Luxury has its origin in the word “luxe”, which means ‘dazzle’. So anything that dazzles is luxury. Journalist-turned-communicator Mahul Brahma’s book Decoding Luxe is all about looking beyond this veil of dazzle. The book explores the various facets of luxury, giving the subject a holistic perspective, especially in the Indian context. Decoding Luxe gives a historical background as to how India had an age-old love affair with branded luxury—in the 1920s, 20% of Rolls-Royce’s global sales were from India. The book says a retailer needs to understand that although the Indian luxury consumer is price-sensitive, you have to sell ‘dazzle’ or ‘value-for-label’, not ‘value-for-money’. The book also talks about the failure of e-commerce in luxury, the reason being that luxury shopping is purely experiential.
Brahma suggests that ‘luxury escape’ is the next billion-dollar opportunity for retailers, as escapement has always been a very dominant reason behind people’s love for luxury. Decoding Luxe is very different from existing literature on luxury, which consists primarily of catalogues. The author has a lucid and jargon-free style of explaining strategic moves in the luxury market, with a dash of humour. The book is a must-read for luxury retailers and students who want to understand the Indian market and consumers better.