What is luxury?

To open my monthly column in Wall Street Luxury, I want to share with you my view of luxury today.

All over the world, and especially in Asia, upscale streets are “littered” in Prada, Vuitton, Hermès, Dior, Gucci…
However, this globalization does not necessarily mean the standardization of an industry deeply rooted in each national history.

I present to you “La Géopolitique du Luxe” by a Frenchman from Monaco, Bruno Lavagna, essayist, specialized in the geostrategy of luxury, founder of the Be.Exclusive agency.

“High-end products are more than handbags, jewelry, clothes… They are a powerful diplomatic tool and an instrument of soft power which contributes to the international influence of world powers. The big luxury houses promote their country of origin. Luxury is not just a tangible extravagance; it is a state of mind. In the era of globalization, the political power of luxury is geopolitical. One of the main characteristics of luxury is that, whether we are faced with climate change, wars or natural disasters, luxury is always there,” explains Bruno Lavagna.

The form of his work, in 40 files, gives readers a global vision of luxury and a lexicon rich in diplomatic vocabulary.

Historical analysis helps to understand the roots of luxury. Thus, British luxury is based on its motto “By appointment to Her Majesty the Queen” with the majestic side of a Rolls-Royce, while Swiss luxury is the reflection of precision and perfection in the image of Swiss watchmaking.

Luxury is a political tool. Its houses use geopolitical and diplomatic vocabulary. They are ambassadors.

In 1950, China was absent from the luxury market. Europe dominated it with 70% of consumers. In 20 years, China has taken 33% of the market, in 2050 it will be 50% …

Geopolitics turned to sustainable development. The global resonance of luxury compels it to echo this global awareness. Circular economy, collaborative economy, recycling, have become keywords for Bruno Lavagna. Thus “second hand” concerns 45% of luxury consumers worldwide in a second-hand market estimated at 26 billion euros.

Thank you Colbert! The main global luxury groups are French: the famous KHOL (Kering, Hermès, L’Oréal, LVMH, Chanel). The Colbert Committee created in 1954 is an axis of French diplomacy. We owe it to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Minister of Louis XIV, who founded the reputation of French know-how throughout the world by creating the concept of the Palace of Versailles.

Bruno Lavagna
Author of  “Geopolitics of Luxury”

Prefaced by Pascal Boniface
President of IRIS (Institute of International and Strategic Relations)

Welcome to the column of our recurring guest editorial staff member H.R.H. Prince Michel de Yougoslavie, Grandson of King Umberto of Italy and Prince Paul of Yugoslavia
The Prince is a "meta-advisor" providing valuable advises to some of the worlds most influential people including Royal Family Offices, and, more surprisingly, an art photographer. Each month, he will touch on the latest trends and happenings within the global luxury and investment worlds, gleaned from his exclusive meetings with the powers that be.

Enjoy

Welcome to the column of our recurring guest editorial staff member H.R.H. Prince Michel de Yougoslavie, Grandson of King Umberto of Italy and Prince Paul of Yugoslavia.

The Prince is a "meta-advisor" providing valuable advises to some of the worlds most influential people including Royal Family Offices, and, more surprisingly, an art photographer. Each month, he will touch on the latest trends and happenings within the global luxury and investment worlds, gleaned from his exclusive meetings with the powers that be.

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