“Be the Vision You Dreamed of” — Hajj Flemings
On December 23, 2019, I turned 48 years old and woke up thinking about what ‘luxury’ means in society today. There was a point in time when luxury was defined by wealth. Luxury is now being redefined by exclusivity and unique experiences. The idea of a product being handcrafted or made locally in Detroit embodies a level of authenticity that people value and are willing to pay for. Heritage brands like Tiffany & Co. are having to reimagine their brand position because of the millennial generation, who aren’t in a rush to get married and buy a Tiffany ring. According to the Harris Group, 72% of millennials would rather spend money on experiences than on material goods. I believe social status and identity will be redefined by freedom and not just the status of owning a luxury item. Where you work, what you wear to work, what you work on and where you work from are directly connected to freedom and autonomy which are more valuable than money.
The New Luxuries:
- Time: No matter how much money you have, the one commodity you can’t get more of is time. The average person will spend approximately 89,000 hours working in their lifetime. Since I am going to spend that much of my waking life working, I want my work to matter. When I launched Rebrand Cities, I grounded it in the social mission of eradicating the digital divide. To help small business owners in urban cities become a part of the digital ecosystem and build sustainable businesses. So what are you committing your life to?
2. Purpose: Are you working on something that matters? As we move deeper into the “creative economy” — working “in” and “on” purpose on projects that outlive us is so important. Tom Peters, author and business management consultant reminds us to work on projects that outlive us with the phrase, “Life is nothing more than a series of really interesting projects…” Doing work that matters aligns you with the new value proposition of being authentic, unique and special.
3. Wellness — You are The New Modern Athlete: In 2019, I had a health challenge that made me reevaluate my health and wellness philosophies. One of the first changes I made was shifting to plant-based eating. This was the catalyst to not only help me lose weight but more importantly sustain my 40 lbs of weight loss and decrease my body fat by 10%.
The wellness industry is a $12.2 Trillion industry according to Global Wellness Institute (GWI). As I started to integrate wellness, faith, food, health and fitness, into my lifestyle, it changed everything. My energy and work performance improved exponentially.
We typically ascribe the title, “Modern Athlete”, to public figures like Lebron James, Tom Brady, or Usain Bolt. However, Nike put it best: “Anybody with a body is an athlete”. If you are reading this post then you qualify! I would like to expand on the phrase, ‘modern athlete’ and introduce the ‘The New Modern Athlete’. This is a non-public athlete (entrepreneur, professional, creative, stay-at-home mom/dad). Anyone who realizes health, rest, and fitness are the basic requirements to get the job done. They are driven to be the best version of themselves; like Kevin Hart who is helping to redefine what an athlete is.
I used to be #TeamNoSleep; now I go to bed and get my rest. A healthy entrepreneur is a better entrepreneur. A healthy mom is a better mom. The New Modern Athlete’s performance is hinged on the ability to be physically, emotionally and mentally fit through a disciplined lifestyle, allowing them to be fully present in the moments that matter.
4. Sneakers are the New Status Symbol: We are living in a time where self-expression across business and leisure spaces has undergone mass adoption.
At the center of this shift is sneakers. Balenciaga Triple S sneakers retail for around $900 (which is more than some women’s handbags). Sneakers are the new symbol of luxury due in large part to millennials. Terms like “Athleisure” have emerged which celebrates the idea of “athletic inspired” fashion for the modern professional. Sneakerhead or not, sneakers are quickly becoming the new norm in business culture. Creating a unique style is an important ingredient within your personal brand narrative and ultimately an inspiration that fuels great work.
The new luxury is Freedom. Freedom will play a larger role in social identity and signifying status. A larger role than just the purchasing of a luxury branded product by itself. Self identity and status are very powerful, especially when it is reflected in how your time is used and how you show up in the world mentally, physically, spiritual and visually.
#RebrandingLuxury #RebrandLuxury #Freedom #Sneakers #Wellness