art in the park x

Women do not buy underwear anymore, they buy lingerie and the paper bags of luxury brands such as Chanel and Hermès are nowadays used for grocery shopping.

The concept of luxury goes back to antiquity as even in early days of history people purchased luxurious goods to demonstrate wealth and power as long as they could be associated to satisfying non-basic needs. The term luxury comes from Latin meaning soft or extravagant living, sumptuousness, opulence.

Changes in demography, life style and the steady growth of available income have increased the power of consumption and as a result goods become more luxurious. In a survey conducted by McKinsey & Co. the product categories in which luxury goods are most often cited are fashion, shoes, perfumes, cars, watches, jewellery, silverware, champagne, wine and spirits.

Expensive luxury products enable consumers to satisfy psychological and functional needs which make them desired by all, but consumed only by the happy few. It therefore seems that these psychological benefits are the main factors distinguishing them from non-luxury products or counterfeits. Further typical characteristics are: premium quality, recognizable style or design, global reputation and element of uniqueness. From an economical point of view luxury goods are defined by a low ratio of functionality to price, but on the other hand a high ratio of intangible and situational value to price.

Nevertheless, the definition of luxury is highly subjective, since everyone has his or her definition of luxury. For example, Calvin Klein can be called a luxury fashion brand compared to Levi’s, but compared to Hermès, Calvin Klein does not seem so luxurious anymore.

Society is increasingly trading up towards luxury goods and at the same time product life cycles become shorter. Both result in a continuous increase of the usage of natural resources. Consumerism, being driven by the so called champagne society, unavoidably leads to a lack of resources, for which the only solution is conserving and recycling what is left. Thus we are forced to live more sustainably, to recycle and conserve. In contrast to expensive in-brands, I consider real luxury goods - like a Rolex or a high-heel by Christian Louboutin or a classy car with a much longer life expectancy than a cheap car - as the contribution to sustainability.

Vacuum packing luxury good Dom Perignon champagne bottle milled in aluminium by artist Nikolai Winter
Vacuum packing luxury good Rolex Daytona milled in aluminium by artist Nikolai Winter
Vacuum packing luxury good Coca Cola milled in aluminium by artist Nikolai Winter
Vacuum packing luxury good Converse milled in aluminium by artist Nikolai Winter
Vacuum packing luxury good Converse milled in aluminium by artist Nikolai Winter
Vacuum packing luxury good Ray Ban Wayfarer milled in aluminium by artist Nikolai Winter
Doigt d'honneur middle finger gesture at Art in the Park by artist Nikolai Winter
Abhaya mudra at Art in the Park by artist Nikolai Winter
Abhaya mudra group at Art in the Park by artist Nikolai Winter