No doubt, luxury has changed: in the past, it meant bling, opulence, excess. But not today. A new generation has emerged. A generation that, instead of owning stuff, wants to do stuff. I call them Generation Less. And, no, I’m not talking about Millennials or Gen X or Gen Y: it’s not an age demographic but a new kind of consumer with a moral circuit board that aligns across generations; it’s a mindset, not an age group, which places value on experiences with a buy-less, buy-better philosophy to material possessions that they now expect to be put together with care. Care for the environment; care for people.
The question is, then, how can the multi-billion-dollar luxury industry reconcile itself with a consumer group that doesn’t want to buy much? It’s the thing I’m asked all the time: is Generation Less bad news for fashion? Well, no. Why? Because luxury already aligns very well with more considered consumerism. A luxury bag from, say, Louis Vuitton is not a throw-away thing, is it? You buy one for life – or, if you’re lucky, you buy a few. But, either way, it’s an investment piece that speaks to the emergent emphasis on products that are designed to last. The greater challenge now is to make sure what is made is made ethically. And that, too, is happening. The sense of responsibility in the global fashion-scape is growing, with more and more brands preparing for a future where less is most definitely more.
Diana Verde Nieto is the co-founder of Positive Luxury