Selfridges on quest to uncover true meaning of luxury

The term luxury has been overused to such an extent that everything from mass-produced food to fashion to toothpaste can have the moniker slapped on like a bad case of make-up foundation.

Brands everywhere are wanting to sell the dream - flashing the superiority of their products and differentiating their services and standards - when the meaning has been grossly diluted and hyper-inflated to ad nauseam.

Radical Luxury

Selfridges is one brand that is aiming to make certain its customers is aware of the luxury within its stores across all customer touch points. It is hoping to find the meaning of luxury in today’s connected world and is launching a campaign called ‘Radical Luxury.’

The retailer will debut a series of installations that span sensory initiatives and concept shops as well as take insight from a wide range of experts on its quest to uncover the true meaning of luxury. Shoppers and consumers will be invited to take the journey alongside Selfridges to help understand what luxury means today.

Selfridges asked designers, artists and creatives what luxury means to them

As part of its investigation into what luxury means today – and what it might mean tomorrow – Selfridges has been speaking with its peers in the worlds of art, fashion, film and more, to reveal an ongoing, of-the-moment conversation about luxury. The store states that as a result, “we have seen various patterns and themes emerge – the idea that luxury can be transient, one of a kind, transformative or richer over time.”

"The importance of this campaign for a luxury brand like Selfridges & Co is showing how a solid luxury brand that has been around since the early 1900’s can step into the digital age with grace, not lose any of their brand integrity, while keeping step with their consumers desire to have all of their shopping experiences available digitally," Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis told Luxury Daily.

The campaign will see the Old Selfridges hotel in London host an installation titled “The Flipside,” featuring multi-sensory events for visitors where they will be able to experience “altered states of luxury.”

From March to the end of May, the takeovers will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the influences and narratives that have built these brands. Visitors will be able to purchase items related to the designers' careers including archived, exclusive and influential products.

As part of the Radical Luxury campaign, Selfridges published a letter from CEO and businesswoman Polly Moore. The letter gives Ms. Moore's unique viewpoint of the meaning of luxury:

Luxury is precious moments

“Number one is a Greek island called Kastellorizo. It has 300 inhabitants, one road and no traffic lights. Everything has to be imported, including water, and if the ferry does not come, then nor does the food/loo roll/toothpaste.

And yet, such restriction makes it abundantly clear that luxury is not about the best that you can afford. In a place like this, where the thunderstorms are like the greatest lightshows on earth and the sea the warmest and clearest you will ever swim in, luxury is turning the tap on and having water come out of it. It is about the intense shades of colour on the wild flowers, the rugged beauty of the rocky landscape. It is about experiencing a moment that can never be taken away from you. Moments so heartbreakingly pure and precious that all else pales in comparison.”

Children innately understand luxury

“I see the ability to understand this concept of luxury as being absolutely instinctive in children, and yet people seem to lose sight of it as they grow into adulthood. I would attribute this to the ever-growing consumerism in our society and the instant availability of anything our hearts desire; no longer is there the feeling of satisfaction or reward after patiently waiting for a new purchase. Inevitably, we grow weary of the constant assault on our emotions and wallets and start to become numb to the very idea of ‘the ultimate luxury’. We kid ourselves that luxury is time, when actually the hamster wheel we are caught up in can be slowed down in an instant when the individual simply chooses to take control of his life and press pause.”

Credits: Photo courtesy of Selfridges website; article source: Luxury Daily online





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