Historically, the term luxury has always been a standard of quality, a mark of authenticity and shielded by a veil of exclusivity. But now the term is increasingly being owned by high street brands looking to squeeze a few more pennies via some nice packaging, leading to this dearth of 'luxury' options.
And while we are more open to purchasing electronic products that are China- made, many of us are still resistant to paying top dollars for a designer bag or a dress that's manufactured there (as opposed to home countries of these fashion houses). Admit it, there is hesitation. So, why the prejudice?
It's the creativity and individuality oozing out of every handmade treat from the fine chocolatier that has set Paul A Young apart from every other chocolate company. It is his flare for treating British classics,as an ingredient and tasted as a seasoning which has kept his chocolates clear of gimmicks.
When the recession hit in 2007, the majority of economists and retail commentators predicted that the luxury retail market would not fare well, but five years on it has not only survived, but prospered. Only last month Burberry Group posted a 24 per cent surge in its 2011 profits and Richemont (the third largest luxury group and owner of Cartier) posted a sharp increase in sales of €2.62bn.
It's particularly interesting to note that it's younger men who are really embracing luxury fashion over older generations. Although they currently make up as small segment of the overall spend, Gen Y presents an interesting opportunity for the luxury fashion designers and houses, both in London and across the world.
I had somebody ask me recently in a most astonished voice why I had moved back to Finland after almost 20 years abroad. It made me laugh. That a Finn should ask such a question, how typical! A Spaniard would've asked me how come I managed to survive so long away from Spain, the best country in the world!