At a friend’s 41st birthday dinner on Friday night – between coordinating prosecco top-ups and yelling at children to not spin around too fast on a full stomach – the birthday boy congratulated me on the work we’ve been doing at CNA Lifestyle since our launch last September, and on our latest baby, CNA Luxury. Thanks to one of our travel features on CNAluxury.asia, he said, he’s about to book a lovely family vacation to the Maldives with his wife and kid.
It may sound fancy, but that’s not his real splurge. That would be his solo trip to Madrid to catch Liverpool and Tottenham kick a ball around at the Champions League final on Jun 1.
On the surface, if one were to consider which described the word “luxury” more – a Maldives beach holiday or a football match – the answer would seem pretty obvious. But it would also be wrong.
When birthday boy told me how much he was spending on an extremely hard-to-come-by ticket to the finals, I realised immediately how I needed a dastardly plan to wrangle my way into his will.
Now, I don’t understand why anyone would fork out a chunk of change that huge on a single football match. But it doesn’t matter what someone like me thinks (“offside” is a type of hairstyle, right?) – it matters only that it’s important to the lifelong Liverpool fanatic with a tattoo of the club’s crest to prove his devotion.
And that’s what real luxury means to us today: Being able to do the things that matter to you.
The concept of luxury doesn’t simply have to be about buying the most expensive things – that just means you’ve spent a lot of money.
We’d like to look at a new perspective of luxury. One where information is currency and an exchange of ideas is priceless; one that reveals stories behind works of art, craftmanship and imagination; one that connects us rather than divides.
It isn’t just about Banyan Tree’s quarter-century of success – it’s about Asian pride.
It isn’t just about serving fine cuisine on a white-linened table – it’s about restaurants doing their part to build a more sustainable world by working toward zero waste in the kitchen.
It isn’t just about Japanese handmade shoes – it’s about one man’s calling and devotion to his craft.
It isn’t just a bottle of cognac – it’s a reaction to “an old man’s type of drink” from a “female point of view”.
It isn’t just about Michelin stars – it’s about the lengths Les Amis will go to in order to invest in raw talent.
That’s what we’d like to do with CNA Luxury as a lifestyle platform: Redefine “luxury”. A world of remarkable living doesn’t have to be about riches – but it’s certainly about the value we find in exploring our passions.
After all, one man’s Louis Vuitton is another man’s Liverpool. And neither passion is less significant.