What is Luxury? Why is it important?
“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.” ― Coco Chanel
Luxury. The state of great comfort and extravagant living. Luxury is not just expensive apartments, clothes, and food. A common misconception is that luxury is based on a price tag. Luxury isn’t that— it’s what you can’t put a price tag on. Chanel said it best, luxury is the opposite of what is unrefined or vulgar.
90% of what I’ve seen in the media or what the outside world wants me to see as a young black person is vulgar; starving children in Africa, prisons filled with people who look like me, and the poverty stricken communities my people occupy. What we as black people need to realize is the importance of having the mindset of luxury and showcase it. We need to continue to put pride into all we do; from music, art, and clothing to inventing, finding cures, and building foundations. Our community needs to have the mindset of “whatever we do and whatever we make is luxury because we take pride in it.” We can champion all the established brands that push the idea of luxury through the European standpoint, which is monetary and status. We need to champion our people and take pride in the work we do as a community because we truly are luxurious people. We create the culture that everyone on this planet benefits from and we need to start acting like that. Black people are the pioneers of everything great. All I’m saying is black people need to come together with that mindset so that we can strive as a community.
Mama always said “You can take everything from a person but you can't take their mind.” One universal thing we can all agree on is that education is a luxury. Going to an HBCU is one of the biggest luxuries. A space where black people come to get educated not only through academia but through the experience of us all coming into one space creating a culture, witnessing history, and just thriving together. As a Howard student I can attest that HBCU students are the most luxurious people on Earth, because they all have that mindset of putting pride into everything and I mean EVERYTHING that they do. They champion each other, their work, and the future they want to have. It is truly a beautiful thing to witness.
With all that being said the true luxury, if we are being completely honest, is time. As Mr. West once iconically said, “time is the only luxury. It's the only thing you can't get back.” So we need to be mindful and more intentional with the precious time we have on this Earth. Make everything you do count and extravagant.
Champion those who look like you and are making a difference.
And ask yourself—what legacy do you want to leave?
- Editor in Chief of Premiere Magazine, Kyle Mells