To say that money can’t buy taste is a truism with particular relevance in today’s luxury markets as they rebound from the global recession. Ostentatious spending is out, replaced with wise and cautious consumption that has translated into the development of sophisticated and refined tastes. That’s not to say that people aren’t spending.
Globally and in Lebanon, luxury is now more than ever about passion markets. Demand for cars, wines, watches, jewelry and art are being driven by a feel for offbeat designs, one-off collectables and vintage items requiring a discerning eye and valuation literacy. Aesthetics and the emotional appeal of luxury goods with no expiry date are the important indicators of investment value.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the growing market for art in Lebanon. Cash-laden and educated new collectors are venturing into the market. After initial market overzealousness for Iranian art, these cautious investors are propelling the market for Middle Eastern arts at a healthy rate.
In Lebanon, wine sales are up as a traditional consumer culture makes way for a growing class of connoisseurs and cellar-owners. In homes and restaurants, the focus is on creating the unique memory and one-off experience. Jewelry and watch aficionados, meanwhile, have not been put off by the high prices of gold and gems, but are increasingly demanding individualized, custom-made pieces. Designers and watchmakers are responding with limited edition collections, one-off collaborations and narrative-oriented design. Class is manifest in understated and retro design. It is this penchant for rarities that is putting ‘exquisite’ back in to the meaning of luxury.
In this special luxury report, Executive shows how people are spending, and on what. We show you what are the trends, what is around the corner, and we take an analytical look at the cultural market drivers for luxury goods. Importantly, we take a sober look at the markets in this volatile recovery period.
From cars, boating, jewelry, watches, fashion, homes and interiors, wine, spirits and even food, we welcome Lebanon to a new era of refinement.