Which of the following epitomises luxury: a £20,000 handbag; or uninterrupted time with a loved one – a child, partner or parent, perhaps? The relationship between luxury and price is no longer obvious – a quick online search for “luxury gift” reveals anything from £2 luxury tissue paper upwards. The very word is a paradox, so overused that it often conjures up images of mass marketing, cheap labour and thoughtless manufacturing.
More’s the pity. Because in its true form this question of luxury is a personal and deeply emotional one, dictated by individual taste, circumstance and preference. There is no monopoly on its meaning – it is, in many ways, “beyond” definition. Hence Beyond Luxury: our annual dedication to those things that inspire emotion – both in the maker and the consumer.
Each category is introduced by an essay, or love letter, written by a passionate connoisseur, and the profiles that follow chronicle the brands and people whose sole ambition it is to create excellence and value. What could be more precious, for example, than a hand-tufted rug, lovingly created over the course of hundreds of work hours and sourced from the finest Chinese silk? Who can argue that an open-air bath with panoramic views of verdant national park and an endless Caribbean sea does not fulfil a deep yearning for two of life’s rarities: nature and connectedness?
These are the types of luxuries you will find in the following pages, which we at BOAT International have the good fortune of discovering and sharing month in, month out. We do hope that you can carve out the biggest luxury of all: the time to enjoy them.
- Sacha Bonsor, Editorial Director