We are All in this together, and we’ll design our way out of it.
I have been meeting recently with leaders of the Design Centers in significant markets across the country. In light of the current economy, they are pondering their options for generating greater value for the owners of the properties, the showroom tenants, manufacturers represented there, and for the interior designers who are the primary link to the most resourceful clients in this and the future economy. Collectively, we are all connected in what I have been calling the ‘design ecosystem’. The health of one depends on the health of All.
To make this system work efficiently and restore its health, all of us need to inspire our consumer’s desire. When the real potential for design’s value is fully realized within this ecosystem, superior returns benefit everyone, and the consumer’s experience is luxurious.
Luxury? Did I say luxury? My partner in The Luxury Marketing Council, Greg Furman, said recently, “There's an enormous amount of sound and fury these days about 'luxury shame' and the concept of luxury as passé.”
Greg urges us to go back to Mr. Stanley Marcus's definition of luxury - ''the best that the minds of men and women can imagine and the most sophisticated that the hand of the virtuoso craftsman can achieve.” I challenge anyone to provide a better word than this to describe the value of design.
'Luxury' in Mr. Marcus’s sense will never be replaced. There will always be a market of the most educated, affluent and appreciative for products or services that fall into this still much-envied niche. That’s the luxury of interior design - to live well at home in an intimate and individual environment, designed with abundant imagination. And that’s the message we need to herald the future for us All.
But leadership is required for our design ecosystem to behave luxuriously. In an interview last week at NASDAQ (the on-line stock exchange), I tried to summon the ‘Call to All.’
All design brands should remain grounded in their integrity by offering highly personalized services and products that will never go out of style. Luxury.
All of us have expectations to meet, beginning with a prospective client’s initial engagement with the design community and continuing throughout their experience shopping in the showrooms. Luxury.
All of us shall find new ways - more compelling ways - to promote the extraordinary value of design that enriches the experience of living well at home. Luxury. It’s our message, our future.
Inspired? Let us know how you would tell All.