The stories in this issue inspire me to consider culture as a luxury. In an era that juxtaposes funding cuts with lavish sponsorship contracts, where top tier companies bankroll cultural projects put on by professional artists living in poverty, it’s easy to be disillusioned. Some suggest that art is accessible only to the uber connected and select few; that culture just might have become a commodity. In this issue we find out how leaders in the elite industry of luxury are rolling up their sleeves to invest heavily in cultural sustainability.
Join us as four personalities living a kind of King Midas existence talk about their thoughts on luxury values. In the article Luxury Defined, the Tanzanian art collector and professional gambler, David Walsh, tells us that, “luxury is joy; it is something possessed that we haven’t earned.” In an interview with Simona Garelli Zampa of FAI Swiss, Senior Editor Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi explores a foundation that invests in the restoration and preservation of artistic properties, historical mansions, and landscapes, and discovers more about the type of projects that have major fashion behemoths investing millions.
We meet with pharmaceutical magnate Nicole Bru, who gives an exclusive interview at the Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice, where she expounds on her reasons for funding a thriving musical research enterprise. Her conviction that man, without art, is relegated to a barbarian status is the impetus behind not only the undertaking in La Serenissima, but of an entire institution in Geneva that looks after multiple artistic needs.
Contributing Editor Piera Anna Franini interviews fashion mogul Ferruccio Ferragamo, who, when asked about the shoes he makes for the rich and famous, replies that the most important thing to keep in mind is old-fashioned comfort; and finds out how Beatrice Trussardi has left the catwalk for good to oversee the Fondazione Trussardi and her original passion for contemporary art. Delving deep into the world of master watchmaker Raul Pagès, we explore the magical automata that bring out childlike wonder despite extravagant price tags. And we join Senior Editor Peter Carson to learn why the Chairwoman and Managing Director of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, Fabienne Lupo, believes that quality and expertise are the true meaning of luxury.
Industry leaders continue to throw muscle behind cultural projects and reinterpret the concept of luxury. Casting back to Coco Chanel, her words seem most appropriate as we sit down with this issue. “Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”
With my compliments.
Editor in Chief