing Down the Superyacht Spree

While the fashion industry is one of the major purveyors of fastness, the travel industry is quickly snapping on its heels. This is even true of the multi-million-dollar yacht industry. A seven-day superyacht charter can cost close to quarter of a million dollars, and during this time its not unusual to be shipped around to seven different country-islands within that short burst of time. You are expected to soak up the culture and color of St Barts on a two-hour shopping spree at the port before climbing back onboard and being shipped off to your next destination.

Touching down in a place isn’t the same as truly experiencing a place. Travel is a wonderful thing – it gives people the chance to discover culture, color, and different perspectives. It helps us to see the value and the wonder in our earth, and it is a tangible experience that can stay with us until our dying day. Brands at the very top of this industry should understand this and strive to deliver in a way that helps their clients connect with the world they want to see.

Luxury is a Good Hamburger

In the Restless CMO, an article titled Why the new luxury is me, myself, and I starts with the following statistic ‘With an average 80- 81% people across the age groups in agreement, health and time is perceived to be the major new luxury in our lives. As life expectancy and awareness of ill-health grows, and dual income families become the norm, people are looking for new ways to remain healthy and ensure they have time for the important things in life, like family, friends and time for themselves. This has led to huge recent developments in the healthy eating industry, from superfoods through to the clean- and slow-eating movements, and in travel and leisure.’

This all fits into the narrative that for the one percent, the true meaning of luxury is quite simply – more time. HNWI’s didn’t get to where they are by kicking back, to grow empires takes huge swathes of your time, commitment, and energy. Sacrifices are made along the way, fewer precious moments spent with family, CEO’s constantly being on call, and bottom line – less time to simply rest, relax, and enjoy the wealth you have accumulated.

In this article for Reuters titled time, not bling is the ultimate luxury, President of Esplanade Capital, Shawn Kravetz says; ‘For me, luxury is a good hamburger and time with my family,’.

Time is a non-renewable entity, we don’t get back what we have frittered away.

Brands Can Give the Gift of Time

If time is the ultimate luxury, than for brands and bespoke makers to give their time to creating beautiful things lends itself well to being something that those who value the preciousness of time would want to invest in.

Stella McCartney is a good example of this, in an interview for Desert Island Discs she says; I make to some extent fairly expensive clothes. I struggle with it but I also really struggle with fast fashion. With fabrics that aren’t beautiful and don’t use the best mills in Italy and Japan and England. “I think you also have to keep those crafts alive. You know I don’t think that good things should come really, really cheap. I’m trying to make something that last a lifetime. That you can give to your daughters and they can give to their daughters. I’m in that business. And I think that is luxury.’

She is right, dreaming and planning and creating beautiful things takes time. Time to think about and time to produce. Time is a non-renewable entity, we don’t get back what we have frittered away. Fast purchasing of fast products leaves us with a mundane humdrum of life rather than a meaningful warm glow. Like Tammy Eckenswiller from Rebecca Miinkoff says in this piece from Luxury Daily; There’s something really luxurious about that connection that you have with brands and that brands can make with you. As a brand, you want to create more of that, to make a direct relationship that’s a more real-time conversation where you’re not just firing out campaigns and messaging. It helps you to think outside the box because consumers are co-creating with you.’

The Slow Burn of Beautiful Branding

Brand who are able to nurture slow craftmanship and slow burning commitments to relationships will curate the most meaningful experiences. Fast luxury, or fast anything cannot stand the test of time, it is a flash in the pan experience that is quickly brushed aside and forgotten.

In an article for Jing Daily, the CEO of Moynat explains his vision of slow luxury ‘Moynat is a luxury brand that focuses on craftsmanship and quality to create the perfect artwork for our consumers. We are in no rush for sales. We (also) firmly resist marketing and advertising, as we need to keep the brand image of Moynat top-notch and private.’

To truly reach out to top end consumers, brands need to stop, take a breath, and revalue their thoughts on time. Churning out quick campaigns, cutting corners in the creation process, crashing blindly through the world without thinking about our planet and communities, and swapping personality for profit in the race to the top misses the mark when it comes to your audience. New luxury is about recognizing that the reward for the hustle and bustle is the slow and easy. It’s time to linger over a morning coffee, a shared supper with friends, and time to simply be. When brands understand that luxury is more than a material, this changes the way they connect with consumers; everything becomes more gentle and joyful for all.

Now that we have  learned about the dangers of fastness, let’s explore the solution.

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