Luxury has inherently rooted itself in materialism, but as the world’s wheels start to turn again slowly, we are forced to question the real value in our lives.
Over the centuries, the notion of luxury has been perceived as rare, precious, opulently extravagant, and sometimes minimalist, but it has always involved the possession of beautiful, often unnecessary, items. But luxury post-2020 is likely to be more about time, space, travel and experiences than materialism.
With the advent of COVID-19, people around the world have started moving towards a more meaningful definition of luxury, one that is in tune with both nature and themselves. This a welcome mindset in a world where natural resources are declining and over-consumption is having catastrophic effects on our environment.
Undeniably, the definition of luxury is being strongly questioned. Luxury is now focussed on rediscovering an immaterial world – time, space and experiences. A moment can be as luxurious as an object, to travel in these times of widespread quarantine is the utmost luxury, and it may continue to be so for quite some time.
Travel is at the top of everyone’s list at the moment, but it is not purely escapism, people want to expand their minds and ideas. Travellers are looking for out of this world, inexpensive experiences that promote learning and growth surrounding both the destination and themselves. People want to fundamentally reconnect with who they are and their spirituality, or with nature and the world around them.
Given the current circumstances, it is not surprising that the luxury travel industry has put a spotlight on privacy, seclusion, wellness, and facilities where people can social distance, with nature-based resorts becoming increasingly popular.
Dressing up, buying extravagant clothing and subscribing to the latest fashions is very much dependent on social activities such as going to work, socialising, throwing parties and simply being seen by others. But If you’re not seeing anyone, what’s the point?
Instead of sporting a new luxury bag or car, consumers are instead displaying their “wellness” during the pandemic. Health and vitality are the new luxury and certainly a growing trend. Instagram feeds littered with photos of hikes, picnics, and other outdoor activities speak to the ever-increasing mentality that outside is free, and to be free is a luxury.
Family time has also become a significantly treasured commodity. Real privilege now is being part of a pack, being surrounded by loved ones, having them close to you and being able to spend time with children and family that perhaps we took for granted before.
The luxury of being able to connect with friends, go to the beach or have lunch in a restaurant brings a new appreciation for the small, intimate moments of joy we previously ignored.
But luxury is anything but dead. The longevity of luxury items is becoming a significant part of the appeal. We will learn how to care for these coveted items properly, so they last for years, in a critical departure from disposable culture. Sustainability has become vital, and these trends need to become the new normal. It would be foolish to assume that the desire for beautiful things will come to an end, but there is a rising sense that we need far less to experience and feel more.
Following COVD-19, there is a palpable shift. There is a world-wide pause, a moment of reflection and a recalibration happening. People are rebalancing their lives, and one can only hope that this pause leads to a new way of living, one that sees life itself as the most desirable and precious commodity of all.
Feature Image Credit: Success Lux
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