Portraits of Luxury

Portraits of Luxury

Richemont Group
An ethnographic research of luxury

For six months a Méthos team met with clients of luxury goods around the globe. This ethnographic immersion helped to understand how luxury is evolving: its new forms, its practices, reference points, aspirations. In collaboration with a photographer and graphic artist we produced an elegant book of portraits published by Richemont for the top executives of its Maisons.

Luxury seems to be on everyone's mind. But everyone seems to have different images of the luxury client, whether it be nouveau riche as in a brash young Wall Street trader or old money aristocratic families with their stone mansions and immaculately-kept grounds. How far are these images, or more often caricatures, from reality? That was our question. The objective of the study was to describe today's luxury clients. Not only the reality of their daily lives, lifestyles, attitudes towards culture and consumption, but also the imaginary: what inspires them and to what they aspire. Who are the luxury clients? In the United States? In China? In Japan? In Italy and elsewhere? What are the dreams of these men and women who are often said to live in a “different world.”
Méthos team collaborated with the photographer Baptiste Mourrieras, traveling widely for this six months of research among luxury clients.

Méthos has explored luxury issues, the links between values and objects and how this varies across cultures since 2006, when we first began to collaborate with luxury brands. Since then, we have traveled to the four corners of the earth to examine different subjects and luxury communities. We have built a network that allows us carry out work both in the so-called mature markets of Japan, Europe, the United States, as well as emerging nations like Brazil, Russia, China and the countries of the Middle East and South East Asia. Our latest film examines how luxury cultures are emerging in these new markets and are changing in mature ones.

Our reflections on luxury issues never stop evolving. We occasionally make contributions outside of our missions, articles, academic papers or with our friends at 1.618.