We hear so much about luxury but so little is actually said. By misusing this superlative, we end up losing its essence. And what we need is more of the true luxury.
In its purest meaning, a luxury object is the result of a passion for something in which we want to give our best, something original that distinguishes itself from anything else, made by the wisdom of the hands and designed for someone who’s able to understand how extraordinary this object is. Objects conceived up to the limits of imagination, originality, balance, beauty and detail. Extra (ordinary), superlative, rare, timeless objects that we keep, take care, repair, share and leave as a legacy for the coming generations. This is the luxury I understand and believe in. The luxury of the respect for one another, for someone who always exceeds his know-how to reach further and amaze with the result. The luxury that contradicts the economy of here and now. The luxury that respects time: the time of those who create it, of those who make it, of those who appreciate it and the time of the own nature that works its miracles by providing the best harvesting of aromatic wines, the purest diamonds for exceptional jewelry, the perfect leathers for the most distinctive footwear…
This is the luxury we should be promoting in our industries. Let’s call it the culture of excellence. The one that makes us take the lead of the market and define the future, not just waiting to be defined by it. The one that ensures that everything that is made with love and excellence adds value to us. The one that makes us create value and be rewarded by it. The culture of acknowledging our craftsmen and their art, the one of encouraging our designers and their look and challenge the vision of our managers and entrepreneurs. The luxury that is destined, by the words of Oscar Wilde, to all of those who possess the simplest of tastes: the ones who are only satisfied with the very best.
And how much luxury can fit into a pair of shoes?
All we want. And we don’t need to cover it with gold or gemstones. That would only make the product more expensive but not necessarily more luxurious. The price of luxury is a result of the intrinsic value that is created. It’s a result, never a premise.
The value is the result of an artisan or creative’s vision on doing something different and of an ambition to create the best in its category. It comes from a daily resilience. It comes from dedication. It comes from the skill of carrying out the right gestures to give the shoe the perfect form, it comes from the strictness on the finishings, it comes from the trained look to perceive the smallest defects. It comes from choosing the best materials. It comes from time, out of time, that is given to the shoe to gain the desired coloring, it comes from packaging the product as a precious piece, that is, with detail and precept. It comes from a lifetime knowledge that goes beyond life itself and from the most sophisticated design – simplicity – that defies time and fashion. It comes the purpose of never compromise quality. It comes the ambition of creating more than a product but build a relation with those who acquire it.
Before reaching our feet, in a pair of shoes there’s a brand’s vision, a passion, a constant restlessness of the soul, a respect and a long history of human resilience and excellency to tell.
So, yes, we can fit all the luxury we want into a pair of shoes.
Mónica Seabra Mendes, from Universidade Católica