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First: What is luxury?

Can "Luxury" be defined?
Model wears large black and white print dress on the beach.

What constitutes “Luxury”

The traditional idea of “luxury” conjures thoughts of prestige and exclusivity; the unattainable pinnacle of artisanship and heritage. However, with the rise of fast fashions mass-marketed expensive products, the meaning of true luxury has been largely diluted. The definition of “luxury” these days is largely in the eye of the beholder and transcends the usual tenants of price, quality and exclusivity. At the end of the day, perception is a key component to luxury consumption and as experience continues to dominate consumer satisfaction where high-end consumption is concerned, the definitions will remain elusive.

Evolving expectations of a new generation combined with globalization and the growth of innovative digital technologies have combined to not only change perceptions of luxury, but also how products and services are produced and delivered. The role of luxury today has moved well beyond the point of mere products. Now, it is a means to self-actualization and expression, a source to be wowed and educated and above all, a bridge to new experiences. Concisely, consumers are looking beyond products as an end unto itself. Rather, they want to know how these products enhance the person they see themselves to be, or want to become.

This shifting expectation is reforming the social order of luxury, necessitating a review of luxury consumption over the coming decades. This brings Africa center-stage.

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In The Luxury Report, https://www.meaning.global/the-luxury-report , leading expert on creating meaning and cultural relevance in business, Dr. Martina Olbert writes:

“As we are venturing from the over-saturation of the material world (the tangibles) towards the more intangible things (moments, feelings and experiences), the ratio shifts very rapidly and significantly.”

“The new luxury goes beyond the old traditional perception of luxury for two reasons. Firstly, because of scarcity – different things are scarce now than they were in the past (such as time, clean air, space, inner peace, mindfulness, human touch, meaningful connections), and secondly, luxury is becoming greatly diversified as we are realising now that different parts of our innate needs are not being met. This opens up a whole pool of new opportunities for the luxury brands to tap into that wasn’t available to them in the past.”

The Meaning of Luxury

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What is Luxury?-Hear What the Expert Has to Say:

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Africa to the World: Analysing the Global Appeal for African Luxury Fashion

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