History of Luxury


The luxury concept dates back to the birth of State, whenin4.000 B.C.
occurred the social break between rich and poor.


You wake up in the morning and use your 4G smartphone to schedule a business meeting in the afternoon. Before you go to work, turn on the GPS soyour car can find the best route to your child’s new school. On the way, youputgas, pay with a credit card and make a withdrawal at the ATMbyusingbiometrics. In the office, you reviewseveral spreadsheets using your ultrabook. Saves them “in the cloud” because it will be reviewed at the meeting by videoconference – and you, that will no longerbeatthe office,can participate with your tablet.

When we observe day bydayof a contemporary big city, there seems to be little room to satisfy a human dimension that dates back to the Paleolithic … But it does exist, probably linked to the model and brand of a smartphone, GPS device,car,ultrabook, tablet, bank, card and even the school where your child studies, clothes and accessories you wear, the neighborhoodyou live,the bed where you sleep and your desks: the luxury.

According to the Houaiss Dictionary, the word luxury comes from Latin luxus, thatmeans “splendor, magnificence, greatness”. Luxus, in turn, has the same etymological root of lux, our light, thereforeassociatingluxury to concepts as brightness, splendor, noticeabledistinctionorresplendent.

So, the luxury is a glow, a radiance that some have access and others do not. A mark of distinction that separates a particular favoredgroup fromthe other members of society. It’s in this context that the philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky says that, since pre-historic era, there are behaviorslinked to luxury: loud parties, carefree consumption of natural reserves, ornamentsand more, thatputout a mindset of “dilapidation, the momentum of prodigality, of spend it all with this enjoyment without worrying about future consequences, (which) reveals a luxurious mindsetevenbefore thecreationof luxury objects. ”

The concept of luxury itself dates back to the birth of the State, on 4000 B.C., when there was a social gap between rich and poor, and even linked to a religious dimension and cosmic organization: “At this new historical moment,” he continues, still quotedbyGalhanone, “peoplestarted to dedicate valuables – even magicalitems – to thethe dead (…). Likewise, luxury has become a way to show the sovereignty of kings. The luxury has become the hallmark of the way of living, feeding and even dying between rich and poor. ”



Pedro Oliveira says that the luxury, by his own character and plenty of excess, was conceived as a positive value in ancient Greece when associated with public luxury, connecting to the idea of splendor and magnificence, though kept a negative sense if applied toprivatelife. In Rome, it joined much morethe feminine universe and the physical pleasures, especially on food and drinks such as honey, olive oil, exoticculinaryandspecialwines,besides gold items and fragrances.

In fact, says Lipovetsky, luxury consumption has been thought since Greek philosophy. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle already discussed, and condemnedit. In fact, Greeks and Romans feared the luxury because it uses to represent the largestdemonstration of individual desire.

Thereis no controlaboutit, and when individual upsets are added up, itresults in a collective lack. The solution was to submit it to State intervention, through sumptuary laws. “Since the beginningof Western societies, several laws about consumption of certain items or specificsituations were deployed,” said Oliveira.

If the Greek philosophers used to think about luxury, it was no different with those who came later, but ifinonehand, like the French La Bruyère and Bayle, remained faithful to the tradition of condemning it, which already had the support of religious Judeo-Christiantradition, intheotherhand, people such as Adam Smith, David Hume and Mandeville,approvedit. Perhaps the highest point of that wrestling was the famous “quarrel of luxury” in the eighteenth century – consumption as a necessary evil – Voltaire and Rousseau, which lasted into the next century with sociological trends.

The eighteenth century was important for luxury alsobecause of other reasons. AtLuxury… Strategies, Marketing, Danielle Allérès tells us that, at the same time, the bourgeoisie wasalready copying aristocracy habitsand acquiring objects that would signify a social distinction: a way of being part of the ruling classes. The eighteenth century brought alsothe Industrial Revolution and technical development. The luxury then acquired its most modern face of “sensuous dimension, ofself satisfaction of the human being – inopposition to an instrument of social differentiation,” according to author RenataGalhanone.

Finally, with the arrival of the twentieth century, there is a new evolution in the luxuryconcept, now linked to the emergence of a new class of intermediate or high level, with social and economic importance. Allèrés explains: “Often cultivated, itwill selects acquisitions due to its deep desire for a ‘lifestyle’, according to itswishesof personal satisfaction andbelonging to a social clan, synthesis of a personal history, aspirations and dreams, fantasies. “