The Nouveau Luxury

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Image credit: Image1 Kendam - Winds of Change cover story editorial

Image 3 Flower Bed by Alexey Merkushov

A new generation of brands in beauty, fashion & accessories today are making way for the nouveau luxury.

They are mindful in how the products are made, the raw materials sourced and of course there is great attention to detail. Production is in small batches, not for the hype of limited editions, but to ensure high quality control and mindful consumption in a way. Like using deadstock fabric or sourcing and producing within a small radius and taking the time to produce.

These brands are circular economies of their own, they create products that are long lasting and their stories evolve with them, keeps you interested.

They stand for something. There is a personal touch, a connection, a transparency.

Something the old luxury brands, the heritage brands long for and are looking for ways to incorporate today. After having carried such a legacy, it doesn't come easy to change the frontiers.

Before this goes out of context, I have to say, I still hold heritage luxury brands close to me. They have stood through the test of time and will continue to do so. They keep the wheels of the industry running.

But surrounded by a generation that is changing the outlook for the luxury industry, and at a time where the world has slowed down, I find myself deeply reflecting on this.

In a time where consumerism is at its peak, each marketing campaign and advertisement screaming for attention, this is something that feels off. The first half of 2020 (and probably the rest of it) has shown us just that.

Mass production and consumption have spun out of control becoming business models for supply chains. Low priced and stylish clothing is good to have but at the cost of what? Definitely not at the cost of workers toiling in horrific conditions for a paltry wage. Definitely not at the cost of landfills. How much and how often of it do we buy?

I am not in any way saying that these brands need to shut shop. What they need to shut is their unconsciously driven operation to create a consciously driven one.

Image credit : Couture Consumption by David La Chapelle

Fashion weeks have been equated with burn out. High energies and insecurities.

Week after week, city after city, a year full of fashion weeks.

When does one stop to truly create and appreciate?

Was it a facade to hide our feelings and vulnerability. Just keep doing something, one after the other so that you don't allow yourself to feel the absurdity.

Push it all down and smile for the paparazzi.

My idea of luxury used to be limited to brands which required saving up and sometimes a waiting time. Nothing wrong with that I suppose. But my vision seems to have expanded to these masterfully created brands that I can access, and are spearheaded by people who are change agents, all while falling under the term 'luxury.'

Luxury is in know-how, it is in time taken to appreciate the little things, it is in products and creations that feel good to you. It is in going back to the roots.

In the posts of the past and the ones to follow, I talk to some of these change agents and delve deeper into the stories of these nouveau luxury brands.

Liked this read? Maybe you will enjoy this too :)

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