What is luxury

Diamonds created from remnants of roadkill animals; a fur hat made of 160 km of gold fibers; a necklace that looks like bubble bath foam, hand-knit using nylon fibers; furniture and fashion accessories created out of human hair and natural resin; ceramic pots made of toxic mud from a radioactive lake in Mongolia: these are just a few of the items showcased in the What is Luxury? exhibition, currently presented in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The exhibition displays extraordinary contemporary designs and craft objects, alongside conceptual projects that investigate the basic principals of luxury in the fields of fashion, jewelry, lighting, watches and so forth. The featured artists and designers examine the future of luxury in light of the role that elements such as time, space, privacy, welfare, social justice, access to resources and skills influence our choices and aspirations.

Marcin Rusak
@ Marcin Rusak
Photos by POI
Photos by POI

And indeed, in an era in which design and fashion chains quickly and successfully duplicate, copy and bring to stores artifacts presented only a day earlier in the fashion shows, the manufacture of luxury items, or those that communicate high-end sophistication, is another way of creating added value.

Thus, even a company like Apple, in which ingenuity and design are core values, decided to create a gold plated version of a Smart Watch priced at $17,000 USD.

Apple Watch

Apple Watch

“The choice of gold was not dictated by a predetermined price tag: we chose the material because we loved it. Our love for certain materials drives us and influences the way in which we view the world”, said Jonathan Eve, Apple’s chief designer, regarding the decision to offer Apple’s customers a luxury model. “We don’t buy ready-made gold, we designed our own gold,” he added, “and therefore the alloy used in the Apple Watch is twice as firm as standard gold”.

Apple’s entrance into the luxury market, and its focus on materials and their features, characterizes other companies such as Caesarstone that have placed design and innovation at the center of their endeavors. Caestarstone recently launched its interpretation of natural marble with its luxurious Statuario Nuvo design- the latest addition to the company's successful and natural collection (the Supernatural line).

The design offers a dramatic and powerful look of ‘veins’ that are softened by dark grey tones and gently spread within a white background. The design is ideal for use on large surfaces such as a central island or a wall covering, since the dramatic design is showcased at its best on large surfaces. ​

5111 Statuario Nuvo
5111 Statuario Nuvo

According to Eli Feiglin, Caesarstone’s VP of Marketing, “As a direct continuation of the Calacatta Nuvo that was launched last year, our successful premium model in the natural series, we now present a new and luxurious addition to the series.
Our technological ability to create a full slab with dramatic veins enables us to offer a surface with a design statement that provides a truly unique interior look”.

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