Real Luxury

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4 r  ch ap te

Luxury and the search for meaning

Definitions of value are becoming more complex as the world shifts from an institutional focus to an individual focus and from an economy of things to an economy of ideas. Brands must evolve from being businesses to being citizens. New ways of working go beyond following instructions to the kind of open-ended thinking necessary for leadership and creating art.


Our premise in this book is that luxury brands have an innate leadership capacity. They can build business models that are in tune with the evolving expectations of society and serve as role models for individuals and other companies. Further, by working like artists, beyond the constraints imposed by markets, luxury brands can affirm the very essence of what qualifies them as luxury: the ability to present a point of view that shapes how people think and what they desire. To do so, however, they must shed certain entrenched and outdated assumptions about what people expect of luxury. Class, status, and aspiration are becoming ever more ad hoc notions, anchored more in an individual’s psyche and personal

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