Which were the first signs of luxury and when
The existing cultures in the UK shaped the various forms of luxury that developed. The traditional model of history of luxury in the UK was artisanal and aristocratic. During the ancient period, luxury goods were products of artisans but not creators. Entertainment was among the first forms of luxury where the rich wanted actors to perform and present plays and songs. From entertainment other forms of luxury developed. Perfumes and fashions started to appear very popular in the United Kingdom.
In the 18th century, the loss of a natural and innocent human self could be attributed to introduction of luxury. Individuals who were economy powerhouses wanted to live a different life compared to other counterparts (Harris, 2002). The material benefits led to purchase of history-steeped architectural and luxury homes and the famous landmarks in United Kingdom. The early signs of luxury matched concurrently with politeness, vanity and commercial growth.
The United Kingdom has a fascinating multi-cultural history that clearly depicts the first signs of luxury. There were signs of the finest building that were popular in the 18th century. The buildings could show the presence of Huguenot silk weavers and existence of edgy fashion stores in the 1750s. The royal pageantry developed due to the monarchical form of government in the United Kingdom (Almond & Kevin 2012).
In Southwark, there was construction of pilgrimage where religious occasions were held. The emergence of social stratification was among the first developments of luxury. Both the working and the Middle class wanted to live in the most prestigious houses that had a unique style. The 20th century also shows how individuals have developed passion and interest in support for rugby and football teams.
People who promoted luxury and why they did so
The traditional idea of luxury as an entertaining factor changed completely as new forms of luxury such as fashion and perfumes come into existence. Guerin and worth are taken to be major pioneers who created the luxury interest in consumers.
In the old luxury models, luxury goods were products of artisans and not creators. By the 20th century, consumers were in the heart of the people who created any goods. The goods were handcrafted, bespoke and unique. The economic prosperity made by creators like Jeanne Lanvin and Worth in the 1920s were magnified even further after the 2nd world war. Creators took advantage of the new economic prosperity. Rich entrepreneurs contributed to the start and continuation of a luxurious lifestyle by financing maisons. Some of these maisons are still well known today. For instance, Balman, Givenchy and Guy Laroche (Berg, 2005). International media also contributed to the spread of luxurious lifestyle in UK and the world over (Bakker, 2012).
Creators were increasingly becoming famous and they continued to impose their own tastes to the consumers. Tycoons were ready to involve themselves in the luxury business as they perceived it to be an important part in boosting the UK economy (Berg, 2005). They were also sure to reap maximum if the luxury culture fully took its course among the citizens. After supporting the luxurious culture for quite some time, the entrepreneurs reaped more, as luxury became part of life (Berg, 2005). Leading a luxurious life was what each individual desired. This was a big boost to the luxury culture and its economic contribution was realized.
Today, the luxury market has become very dominant to consumption and interaction activities. It has actually created an entire a complete scene of its own. The luxury market, like any other market, is so dynamic (Naukratis, 2000). However, it faces various challenges due to competition and evolution, continuous expansion of the global market and the customers’ needs which are ever critical.
Economic gain was the main factor that motivated the entrepreneurs to encourage the growth and development of the luxurious culture. From the growth of the luxurious culture, they reaped a lot and some reinvested the accrued profits in other financial activities (Berg, 2005). Some still dominate the business arena and are still adding value to their products to ensure that customer satisfaction is attained. Were it not for the support from the entrepreneurs, the luxurious culture would possibly have not developed.
Within the closed luxury setting, a brand needs to have a long history in order to be considered prestigious. Two important ingredients for luxuries are tradition and history. They lay a ground for customers’ attraction and brand reinforcement (Bakker, 2012).
Early brands of luxury
What is called luxury today is quite different from what it represented in the 19th century. Today, luxury is everywhere, and accessible by everyone. There is no distinct difference on what luxury is and what is not. Luxury brands are developing, offer strategies to successful luxury consumers.
In the 19th century the luxury industry was growing towards industrialization, it was not only about art and entertainment but was changed by the emergency of creators. There was the creation of perfumes and fashion. However, dating back to the 18th century during the agrarian revolution, the wealthy traders, farmers and explorers were the first to embrace luxurious items (Johns, 2010). However, there is no exact date to when the luxury industry began.
The luxury industry can be categorized into two namely the old and new luxury. The differences are significant as the ancient luxury goods are what today are accessible by the majority. Luxury in the ancient UK entailed; fashion, perfumes, decorations, housing, lifestyle, education, work, art and entertainment (Naukratis, 2000).
Fashion and perfumes were first embraced in the 19th century when the trade between Europe and outside world began. They were part of items of trade in ancient Egypt. Decorations and arts came as a result of the international trade and exploration in the 18th and 19th century (Naukratis, 2000).
Housing and lifestyle became a luxury in the 18th century when urbanization began. Education became a luxury for the children of the rich who would afford, this resulted to good employment which included working in the urban centers and were perceived prestigious (Johns, 2010).
Housing, decoration, art and entertainment are said to be as old as human culture. These are the earliest luxurious adaptation in human history ranging from the 16th century.
In the old luxury industry, luxurious items and life was for the well up people in the society. This trend has continued over the industry transition to the current society. Since most of the luxury items are and were expensive, most people could not afford them, as a result, this was for the few in the first class of the society (Naukratis, 2000). This class consisted of; merchants, political leaders, clergy, large scale farmers, company managers and lecturers. This was due to their financial capabilities that enabled them access such luxuries in monetary or gold value.
Consumers are interested in stories such as heritage, entertainment, art and culture, which relate to them. New entrepreneurs have identified this gap. Through their understanding and association to the stories that interest consumers, they have used their skills, innovation and creativity to create new luxurious products that will actually meet the consumers’ needs, preferences and tastes.
Almond, Kevin. (2012). Bespoke Tailoring the Luxury and Heritage we can afford. fibre2fashion
BAKKER, Gerben. (2012). The Evolution of Entertainment Consumption and the Emergence of Cinema, 1890-1940.
Berg, M. (2005). Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, UK.
Harris, R. (2002). The history of law in a multi-cultural society: Israel 1917-1967. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate/Dartmouth.
Johns, C. (2010). The Hoxne late Roman treasure: Gold jewellery and silver plate. London: British Museum Press.
Naukratis. (2000). Trade in Archaic Greece. Oxford Monographs on Classical Archaeology. Oxford University Press.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE LUXURY INDUSTRY. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2013, from http://www.slideshare.net/josephinelipp/social-media-and-the-luxury-industry-11847545?from_search=3