Luxury Should Be Exquisite Not Exclusive

wwc 070721 luxeTHE usual descriptions we have been levelling at the high-end consumer market have become part of the luxe lexicon, but they are not necessarily words those in the industry are fond of.

“Luxury” and “exclusivity” are words bandied about for high-value goods, referencing products that are expensive, limited, often out of reach to the mass consumer. They are aspirational products that are part of a thriving segment of the consumer industry.

But to Octavio Garcia, the co-founder of his own watch brand Gorilla Watches, he views the word “luxury” less than favourably. The former chief designer of Audemars Piguet watches says he doesn’t consider AP watches as luxury items.

Octavio says the word “luxury” is ambiguous and has negative connotations.

“What does it mean?” asks Daniel Magg of the word “exclusivity”?  The General Manager of luxury furnishing company W. Atelier says he never uses the word because it implies keeping people out; not a positive sign for today’s consumers who thirst knowledge and have easy access to it.

“I prefer ‘exquisite’ rather than ‘exclusive’ TO DESCRIBE our brands.”

Changing To Be Relevant

This WED WEB CHAT — IS LUXE IN A STATE OF FLUX? explores the world of luxury as experienced by four panellists who operate in this highly coveted and cutthroat industry.

Joining Octavio and Daniel in the discussion is Dr Sonja Prokopec, LVMH Chaired Professor (The Future of Luxury) at ESSEC Business School, who likens the high-end consumer journey as a car ride. While top-tier brands used to chauffeur clients and showcase what they had to offer, today’s customer is now navigating as well.

Raj Kaul makes up the fourth panellist, sharing his three decades of fashion industry experience as a C-level executive. He has seen brands come and go, rise and fall and rise again and holds up Gucci and Chanel as examples of brands keeping with the times.

He also points out the growth greed that propels heritage brands into unfamiliar terrain resulting in loss of profitability.

While the desires of business owners will continue unabated, how they operate will be put under pressure down the line as newer generations impose their will for change.

Watch a selection of highlights in the following videos. The full recording can be viewed at the end of this article.

The WED WEB CHAT is a regular discussion with panellists on a range of issues. It takes place every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month, from 12:45-1:30pm (Singapore time). Visit for more information.

Octavio Garcia talks about the evolving relationship between brands and clients.

Daniel Magg says that iconic products will never lose their appeal, regardless the age of the consumer.

In the past, it was the mystery behind luxury brands that appealed to the consumer. Today, it’s viewed as untrustworthy, says Sonja Prokopec.

The luxury business is filled with greedy players intent on amassing companies and fortunes, often neglecting the core values of the brand says Raj Kaul.

Octavio Garcia, the former chief designer at watchmaker Audemars Piguet, explains why he wouldn’t describe it as a “luxury” brand.

There can never bee too much transparency reckons Daniel Magg of W. Atelier. The more informed the consumer, the better the relationship with them.

Watch the full discussion of WED WEB CHAT — IS LUXE IN A STATE OF FLUX? below.

Watch our previous wedwebchats:

If you have a topic that is of interest, or have someone who would make a good panellist with a thought-provoking perspective on a subject, please email with your details and a short summary.

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