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Redefining Luxury

With growing global exposure, how do customers perceive luxury?

What does luxury mean in today’s context? Is luxury still restricted to the elite? How are the consumers redefining luxury with the growing global exposure? This session at WADe Asia 2017 aimed to answer to some of these questions was chaired by award-winning communicator, author of the book ‘Decoding Luxe’, Mahul Brahma with esteem panelists Dr. Sheetal Jain, Founder, Luxe Analytics, celebrated Interior Designer Manjeet Bhullar, Anhad Bhullar, Brand Strategist at Manjeet Bullar Design, and Ar. Bobby Mukherji of Bobby Mukherji & Associates, Mumbai. SURFACES REPORTER presents some of the important arguments and comments from very interesting discussion. Please share you queries, comments at press@surfaces.in

Mahul sets the tone for the discussion with an extract from his book ‘Decoding Luxe’, on the grandeur and luxurious taste of the Maharajas. “20% of Rolls Royce’s global sale was from India in the 1920s. In 1926, the Maharaja of Patiala commissioned Cartier to remodel his crown jewels which included a 234 carat De Beers diamond, the result was a breathtaking Patiala Necklace weighing 962.25 carats with 2913 diamonds. In 1928, Maharaja of J&K placed orders for custom-made 30 trunks from a so called luggage maker called Louis Vuitton. There was certain Nizam who procured 1500 Davidsons for postmen who delivered his letters.” This was the state of luxury back then. So how has the scenario changed today?

New Age Luxury Consumer demands International Standards at home, says Bobby Mukherji

As per Bobby Mukherji, a lot has changed especially, the mindset and taste of the new rich clan of India. People love to go on vacation outside India, getting a glimpse of international lifestyle and they realize that though they have all the riches, their lifestyle does not remotely match to that experience. He says, people today are asking for the best lifestyle and luxury even in remote corners of the country. Citing an example he shares, how palatial homes of costing over 100 crores are being built in remote rural settings with architects from Belgium, Italy and US working on it. He once designed a house where the aircraft would land inside the house, so that housemates could go to Bangalore for their grocery shopping. He said, he had to cater to that and give them a lifestyle inside the house which created their own little microcosm. The moment they step out of their gates, it’s probably very rural but inside they have all the earthy comforts.

As for young architects and designers who want to work in this segment, Bobby feels its important for them to get an exposure at an early age through travels around the world as we gear up to cater to more and more demands of International standards of luxury. Bobby further says “it’s not about money it’s about creating that right international setting that they want that they have experienced.”

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December 2017

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