The dynamic among society’s wealthiest started to shift in 2018. Public backlash against overt displays of prosperity and privileged lifestyles drove a major re-assessment of what is considered appropriate today when it comes to luxury spending and investments, inspiring our 2018 luxury macrotrend Uneasy Affluence.
With affluent Millennial and Gen X consumers feeling increasingly anxious about how their moral worth is linked with their wealth, 2019 will see the concept of Uneasy Affluence continue to shape the products and services emerging from the luxury sector. Most recently, we have seen this with Chanel’s decision to no longer use exotic animal skins, the rise of high-end hospitality shaped by the sharing economy, such as the Ritz Carlton Residence’s Sharing Room in Miami, and lab-grown diamonds entering the mainstream as an ethical luxury alternative.
‘It’s creating a cultural shift,’ Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, author of 2017 book The Sum of Small Things, tells LS:N Global. ‘There’s a disdain towards overt materialism and a shying away from showing off wealth. It’s not attractive to show your social position in that way.’