Category Archives: luxury

How Architectural Digest became the new Vogue

A new generation of digital-native celebrities, relaxed about the blurring of boundaries between public and private lives, have embraced celebrity home tours as a tool to promote their personal brands and to challenge public preconceptions. Emma Chamberlain, a social media influencer who found fame via YouTube, confounded expectations with her sophisticated taste in mid-century design and grown-up love of a kitchen island and copper taps when a video of her home went viral. When Khloé Kardashian posts content showing her impeccably organised pantry on YouTube, it is greeted with the kind of swooning comments that were once reserved for Carrie’s walk-in closet in the film Sex and the City.

Cartoon Fashion Is In

With gravity-defying accessories and outrageous proportions, cartoon fashion (cartooncore, if you will) is rooted in suspending your disbelief and rejecting rules of traditional sophistication. More and more, trending styles are taking visuals from animated series — specifically Japanese anime — and turning them into wearable art. And while this inspiration in fashion is by no means new, it does seem to be on an upward trajectory.

Legacy brands need to reset for a relevant future

by Marie Lena Tupot and Tim Stock

So many legacy brands are having the most difficult time finding their place in today’s fast-paced world. They’re either looking to other brands to jump in on the relevance of the other brand, or they are looking inward in the worst way and retreating. Missteps are obscured by relatively diverse image campaigns that keep the brand afloat for a fleeting span of time. But take away the latest campaign…and what have you got? A brand still stuck in the mud with no path forward. Think Tiffany’s & Nike.

Old souls are good, but successful old souls are required to be wise and show us a way forward.

Consider Burberry. “Prorsum” paired with a charging equestrian knight is not the way forward for the times we are in, nor should it be the way forward for Burberry. In 2022, not happy with the direction its brand was going, Burberry returned its creative director role to a Brit, Daniel Lee. The choice of Lee makes perfect sense. At Bottega Veneta, Lee “found his own language making industrially-inspired garments in unexpected and even confounding fabrics.” This is the kind of reinvention Burberry needs to take the brand back, beyond the Chav style that rose during the realm of Christopher Bailey and past the influencer IG-inspired design of Riccardo Tisci, back to its original pre-20th century legacy of a draper toying with gabardine, of explorer culture.

What does not make sense is the return of the 1901 logo. We can look at that through a Culture Mapping lens in which we look at the language of the logo in relation to how society is expressing itself through time. If we apply this Culture Mapping lens to the equestrian knight, the equestrian knight falls squarely into a residual social construct. A “ruler” brand at a time when the tradition of rulers seems to be playing itself out. Understood, that Lee’s intent was to bring the brand closer to its Britishness. However, one must ask what is Britishness today? The beauty of Britishness is not in the eyes of “The Ruler.” The beauty of Britishness is in the evolving diaspora making its impact.

That said, deconstructing a brand calls for meaningful purpose, not the in-group bias of a designer profoundly returning home. Nor, should deconstruction fall into the quick Monday morning quarterbacking of an analyst — but we can attempt to begin to see what’s going on here.

Consider, the cool, calm, collected – effortless and empowered – performance by Rihanna at last night’s Superbowl. It was coordinated, well-crafted and real.

Rihanna knows who she is, and chooses what she relates to.

For her 13-minute Super Bowl LVII performance, Rihanna chose Loewe, Alaïa, Margiela and Salomon.

Jonathan Anderson of Loewe crafted the molded leather breastplate Rihanna wore under coveralls meant to symbolize flight. Craft is the essence of Madrid’s Loewe, founded in 1846. Inviting discovery, it lives in an emergent, innovative space. 

Pieter Mulier for Alaïa custom-made the leather coats, padded red leather bolero and red leather robe. Azzedine Alaïa, himself, refused the honor of being named a Knight in France’s Legion of Honour. He did not value decorations. To date, Alaïa remains a celebration of womanhood. It was never about Alaïa. This too is emergent behavioral code. 

Rihanna’s sneakers were a collab by MM6 Maison Margiela and Salomon. Margiela, founded on ideas of nonconformity and the subversion of norms, is also about process. Salomon is a French sports collective dating back to 1947. They’re all about establishing new vocabularies. Again, emergent traits. 

Authenticity is emotional and can be experienced. And, those narratives can be mapped through the linguistics of culture, mapping natural language discourse.

TikTokers have taken up “deinfluencing.

“Deinfluencing” is a term that’s been recently invented by creators who are urging viewers not to buy something, or calling criticism to cult-favorite products. Because influencers are known to shill products — at any unethical cost peril to their reputations, as we’ve seen with MascaraGate — “deinfluencing” is meant to invert that notion.

50% of Luxury Brands Will Disappear By 2030. What Are The Key Risks?

First of all, what is luxury? A straightforward way to define the term is to think of luxury as the ability to create extreme value for an individual. Hence, no brand ever will be luxury to everyone, but it must have the ability to be of extreme value for some. To create value, which is so high that it becomes non-linear, a luxury brand needs to be fully centered around a specific need of the client. Hence, it’s never about the brand but all about the ability to have a specific role in the life of a client. 

Years of extensive university research and numerous brand and category audits have shown that, fundamentally, brands that manage to achieve such a critical role gain a significant shift in how they are perceived. People who understand the signal of an extreme value-creating brand feel a significant perception shift in several key dimensions related to themselves.

The Metaphysical War For The Metaverse We’re Already Losing

Virtual worlds should be as much of an expression of the people designing and living in them as possible. With the creator tools we already have and semi-open platforms like Roblox or Minecraft we can build pretty much anything within them. You could argue that even Minecraft obeys a little too much to the laws of the physical world but it wasn’t built as a metaverse platform so you can forgive it a little.

Mushrooms Are Popping Up in Our Cocktails

Recently, bartenders and drink professionals across the U.S. have started using mushrooms to add rich, savory flavors to cocktails made with and without alcohol. Some highlight the sweet taste of candy cap mushrooms in their drinks. Others prefer the smooth, deep flavor of creminis. With more than 10,000 varieties to choose from, mushrooms’ drinks potential is vast.

“As cocktail culture continues to progress I think that more and more people are looking for something creative and unexpected. Something they haven’t seen before or tasted in a cocktail,” says Nathan McCullough, the bar director at The Wolves DTLA.

Dress Code: The Future of Fashion in the Metaverse

But what will you buy in this brave new mall? Well, if you and your avatar are going to be seamlessly flitting between work meetings and VR concerts, shopping trips and hanging out with friends, then you can’t be expected to do it all in the same outfit. If the metaverse is about being seen—and it is about being seen—then fashion should be one of its killer apps. Currently, Meta gives users a limited selection of free clothes, all with a plasticky, toylike aesthetic that has presumably been chosen to be as inoffensive as it is easy to render. In June, Meta announced its plan to change that, at least in terms of choice, with the arrival of the Meta Avatars Store and digital outfits from powerhouse fashion brands like Balenciaga, Prada, and Thom Browne.

Down with the rich! Class rage fuels new wave of ‘us v them’ films and plays

In the wake of Parasite, the bloody South Korean Oscar-winner, and of the Emmy successes last week for the television dramas Squid Game and White Lotus, which is set in a luxury resort, there is a clear global appetite for exposing and satirising the huge gaps in wealth and status. Both series focused on the desperation of the serving classes.

The ill-fated yacht in Triangle of Sadness is laden with people who represent the moneyed private jet-owners of the modern world. Among them are a grizzled Russian oligarch, who sails alongside both his wife and his mistress, and an elderly British arms manufacturer and his wife. The reluctant captain of the ship is Woody Harrelson, ultimately the accidental agent of destruction in Ruben Östlund’s film. The Swedish director, who is best known for his alpine drama Force Majeure and artworld satire The Square, ultimately hands power over to one of the yacht’s cleaners, Abigail, played by Dolly De Leon, in a storyline that echoes a long history of cautionary tales in which the downtrodden rise up to wreak revenge on their masters.