By: Umberto Angeloni
There is a new breed of luxury-seekers . . . the “modern rich,” says Umberto Angeloni, former global Chairman of Brioni and renowned disciple of luxury. We have long had old-money rich, and then there is the aspirational rich, not super-wealthy but those who buy occasionally when they can afford it (they are not really loyal). The new-money, new rich may not have very high levels of taste. They are luxury gluttons and they like to authenticate items.
But, says Angeloni, we are seeing a new breed, the modern rich. These people are the evolution of the old money rich. They are inspirational but they look for functionality. They are much more demanding than the others, and this is the most relevant category of richness.
The modern rich have made money for themselves. They have self-esteem. They like to take on challenges, say finding out more about a product. They realise that modern learning, including useful technical information, is an investment in a certain lifestyle culture, and they are not satisfied solely by glamour or appearance.
Modern rich do not take any brand or product for granted. They research. They learn quickly how to recognize and appreciate luxury. They develop their own personal style without prejudice. They then become apostles, as it were, of the brand rather than the brand itself.
At the peak of the modern rich journey, luxury becomes part of DNA, forever.
The modern rich want authenticity, excellence of core product. Yes they want value but they also expect loyalty from their chosen brands, and when something goes wrong they want an apology. These patrons want something back from the brand.
They do not, by the way, want to be patronised. They do not want to be taken for granted. They do not want brands to educate them.
Modern rich do not want to be lectured on ethics and they do not want to be cheated.
Umberto Angeloni was born in Rome in 1952. His academic background includes a degree in economics from the University of Rome. His many writings include The Boutonniere : Style in One’s Lapel, 2000; Single Malt Whiskey : An Italian Passion, 2001, and Seducing the Senses : Spa Visions of a Bon Vivant, 2003
Uman, the new, Italian, luxury men’s concept was launched June 2009 in Milan. The vision of Umberto Angeloni, former CEO of Italian menswear legend Brioni, Uman seeks to capture the essence and spirit of the modern, global, self-made man.
Uman is a Men’s Style concept introduced in 2009 upon an initiative of Umberto Angeloni. Uman is aimed at a well-defined audience, the Modern Rich, with the objective to start building the ideal men’s wardrobe, as an expression of the culture and the passion of dressing up. The ultimate iconic silhouette has been created to dress this man – with a ready to wear sartorial suit that fits as though it is bespoke. Uman intends to review and, wherever necessary, to re-evaluate or revolutionize all the assumptions, the rules, the rituals, and the mechanisms that are at the basis of the fashion and clothing industry. The starting, reference, and end point is Man, who is no longer just a target or a consumer, but primarily the inspiring element, the co-maker and, ultimately, the user of the product and of the style.