French luxury

“The superfluous, a very necessary thing.” So said Voltaire. “Luxury means Freedom!” others exclaim. Often clichéd, “luxury” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. The word “luxury” comes from the Latin “luxus”, meaning excess, or debauchery. But it also contains the word “lux”, which translates as “light”.

Luxury and prestige

And its meaning has evolved over the centuries. In the 18th century, the Académie Française defined luxury as, “an excessive sumptuousness”. In modern times, its definition has shifted towards a less negative concept, with the current Académie describing luxury as “refinement based on a lifestyle of splendour and comfort”.

The word “prestige” is often paired with “luxury”. Prestige describes the image that a product or brand forms in the mind. And that leads us to the concept of reputation. The idea of luxury includes a more materialistic element. But both concepts are linked to a certain way of life.

The connection to material wealth remains in place, but it denotes a lifestyle. This is where the idea of pleasure comes into play. Beyond industry and business exists an entire world of desires, well-being, identity, charm, and refinement. 20 years ago, opulence was simply a matter of possessions, even “bling”.

A commitment to excellence

But in the 21st century luxury is a philosophy, a way of thinking and being that transcends materialism. In an era when everything is moving fast, we are seeing a return to certain values that place the individual and their environment at the heart of their concerns: family, health, sport, quality of life, to name but a few. More than anything else, people are looking for a living space that enhances their well-being. Known the world over for its craftsmanship, beautiful landscapes, and culture, France as a country is an enduring icon of luxury.

This selection of qualities make France the leader of the luxury market. France excels in the fashion, cosmetics, and fragrance industries in particular. This was confirmed in Deloitte’s most recent Global Powers of Luxury Goods study, which found that three of the world’s top ten luxury brands were French (LVMH, Kering, L’Oréal Luxe).

“Made in France” status guarantees a high level of quality, in terms of both tangible products and the mystique created by the brands themselves.

The luxury industry is booming in France, where its traditions, artisan craftsmanship, manufacturing expertise, and technical innovation make the sector particularly dynamic.

The luxury industry in figures:

  • €217 billion turnover
  • 330 million consumers
  • 10 million new customers every year
  • Top 3 consumers: America, Western Europe, Japan
  • 130/270 brands are French
  • €39.6 billion turnover in France

In luxury real estate, buyers tend to opt for outstanding properties that can deliver on this new trend. And this is why France remains one of the most sought-after destinations for people to whom luxury and prestige matter. They are drawn by the properties that bear a touch of elegance or French art de vivre. Because France is the cradle of craftsmanship with a centuries-old worldwide reputation. Paris is often considered to be the world’s luxury capital.

Inherited from the country’s rich past, French tradition combines heritage, culture, gastronomy, and produce. A lifestyle “à la française” is synonymous with elegance, charm, courtesy, and character. In addition to its beautiful, varied landscapes and temperate climate, France has a reputation as the owner of some of the richest and best-preserved heritage in the world. It is no coincidence that it is the world’s most visited country, with 85 million visitors per year.

Proof can be found in France’s industrial and artisan heritage, all of those buildings which once served a working purpose, like mills, kilns, and inns, etc.

Its architectural heritage, as it is understood today, is brimming with beautiful prestigious residences and fine stone properties. Culture and architecture are important factors when buying a prestigious property. Every year, hundreds of people choose to move into a castle, a decision which is often driven by a love of fine masonry; heritage, and history. Owning a castle or prestigious property is many people’s dream because of their opulence and their role in history. Perhaps they want to live a life of peace and quiet. Or to bring the past back to life, acting as its custodian through the renovation of a historic property.

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