The fashion industry and the world at large lost a true genius when Karl Lagerfeld passed away in February. Known as much for his wit and wisdom as his designs, he once said of his own industry: “We created a product nobody needs, but people want.” His sometimes snarky quips – “sweatpants are a sign of defeat” and “trendy is the last stage before tacky” – were also legendary.
But to me, one of his most pertinent sayings was “luxury bags make your life more pleasant, make you dream, give you confidence and show your neighbours you are doing well”. No one needs a £2,000 handbag but they sure do make you feel better.
The same could be said of luxury travel. Yes, we all “need” self-care, a rest and some time off work, but who actually needs a £20,000 luxury holiday? As travel advisors, that’s what you have to grapple with – need versus want. It’s a real skill to be able to convince clients to go ahead with their luxury break. But if you need more inspiration, maybe the late Lagerfeld can help.
Tell clients they need the trip because it will “make your life more pleasant, make you dream” and most certainly “give you confidence”. Inevitably, it will also show others you’re “doing well”. Of course, travel’s additional capacity to elevate understanding of other cultures can also be added into the mix.
To return to Lagerfeld, he was his brand, creating an image as iconic as the clothes he designed for Chanel. But how many of us see ourselves as a brand, understanding who we are and what we represent to the world at large? But combine your brand with people’s irresistible desire for luxury travel and you too could put on a show worthy of a nod from the black-clad German designer. Just make sure you don’t do it in your sweatpants…