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Luxury turns New Age

December 2011

By Kendah El-Ali, New York

As America’s economy and personal priorities change, so has the marketplace. Luxury items have had to change their outlook along with the times as worldwide wealth re-distributes itself. Expensive is no longer enough – goods must have an intrinsic value—often centered around personal or global healing—along with their price tag.

One world luxury leader that has quickly changed its market focus is Range Rover. The new Evoque is not only an exquisitely detailed automobile; it’s also been designed for the young urbanite, with one eye deftly focused on the female consumer. It’s far from the former, boxy Range Rover: it evokes such words as words as "purity," "enjoyability," and "intuition” and body colors such as “Colima Lime” and “Mauritius Blue” support its new, pared-down design. Given that the vehicle was originally designed for the Red Cross, the brand is now capitalizing upon—and thereby highlighting—its humanitarian legacy. Land and Range Rover Chief Designer (and general design and architectural self-professed addict) Gerry McGovern said of its new image, “The idea is that the new consumer is now younger... and that this luxury item is both a product and a service: not just a vehicle. It's about health and well-being, de-stressing, functionality, sustainability, desirability and luxury.” Though the Evoque launched earlier this month, they are largely sold out in pre-order at national dealerships. We should all see their low-to-the-ground, slim, diagonally-cut angles grace motorways in America come February 2012.

Another great shift in luxury items is jewelry design. Where bling once prevailed, images of spirituality and healing are now stealing the sparkle. Through either a devotion to God, or through the usage of healing crystals, jewelry has taken a different bend this season. Crystals commonly used to promote well-being—smoky quartz, carnelian, and amethyst—prevail in holiday storefronts, along with Hands of Fatima, Evil Eyes, and even Reiki-attuned and Native American pieces. Henri Bendel has a strong focus on the trend this year, but independent designers such as Olia Designs have been thoughtfully crafting jewelry that heals with love for nearly a decade now. Other brands like Aeropostale, Cartier, and Victoria’s Secret (with its LOVE PINK line) have similarly embraced notions of global healing and romance, basing their designs and products on angel wings, feathers, and the word "LOVE,” while D&G’s new Tarot-based fragrance and Bergdorf Goodman’s Smokey and Clear quartz candle holders are drawing inspiration from mysticism.

So for this holiday season, it’s about feeling good while feeling fancy.

Health & Fitness
Design & Luxury
New York

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