AltLuxe

Posts from the “AltLuxe: the New Luxury” Category

InstaLuxe

Posted on March 30, 2014

Came across this article, “Behold a Four-Day Design Miracle in Noe Valley” (San Francisco) in the local lifestyle mag, 7x7SF. The piece chronicles a – yes – four day furnishing of a house in an increasingly swanky part of San Francisco (beloved of the newly minted Technorati Wealthy). And it reminded me of all that AltLuxe is NOT.   According to the article, the owners, after some fits and starts, got sick of the process of decorating their home. They were leaving town for four days, and they hired designer Ian Stallings to complete the project in that time. He interviewed them to find out what they liked and cared about, and then executed beautifully, right down to a fully-outfitted cabinet of curiosities. There are quirky…

The pleasure discipline

Posted on March 12, 2014

The way we’re defining luxury here on AltLuxe, it’s clear that it’s more than about the thing, the product, the object. It’s about pleasure, which is something that happens between your ears and in your psyche, not in a shop somewhere. (Luxury is most definitely not about shopping and spending or even spa-ing, which can leave me feeling frazzled and graspy and unsatisfied.) Luxury is about sense and experience and soul. It’s about slowing down and petting my cat and luxuriating in the warmth of his body, the sensuous feel of his coat, the crazy little snores he gives from time to time. It’s about writing in my journal. It’s about having an unexpected drink with my besties. Oddly enough, this kind of luxury,…

The key to luxury: awe

Posted on March 2, 2014

By Regina Connell. I was wandering around San Francisco’s Pacific Heights the other day. Cold and rainy, it was actually the perfect shopping day, tailor-made for lingering in stores, rather than wandering in between. As I lingered long in a little cluster of stores on Sacramento Street: March, The Future Perfect, Elu, and the newly opened Jessie Black – all wonderful examples of AltLuxe, I had an epiphany … that what I’m really looking for from luxury – new or old – is one simple feeling: awe. I felt it as I picked up an intricately detailed, sumptuously seductive leather jacket from Elu, with metal brads joining the seam down the back. I felt it as I picked up a sake cup at March:…

The Iconic AltLuxe Store

Posted on February 21, 2014

By Regina Connell. One of the other questions I get asked a lot (other than the one about the home) is “what’s the iconic AltLuxe lifestyle (not just clothing) store?” There are some stores that kind of qualify. Maybe Barney’s with its hard to find brands and strong point of view, though there’s a coldness to it, and their home goods section constantly seems to struggle from a taste perspective. There’s Bergdorf Goodman, but it’s just a smaller mainstream department store with really great buyers. In London there’s Liberty, with its strong though slightly inconsistent POV. Maybe Dover Street Market in London (can’t say about the NY store yet), in a limited way. My choice for the retail icon is the dear, departed, sorely missed…

AltLuxe: home for pleasure

Posted on February 20, 2014

By Regina Connell. People often ask me what the new luxury is when it comes to the home. I get the sense that what they’re looking for is a pat answer, and a look: perhaps something involving exposed beams, industrial touches, reclaimed wood, flea market finds, etc. You know, that look. But then that would be about buying other peoples’ labels and looks again, which is not what alternative luxury is about. However, forced to come up with something more useful, I’d say that it’s about these things: ease, what’s essential, soul, sensuality, intimacy, and subversion. AltLuxe, like many good things, is a little complicated. No. 1  EASE. More than anything else, the AltLuxe home is about ease. It’s about not trying too hard to look…

Consuming Pleasures: The Line

Posted on December 9, 2013

Ah, someone who gets it. The Line from Vanessa Traina (among others) is a great example of AltLuxe. It’s an online clothing and home goods retailer, online and SOHO (NYC) space called The Apartment where everything is for sale (how’s that for contextual marketing?) Why is it AltLuxe? Because it’s about not what’s just essential, but what’s quintessential…the best of what’s essential. The clothing is timeless, seasonless, smart, and not to be found everywhere, “built to last but never boring” as they say on the site. “What unites these quintessential things is their staying power, the intention of their making, and how they work together in the context of a carefully considered life.” I love that for one of their first makers, they’ve featured…

FauxLuxe: What AltLuxe Isn’t

Posted on December 7, 2013

By Regina Connell. Sometimes you define things by what they aren’t. Saw this article in the brilliant PSFK: so-called “bespoke tailoring” done via 3D scanner in the back of a truck. But isn’t the whole point of a bespoke suit to have not just the product but the experience of talking to a tailor who has a clue about how things should really hang, or how when and extra half inch is the difference between a pair of pants that feels great and one that feels awful and tugs a little too much there. (And while I’m at it, I suspect that this is actually a made-to-measure suit rather than a truly cut-to-your-spec bespoke model but we don’t need to go into the differences…

Luxury: It’s All in the Mind

Posted on November 17, 2013

What matters – whether it’s in the retail world, or in hospitality or even the products we consume – is the experience of engaging with those products. And that’s about feelings not THINGS. It’s about pleasure not consumption. And it’s feelings that underlie AltLuxe, not bling, not branding. And that’s what companies, whether it’s traditional luxury brands or the mass luxury brand, need to get their arms around. Here’s your tour through the new alternative, The New Luxury.

Luxury is dead. All hail the new luxury: AltLuxe

Posted on November 17, 2013

By Regina Connell. Luxury is one of those words that tweaks people, gets under their skins. A lot. Associations: decadent, superfluous, disposable, blingy, trashy, tacky, crass, materialistic, exploitative … the list goes on and on. The irony is that so much luxury is based on the qualities we all hold so dear: quality, exquisite craftsmanship, integrity, careful choice of materials, those lauded ten thousand hours of practice, the absolute rarity of it, the absolute perfection. Those things cost. They should cost. There is effort there. And there is value there – deep value – whether that value comes from the long-lasting, high quality of the object or experience, or the knowledge that it is rare or will last, or the story behind the making. There was…