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Jeremy Scott Defines Luxury

Jeremy Scott is a high end designer with an aesthetic that parodies and pries open popular culture. He’s a disciple of Warhol who appropriates mass media to make fun of it and his world, the fashion world. So how does he define what luxury is, since his luxury creations are so counterintuitive to the concept?

In speaking with Paper magazine, Scott and Korean pop star CL sit down for a candid conversation—and luxuriousness is a big part of it. A central point of the interview is when he is asked to define luxury. It’s a very smart analysis that I didn’t really consider but makes so much sense.

For me, the things that are luxurious are things that are rare. It’s not really about how much something costs or whether it’s “limited edition”; it’s about how special it is. It could be a mass-produced thing. It doesn’t need to be expensive. And maybe that’s why it has changed: it’s not so much about the most expensive materials and the most expensive workmanship and the most amount of time you can say something took to make. Of course I realize that’s not a bad thing, but it can also just become heavy and old. You can make something that’s very “all that” but still ugly and not special.

Super interesting. A funny tidbit to sweeten this story: the last time I attended the Rose Bowl Flea Market earlier this Summer, I decided to venture into the vast and often worthless vintage clothing wing. I walked away with a weird Hawaiian shirt that I (willingly) paid too much for by not haggling. I then darted into a dark tent stuffed with racks of old clothing, none of which were too appealing to me. While shuffling through overalls, I look up and Jeremy Scott is standing in front of me perusing the overalls as well. He didn’t seem too enthused but I now realize that he was on the hunt for his luxury, searching for those “special” things to inspire and strengthen his own personal style.

This all makes so much sense and does backhandedly help explain where his designs are coming from. By this logic too, we all have a bit of luxury. The term is less something dictated by an establishment and more wabi sabi, something we all define for our own selves.

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