According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, luxury means a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort : sumptuous environment.Â It also means something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary, or an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease.
With such definition, living in Tokyo is full of luxury with TOTO toilet with heated toilet seat and videt, 7-11 offering 15 different types of canned coffees, mobile phone that functions as subway ticket.
But my friend, Mike Abelson told me the other day what the president of Hermes said about luxury today:Â to repair something.
If such definition is most fit for the term, luxury, then indeed, Tokyo offers luxurious living.Â All sorts of repair shops, shoes, bags, clothes are at street corners.Â As Mike says, somewhere along the line, we realize that new isn’t always better.Â Manufacturers keep on coming up with “improved new product”, but how can a TV or camera be improved so often, so quickly?Â Especially tools.Â Like a hammer, once it reaches the point of maximum utility, its complete.
Taking my favorite shoes to have the heels and soles repaired, when they return to me, there’s enormous feeling of satisfaction.Â It’s wonderful because they are comfortable, they look good on me, and I know I am not wasting.Â In Tokyo, so many choices of places to take my shoes to get them fixed.Â It’s not just skill thing, but the entire process, the service is there just like any other types of consumer shops.Â 7 years ago, design researchers came to Tokyo from all other the world to study “luxury”.Â Â Design researchers still come to Tokyo for “luxury”, but the luxurious products and what consumers do to obtain luxury changed.