While there will always be a demand for luxury goods and services, in 2021 we witnessed Anti-ostentation Attitudes gaining strength, forcing brands to develop more meaningful, accessible and honest communications. Indeed, the pandemic has put the luxury industry’s marketing practices under the microscope, while rising inflation, faltering health services and supply chain shortages mean flashy demonstrations of wealth are falling out of favour.
In China, the government has gone as far as preventing celebrities and influencers from displaying ‘extravagant pleasures’ on social media platforms. Meanwhile, in Europe, Bottega Veneta faced a backlash for flouting Covid restrictions with an event at the Berghain nightclub in Berlin. ‘It's become distasteful to say ‘look how ostentatious I am’ when you know so many people have lost jobs or have had their loved ones hospitalised,’ notes Elma Beganovich, co-founder of marketing firm Amra & Elma.
For the luxury sector, the challenge is remaining relevant during a time of global unrest and rising inequality. Electing progressive role models can help companies support social, environmental and community causes, as Burberry has demonstrated with it Voices of Tomorrow campaign.