When you’ve got it all, it is time that becomes a luxury. And in a delightful contrast to the stereotype of cigar-toting businessmen in old Hollywood movies dismissing wannabes with, “Time is money, honey”, the scenario today is brilliantly ironic: Those with money spending barrels to buy someone else’s time.
Luxury retailers have long known that an experience scores higher in EQ and recall value than just a product, and so they’ve created entire universes around their offerings.
While Nicolas de Barry may have been born in the French capital, he believes he was reborn into perfumery in Brazil. The former diplomat – he served as cultural attaché in Africa and South America – put down the envoy’s hat at the age of 40 and took a year off in Brazil to decide what to do next.
It’s an encouraging sign for the Indian luxury industry that the country is burgeoning into a hub of not just eager buyers of established brands but also creators and manufacturers of the world’s finest luxury goods.
India and Italy – co-protagonists in Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love – could learn a thing or two from each other at this passionate love-hate stage of their relationship.
To become a global powerhouse, while we work full-steam on showcasing our talents, we also need to urgently work on our flaws. It is not difficult – India, after all, has the raw materials required for truly splendorous work.
It’s nice to have foreign luxury brands available at our doorstep, sweet that they create collections especially for us, flattering that they woo us with limited editions, even turning a blind eye to our lack of good taste at times. But there’s a fine line between customization and conversion.
Come Diwali season and suddenly, the shopaholic in me goes boom. My usual preoccupations (read: office work, kids’ homework and domestic housework) go flying out of my head and are replaced by lusty images and provocative scenes.
With changing world equations, Asia seems to be turning into the new Europe. It is no surprise that emerging economies – flush with spending power and aspirations to be considered chic – are going shopping for European brands with prestige value.
Pursuing one’s passion or splurging on offbeat experiences is not about money. It’s about a state of mind. How much emphasis do we put on ‘what people think’ versus ‘what we think’?
No matter how incongruous luxury appears in a developing world, the biggest draw in its favour is that it ignites hope and aspiration.
From an oil trader in Morgan Stanley to an art connoisseur and one of India’s most prominent voices in the art arena, Maithili Parekh has straddled a wide spectrum of experiences. We catch up with the Indian head of Sotheby’s on her inspired journey.
A chat with the queen of historical fiction, Philippa Gregory, on her latest books and on royalty in Tudor England.
The value of most material goods and services is intellectual, not real. It is only once we understand what goes into its making do we begin to appreciate or aspire for a product or service. It’s all in the mind, a collective illusion created by our species to keep the economy going and ourselves busy.