Luxury fashion is always changing — and it’s not just the looks that continue to evolve. Although you can expect a new set of trends every season, there are also huge changes in the way that we shop and engage with luxury brands. The demand of luxury shoppers are, rightfully, very high and the top companies and fashion houses are coming up with more and more creative ways to meet them. From luxury fashion that shows up at your door in no time to virtually augmented mirrors that let you get a virtual reality version of what an outfit would look like with a different hairstyle, 2018 has been full of exciting changes and updates.
So, if you’re a luxury shopper, how do these changes affect you? Well, you can start to expect more from your retail experience. Whether you want to buy online or visit your favorite upscale boutique, you should start to see things done a little differently. Here are the ways that luxury fashion is changing in 2018 — and what you can expect more of in the future.
Accessibility Has Gone Digital
One of the most convenient updates in luxury fashion is the digital shift. Not only has high fashion gone digital, with sites like Net-a-Porter continuing to deliver high-quality products, we’re seeing more creative partnerships. When Farfetch teamed up with Gucci, to offer 90 minute or less delivery in certain cities, it was a clear sign that we’re living in the future — and finding more ways to make luxury fashion accessible and convenient, for those who can afford it. Expect to keep seeing more online offerings, super-fast delivery, and new ways to get luxury fashion straight to your door.
Expect An Experience
If you do want to continue shopping at brick-and-mortar luxury stores, many of the top brands are now offering a total experience for their shoppers. Fred Segal wants you to find “an experience that isn’t replicated anywhere else”, with not only top fashion but music, food, and a place to hang out with your friends. Other companies are starting to use digital augmentation to let you visualize how an outfit would look with a different hairstyle or makeup look. Fashion is getting immersive, so you can start to expect a 360-degree experience every time you go shopping.
Personalization Continues To Flourish
More and more, people are using fashion to try to encapsulate their most authentic, unique selves. That no longer mean just finding a brand that represents your values, it means personalization. Bespoke shirts, made-on-order clothes like those of Misha Nonoo (check out her famous “husband” shirt worn by Meghan Markle), and tailored touches can make any outfit feel truly yours. If something isn’t perfect — why should you settle? Luxury fashion is about finding something that’s exactly right, rather than just OK.
Labels Aren't Everything
Especially among certain younger groups, conspicuous consumption is out. While through the 90s and the 00s big labels and luxury brand names ruled, many are now trending toward a more minimalist approach. Sure, you may be buying the best brands — but you don’t need to thrust it in everyone’s face. Sometimes, the real luxury is being able to afford a stunning piece of work that looks lovely, crisp, and clear, without being crowded by labels and logos. When you really have it, you don’t need to show it off.
Green Grows And Grows
Caring about the environment has gone from alternative hippy to ultimate chic, so you continue to see top brands being interested in sustainability with a luxury twist. From the fabrics they’re choosing, the manufacturing process, and even how they’re packaged and delivered, customers know that they deserve a transparent, green process for the prices their paying. Look for brands who are putting sustainability first — and expect them to be upfront about their processes.
Unique Partnerships Create Works Of Art
While at one point fashion houses used to feel very boxed in and companies went through an almost adversarial process, the more modern trend is for collaborations and crossovers. And the pieces that are resulting from these mashups can be totally jaw-dropping. Louis Vuitton joined with Jeff Koons for some truly unique pieces that feel more like family heirlooms than your traditional fashion. Alexander Wang x Judith Leiber created clutches that you could drool over — and Dolce and Gabbana even paired with Smeg, a luxury appliance company. Keep an eye out for unusual crossovers and you’ll never know what you’ll find.
Luxury shopping used to mean having a glass of champagne as you browsed in Paris or on 5th Avenue, but now it’s a completely different experience. From brand mashups that you should keep an eye out for to more sustainability and transparency in the process, as a luxury buyer you can start to expect more — so don’t be afraid to ask for it.
When it comes to the life of luxury, things don’t stay the same. The must-have items from one year are old news the next — and the way that we’re spending our money is changing. If you want to show the man or woman you’re interested in that they’re worth it, it may be time to rent them a private yacht instead of buying them flashy jewelry. What we value changes over time — and that means the luxury trends change with them.
That’s why in 2018, we’re seeing trends toward experiences rather than products — and towards philanthropy and green living. Being a millionaire in 2018 means being socially and culturally aware. But when it does come to buying goods, it’s all about tech and customizations — finding products that work for you, to make your life easier.
Here are the biggest luxury trends of 2018, because when you’ve got the money to spend, you want to spend it in the right way.
While some of the biggest luxury goods will always retain their status — those Louis Vuitton luggage pieces aren’t going anywhere — more and more, millionaires and high earners are investing in experiences rather than brands. From a helicopter ride to dinner at a private island to renting out an entire spa for a loved one, experiences are the new gifts — and the possibilities are endless.
Giving back can come in a lot of different forms. It may be about giving to a cause close to your heart — or just helping out the people you love. Don’t forget, just six months ago George Clooney gave each of his closest friends a million dollars in cold, hard cash. And many of the world’s richest people regularly give back to philanthropic efforts. Giving money back, rather than showing it off, is a true statement of wealth. It shows that you’re so comfortable with your own lifestyle that you don’t need to be flashy with it. When you are spending money, spending more to ensure that your purchases are sustainable and green is what 2018 is all about.
Lifestyle And Athletics
Being healthy is in. And for millionaires, that doesn’t mean grabbing an old t-shirt and heading to the gym. From top designer collaborations in the world of fitness and fashion to coordinating outfits that can take you from brunch to the gym, workout wardrobes need to be on point. And speaking of gyms, there’s no need to sweat it out at your local club. Luxury gyms are all the rage this year — some of them providing unlimited personal training, limited membership numbers, bespoke meal plans, and more. It’s like a personal sanctuary, mixed with a killer workout.
On top of all this, don’t forget the fuel. We’re still spending big on juices, protein-heavy organic meals, recovery shakes, and anything else that is going to keep us feeling great and looking even better.
AI And Tech
Siri is so old school. In 2018, we’re really seeing our virtual assistants and tech reaching new heights — from a $999 gold robot vacuum to speaker systems that are almost too subtle to be real. And of course, smartwatches and wearables aren’t going anywhere — but more and more, they’re about keeping you healthy, as well as connected. Remember, the best tech actually steps in to make your life easier, so think about an amazing new indoor security system that connects to your phone — and skip the Juicero.
Sure, coffee sounds like a basic commodity rather than a luxury — but it all depends on how you do it. Artisan coffee and bespoke coffee makers have been on the rise and in 2018 we’re seeing peak coffee. From single-source, exotic beans to at home systems that will give you the ultimate brew, expect to spend in the thousands if you want the perfect cup. It’s something you have every day — so isn’t it worth investing in?
One of the best things about having the income and wealth to do what you want is being able to customize your products and your lifestyle to work for you. You don't need to get an off-the-shelf perfume or cologne, you can have one designed for you. The latest smartwatch can give you updates to push you into your cardio zone for the exact number of minutes you choose. Shoes made to your feet, monograms — all of your favorite custom and bespoke trends are reaching their height in 2018. Because sometimes off-the-shelf just doesn’t cut it.
Sometimes, the biggest luxury is unplugging. More and more, high earners and the wealthy are spending money to get away from it all. Having a tech-free getaway, going on a mindfulness retreat, or just some time on a private beach — spending money on your well-being has never been more important.
How you spend your money is up to you, but as you can see the trends are moving away from spending for the sake of it. Luxury living in 2018 is all about spending smarter, giving back, and finding gear and technology that makes your life better.
Luxury fashion refers to the fashion that is promulgated by luxury brands, selling luxury goods. Luxury fashion is associated in the mind of the consumer with exclusiveness, rarity, quality, price, aesthetics, superiority and extraordinariness. Being a possessor of luxury goods enhances social status, producing benefits in social interactions. Luxury goods impart feelings of confidence, contentment, security and trust to their owners for as long as the ownership lasts. Let’s look at how luxury brands market their products to create unique and satisfying experiences for their customers, experiences that set them apart and distinguish them from mass brands.
Luxury brands don’t merely rely on their brand values but promote more deep-rooted convictions. Luxury brands are exclusive, so they don’t strive to please everyone. Rather, they target those consumers whose convictions fall in line with their own. An excellent example is Ferrari, with the brand’s conviction in high performance. Ferrari rarely ever uses mass media to advertise, but invests heavily in Formula 1 events, focusing its actions to reinforce its conviction in the consumer’s mind.
Ritualize the purchasing process
Luxury brands do not merely sell their products on the market. They go above and beyond to create a ritual for their customers, a ritual that increases the uniqueness of their product, that makes their offering more of an experience than a simple market exchange. They make their brand into an experience.
Le Labo, the perfume brand, is very good at this sort of thing. Every perfume made by Le Labo is hand-blended, prepared individually right before the customer at the time of purchase. This practice is based on the premise that perfume quality decreases with time. The glass bottle then has a date put on it, and the name of the customer is also printed on top. The perfume must also sit in the refrigerator for a week before it can be used. In this way Le Labo creates a unique purchasing ritual for its customers, involving them in a rich and rewarding personal experience.
Porsche does something similar. It invites customers to their Germany assembly line, letting them take their new cars right off of it.
Using social media for visuals
Visuals like photographs are a great way to market luxury fashion, offering customers triggers that evoke the emotions associated with things like luxury vehicles, designer clothing and so on. Luxury brands use such visual social networks, e.g. Pinterest, to raise awareness of their brands and advocate for them.
A luxury brand that is ‘pinned’ quite often on Pinterest is Chanel, with an average of over 1200 pins on a daily basis. But Chanel itself doesn’t do this. In fact, it doesn’t even have a Pinterest account. It’s their advocates who drive their pins.
77 Diamonds is another luxury brand that is big on Pinterest. It does have its own profile, but it maintains a strong presence, raising awareness of its products, without being too promotional.
If luxury products are sold in too high a volume or overexposed, it can dilute their luxury character. Therefore, luxury brands try and maintain the notion that there is a paucity of their products. Burberry in Britain made the mistake of over-licensing its own brand, diminishing its reputation as a brand consumed exclusively by elite society. Gucci now sells in predominantly stores that it directly owns after attempting to widen its brand in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The scarcity of brands is, therefore, not only natural, but tactical as well. Another way in which luxury goods market themselves is by customizing themselves to user specifications. A good example of this is when Garson USA build a customized Mercedes SL600, encrusted with diamonds, for Saudi Arabia’s Prince Al Waleed.
Using endorsements by public figures
Luxury fashion employs celebrities and public figures to market their products, giving them attention and credibility. The public figures can range from sports personalities to film stars. However, celebrity endorsements are no longer exclusive to luxury fashion, so they don’t produce quite the same impact. Therefore, luxury fashion tries to use celebrities in roles that can distinguish them from mass brands. They use less conventional means of advertising to accomplish this, means that are less obvious, like dressing celebrities to walk in their clothes at red carpet events, of using product placements inside television programs and movies. That is to say, they promote their products without really appearing to ‘sell’ them, making their products seem like seamless parts of celebrities’ lives.
Italians have long had a history of consuming and producing their fair share of fine wines. From the luxurious bottles of Brunello di Montelcino to the inexpensive bottles of Chianti, the Italian region of Tuscany produces several predominantly red wines that are ever so pleasing to the palette.
Tuscany is Italy’s third most planted region and yields primarily the Sangiovese grapes, with red wine accounting for over 80% of its wine production. Most of the production comes from the Chianti region that produces over 8 million cases of wine per year , while the Brunello di Montelcino region with its richer and more intense wines produces only about 333,000 cases annually.
The quality standards of all Italian wines are controlled and classified by the government. A DOCG classification (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) is the highest standard guaranteeing the origin and blend, while DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) is a less restrictive precursor to the DOCG designation. Currently 42 Tuscan wines are designated with either DOC or DOCG classifications, led by wines produced from the following regions:
Brunello di Montalcino Region
The Italian village of Montalcino located just south of the Chianti Classico zone is home to many vineyards that produce wines of deep color and full body from the Sangiovese grapes. The Sangiovese grapes of this particular region have been given the name Brunello to identify them from other varietals in the Sangiovese family and are known for ripening easily and favoring this warmer and drier region. Brunello di Montalcino wines are required to be aged at least 4-5 years before being released.
The wines produced from Angelo Gaja, especially from the Sugarille Vineyard, are all sure to please the most discriminating wine connoisseur. Another highly sought after label, Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino Annata, is a terrific representative of this region, averaging around $150/bottle depending on the vintage.
The red wines from the Camignano region of Tuscany have a rich history of quality that goes all the way back to the Middle Ages. Carmignano wines were the first in Tuscany to be permitted to use Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes in official DOC wines. This growing region was one of the first to produce a red wine from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese grapes that led to the “Super Tuscan” varieties that have become popular since the late 20th century.
There are many wines from this region that are relatively inexpensive. A nice bottle of 2004 Carmignano Piaggia Riserva with a 70% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet and 10% Merlot blend, costs just under $40/bottle.
The central region of Tuscany is home to the Chianti zone that is split between two different DOCG regions, the Chianti zone and Chianti Classico zone. Chianti wines are permitted to have at least 75% Sangiovese, a maximum of up to 10% Caniaiolo, up to 10% of white and any other type of red grapes, typically Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chianti Classico region between Florence and Sienna produces the more desirable bottles of Chianti wine that utilize 80% Sangiovese grapes and currently disallow the use of white grapes.
Most of the Chianti labels are inexpensive, easily acquired and often designated as “table wines”. A bottle of 2006 Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva il Picchio has consistent reviews and costs about $50/bottle.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
The red wines of the Montepulciano region established their DOCG status in 1980, long after being a favorite of Tuscan nobility since the early 17th century. The Prugnolo Gentile variety of the Sangiovese grape is prominent in these wines, accounting for a minimum of 80% of each bottle of wine. The Canaiolo Nero and Mammolo grapes are traditionally added to the Prugnolo Gentile grapes to produce the wines form this region.
There are many Montepulciano wines that are inexpensive, yet worthy of consideration. A nice bottle of 2009 Poliziano Vino Nobile de Montepulciano earns relatively high marks and only costs around $30-40/bottle.
Super Tuscan and Other Tuscan Wines
The Super Tuscan wine movement was originally the result of a rebellion in sorts against the DOC restrictions in the Chianti region. When the consumer market for Chianti wines was suffering in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, some winemakers started to create blends using the Sangiovese grape. One of the first bottles of Tignanello, produced by the marchese Piero Antinori was produced in 1978.
Other Super Tuscan wines were “Bordeaux-blends”, including Sassicaia produced by Tenuta San Guido which has now earned DOC classification as DOC Bolgheri. These blends, especially the Sassicaia produced by Tenuta San Guido have commanded higher prices and have garnered lots of respect from wine experts.
Vin Santo is a dessert wine that is produced throughout Italy. The Tuscan varieties produced from blends of the Sangiovese grapes are highly regarded.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a white wine produced from the Vernaccia grape of the San Gimignano region. This dry white received DOC classification in 1966. Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Grigio wines are also produced in the Pomino region of Tuscany.
In recent years, bikini fashion has been barer than there. But this year, the hottest bikinis for summer are much more inventive and figure flattering. With bold colors and patterns and interesting cuts, everyone can find a style that looks fabulous. The options are plentiful and so varied, it makes sense to pick up a couple favorites to mix it up a little. On one day you can be a tigress wearing animal or tribal prints and the next day become a stunner in a demure mesh suit.
Another must-have for looking spectacular at your favorite resort is a delicate body chain. Some of the hottest celebrities, like Jennifer Aniston, have been seen sporting one. They are clearly the go-to accessory for the year. Wearing one with a bikini is sexy and they also make a great accent for sundresses and halter tops, as they are delicate and add that little extra something-something.
Over 30 new swimsuit styles were introduced at the 2015 Swimwear Show in Miami last year, so our fashion experts poured over photos for hours until they came up with their top five styles that will work for sun-worshiping women everywhere. Leave a comment about which hot bikinis are your favorites.
This mesh-style one-piece actually looks like a bikini and is one of the sexiest styles for the summer. Plus, it is figure-flattering and provides stay-in power for any loose jiggles that are still hanging around from the winter months. Top it off with a flouncy hat, like in this photo and you'll be ready for any of the top resorts in the world.
Fringe is another throwback from the past. Think Bo Derek in the movie "10" and you'll definitely want a fringe. In the contemporary versions, designers have added fringe just every which way. You'll find fringe on the bikini top, some on the bottom and the sexiest styles use fringe sparingly, but in all the right places. It gives a sort of peek-a-boo effect that men love. Plus, a little fringe to hide any figure flaws is a bonus.
Janet Jackson and Wissam Al Mana
Most men would be thrilled to marry, or even date, the youngest of the Jackson family. She has had financial success all of her life - mostly because of her extreme talent and beauty. When she met billionaire Wissam Al Mana and married him in 2012, it was surely not for his money. Wissam is a luxury brand representative for fashion lines such as Alexander McQueen and Hermes and Janet is still belting out hit tunes, so their net worth is always rising. At last count, the couple's net worth was estimated at $1.15 billion.
Animal and Tribel Prints
Animal prints are always in style, however not used much in past swimwear lines. This year, expect to see animal prints on the beach along with beautiful bold tribal prints that perfectly accent a tanned body deliciously. Beachgoers will see you coming and going, so beware of the animal magnetism these suits can create. This is resort wear -Tarzan and Jane style - we're guessing there will be a line of single men following by the time you sit down.
The bandeau is another style that was popular in the past and now making a big comeback. It is flattering for all sizes but generally worn by those who are smaller on top, as it may reveal a bit too much for those with larger breasts. The style is sensual as it gives the impression that it may be easily removed or accidentally reveal what is underneath, so it is sure to be a hit with your male friends and dates. The midi bandeau comes in gorgeous prints and colors so the array of options will be plentiful. Definitely one of the hottest bikinis of the summer.