How Do You Define Luxury?

Photo: Hermes

These days, the word "Luxury" is bandied about quite frequently and is used more as a marketing tool than a descriptor.

A few months ago I went to a presentation of Donghia textiles at the fantastic John Brooks showroom (yes, as you must suspect by now, I go there quite frequently).  Todd Huckabone, National Sales Manager for Donghia presented the line to a group of designers and one of the first questions he asked was "What does luxury mean to you?"  For Todd, luxury is ironed sheets.  Ironed sheets feel divine
(especially when scented with linen water) but who really has time to iron their sheets these days? (Ironically, I just stumbled across a post on one of my favorite new blogs Passementerie on this exact topic!)

As for me, my mind went straight to the Hermes scarf because it is exquisitely designed and constructed as well as timeless and I know a scarf from Hermes will last a lifetime!

We have lost sight of the true definition of luxury -- walk down the aisle at Bed, Bath & Beyond and count all the items are touted as "Luxury" this or "Luxe" that.  It is amazing the number and the breadth of quality represented by these items.  For example, the experience you will have sleeping on the Hotel Windowpane sheet set (A king-size sheet set retails for US$99) is described here:

You'll feel like you're sleeping at a five-star hotel right in your
home. With a classic windowpane design, sheets are made from ultra-fine
premium yarns that are woven together to create the ultimate feel of

Compare that to an exquisite set of linen sheets from C & C Milano.  Yes, it is a bit more of an investment (approximately US$1,000 for a king-size set), but the sheets will last forever (provided they are properly cared for) and they will only get better with age.  The time and care that goes into the construction and finishing of the sheets is without equal. 

Photos: C&C Milano