By definition, luxury denotes a pleasure out of the ordinary allowed or indulged by oneself and in terms of luxury fashion accessories that pleasure comes from the fabric, craftsmanship and style of the piece made, whether they be a scarf, glove or throw. These three elements must be of the highest quality for an accessory to receive the epithet of luxury. In order to distinguish a luxury accessory from just an accessory let us look at the how fabric, craftsmanship and style qualify to be of the highest quality.
Any accessory made from synthetic fibres such as latex, polyester, nylon or spandex cannot be classified as luxury. In order for an accessory to be a luxury it must be made from natural fibres such as cashmere, silk, leather, cotton or wool. However, these fabrics have their own internal hierarchy. For example, the finest type of cashmere is pashmina which is taken from the softest part of the goats fleece and is generally regarded the best quality. Leather again can be categorised into different qualities; kid skin leather and sheep skin leather such as nappa are regarded as superior forms of the fabric. And Egyptian cotton has a higher cachet attached to it compared with other cotton types.
One thing fabrics such as cashmere, silk, leather and linen have in common as that they have for centuries been regarded as luxurious and have not earned luxury status based on fashion trends but rather on their quality and opulent textures. Their popularity over the centuries has lead to the creation of skills and industries that are still in operation today. Manufactures of these fabrics have acquired skills and techniques over time that allows the yarn to be transformed to the highest quality cloth.
The establishment of cashmere mills in Scotland in the 1800s has given the cloth produced in Scotland a higher cachet than modern day cashmere produced in China based on the quality and technique of it production. This is also the case for Egyptian cotton and hand woven pashmina shawls made in the Kashmiri region of India as the skills have been passed down through families for centuries.
The final distinguishing factor of luxury accessories is their style. Although many luxury items now are heavily influenced by fashion trends and fads, most luxury boutiques and retailers offer accessories based on timeless and classic styles. Handwoven Kashmiri shawls were first championed by queens and empresses of Europe as early as the 17th century and there is even reference in Homer’s Odyssey to long leather gloves.
These three factors combine perfectly to create Luxury Accessories out of the ordinary when they are donned by their owner.