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In Pursuit of Luxury: Luxury, Sustainability and Waste


17th-18th November 2017, Ruth Prowse School of Art, Cape Town, South Africa

This event is a collaboration between The School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire and Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.

The debate surrounding luxury continues in so much as there are more questions than answers where definitions of luxury are concerned. In addition, there is much more debate surrounding social responsibility, the origin of materials and manufacture, the inclusion of technology, the retail environment and disposable products.

We continue to ask ourselves whether traditional definitions of luxury are relevant in today’s global marketplace and how the contemporary luxury market addresses change through addressing shifts in consumer habits. Mass production remains the focus of global luxury brands, however there has been a shift in customer loyalty, the introduction on ‘limited’ editions of products and the introduction of ‘salons’ to enhance the value added to the retail and shopping experience. Advances in technology continue to challenge the status-quo where innovation in manufacture, customisation and materials are concerned and an increase in value attributed to craftsmanship may be pushing both industry and academics to redefine contemporary concepts and interpretations of luxury.

Have we changed our perception of luxury and therefore re-defining what it represents? What do we understand by the term luxury and can it or should it be applied to all luxury branded goods? Does contemporary branding allow such goods to remain ‘luxurious’ even though they have been mass-produced? And is the circular economy redefining the parameters of the definition of luxury where we consider the notions of sustainability and the impact of waste in what is becoming a ‘polluted’ consumer Environment.

By discussing the history of luxury against the backdrop of contemporary issues, a familiar debate is extended into unfamiliar contexts. In this new and dynamic juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated market cultures significant inter-relationships are proposed and explored to expand the parameters of the debate around the concepts of luxury.

Fashion Film has become increasingly central to describing, promoting, defining and enhancing luxury brands. They are able to engage in story telling that static advertising is not able to do. In addition, fashion film is provocative in its approach, generates much debate and is in some instances contentious. With this in mind the In Pursuit of Luxury Conference 2017 invites submissions of Fashion Films focusing on luxury and luxury brands. The aim is to provide new perspectives on the ways in which notions of luxury are disseminated to an ever increasing global audience. We encourage and welcome debate around the subject.

This conference intends to expand the parameters of the debate around the concepts of luxury to provide a refreshing context to construe the familiar debates surrounding the subject.

More information about the conference and registration can be found here

Contact: Nick Thomas

Email: n.thomas9@herts.ac.uk

Earlier Event: November 14
Costume Colloquium VI