Style is knowing who you are.
Luxury is knowing who you are and sharing that with the world so that others may claim a piece of it for themselves.
It is true, one human can cause a catastrophic change in the world. They truly can poke the world and the world will dent, or bend, or transform in a way that it no longer looks the same.
And a true luxury brand can only be started by a person like this.
They must be an outsider, a rebel of the system, and they seek to change the world around them. And by this definition, it places them away from the masses, those that go along with the status quo.
And in their process of evolution, they will get pushback. Remember, Steve Jobs was fired from his post. Bill Gates was hated. Elon Musk…
And so it goes.
But a luxury brand continues to embody the values of the founder. They are baked into it’s DNA.
If you were to try and replicate what creates a luxury brand in a laboratory, you’d say it was based on R&D.
That it takes years of research to understand the product.
This is true, as my favorite of examples, Brunello Cucinelli, taking years, decades to perfect his product.
But can anyone do years of R&D and create a luxury brand?
Is the Segway a luxury brand? Google Glass?
Another person might point out that luxury brands are expensive, that it’s about price.
This is true for a Ferrari, but not always true. Is the iPhone expensive, for the value you get over the course of 3 or 5 years?
And there are always pseudo-luxury brands. Brands which raise prices as a signal but lack the depth of reality behind it. Brands who focus on what is easily seen, but skip what’s difficult to identify.
And for the consumer, the luxury is really in the ability to make the purchase at all.
A Luxury Brand…
The moment of the transaction
is a confirmation of him or herself.
If we dig deeper, what this person is truly doing is buying a bit of the magic, hoping that some rubs off.
The Purchase is an attempt to solidify your standing as having some piece of resemblance to the creator of such a good or ideal.
The Logo is an encapsulated reminder to yourself of who you could be.
The Ritual, a regular, holy-like experience you place around using the product adds to the heightened expectations and awe, and novelty of such a creation.
Of course, many of these founders are mythic.
But just enough of it is true. Just enough of the internal desire and drive within the founder was absolutely genuine.
And this genuine vision is truly liquid gold.
A luxury brand is what emanates from this vision.
It’s one of the rarest things on earth.
Something even the wealthy craves, but never quite can fulfill.
A life of luxury is internal.
And so anyone can have one.
The external creations and purchases that we point to are merely an effect.
But not the cause…