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Luxury Design Trends for 2005, and Beyond

Furniture World Magazine


Quality is on the Rise Product quality will continue to improve across the board, especially in the luxury goods category, a result of ever rising consumer expectations. With quality, but a brand's price of admission, we expect to see the move toward product customization and the "bespoke" tradition to continue to gain ground as more brands recognize it as an effective strategy to escape the commodization trap, where parity products lose their reason for being and profit margins. Ostentation in Full Bloom Bling-bling celebrity culture has captured the imagination of the affluent, the wealthy and the "filthy" rich alike. The Eighties Yuppie "Me" generation has nothing on what's coming, as we expect to see those who can afford to flaunt their success in every conceivable product, luxury service and category. Super-size it may become the code word of the second half of the decade as aging consumers make one last glorious fling. Bigger Does Equal Better From 400-plus foot-long yachts to 100 carat colored diamond necklaces and mid-six figure land yachts, bigger as in size and in price is the order of the day. We expect to see homes continue to expand their footprints along with wine cellars, home theatres, spas and exercise rooms. Tech is Getting Real Personal Technology products, from colored iPods to the platinum Virgin cell phone are becoming key personal branding tools. Who you are and what group you aspire to is a direct reflection of the color of one's earbuds, the functionality of one's cell phone or Blackberry, the brand of one's portable game and DVD player. We expect personal tech to flower as the quintessential fashion accessory in the year ahead. Creating New Experiences Once again, the bottom line is luxury and as agents of our personal evolution we will seek out new luxury products and services that allow us to experience life in new and more self-enriching ways. Planning an exotic adventure holiday at a exclusive retreat in the most secluded place, glamorizing a dinner party with fine china and silverware, experiential exercise regiments guided by personal trainers who care about our well-being and our diet, and the recreation of a lux-spa experience at home with all sorts of pampering devices, relaxation creams, wellness potions and aromas. Uber-lux is the watchword wherever we go in the second half of the Millennial first decade. Where does the word uber come from, my research tells me it is a slang word used in comic books and on candy bars meaning extra or super duper. About Kenneth Hirst: Hirst Pacific is led by Kenneth Hirst, an award-winning product and retail interiors designer with 18 years of global experience in marketing, manufacturing, and design, Hirst's versatility and expertise encompass a wide range of disciplines, from high-end fragrances and personal care items to mass-marketed package goods, accessories, medical equipment, lighting and furniture design. A native of Australia, Hirst distinguished himself early in his career as an accomplished product designer at home and in the US before teaming with Cato, Gobe & Associates (now d/g*) to launch his first product and retail design firm ­ Cato Gobe Hirst, in New York City. Following the merger in 1990, Hirst was named principal and executive creative director, expanding his expertise into packaging and graphic design, global branding and consulting. Inspired with a fresh vision for a new design practice, Hirst launched Hirst Pacific Ltd in 1996 to provide comprehensive brand image services focusing on design innovation with a strategic approach. The creative vision behind such fragrance lines as "Still" Jennifer Lopez, "Celine" Cline Dion, Havana, and Tommy, Hirst designed the exclusive 'metal box' packaging program for Movado 'Vizio' watches, and the revolutionary Gillette Series men's grooming products. His architectural programs include flagship stores for Godiva chocolatier and Rockport, and a Movado concept store to showcase their expanded line of decorative personal and home objects. His work has been featured in a number of international publications, including Time, The New York Times, Architectural Record, and Graphis Packaging Annual. He has lectured at conferences and expositions worldwide and has received numerous awards and patents for his work. Hirst holds degrees in industrial design and in applied science in environmental design from Canberra University in Australia. Hirst Pacific, a product design and development firm that specializes in luxury and new luxury products, is completing in-store brand communication design work on the first Citizen Watch USA retail store, and just won an assignment for packaging redesign of the Braun line of electric shavers, and the design of a showroom celebrating 50 years of Braun design.