Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2017

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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CHICAGO — In a world where knock-offs and commodity products are part of everyday life, the search for true and authentic products can be a challenge. While many are content with the imitation versions of the real thing, other – more discerning – consumers believe the pursuit of the original version is worth the time and effort. Luxury items also appeal to a specific clien- tele, those who want to know that what they have is the best it can possibly be. They pass on the less expensive yet often viable product in favor of the one that will give them the satisfaction of treating themselves because they're worth it. While imitation versions continue to sell, there is a resurgence of interest in the crafts- manship and originality that goes into creating an authentic product. The increased attention being paid to hand craftsmanship, local artisans and natural and reclaimed materials is turning the tide back to authenticity. And desire for luxury products remains high, with today's con- sumers understanding the value and pleasure that comes from pursuing these items. By combining these two ideas of authen- ticity and luxury, the concept of Auth Lux was born. According to Greg Rohl, vp of marketing for ROHL, the creative team at the company coined the phrase a few years ago. "We con- tracted the two words – Authentic and Luxury – and came up with Auth Lux" (registered trademark 2017 ROHL LLC), he offers. To educate and build awareness in the outside world for what is truly authentic luxury, ROHL created the Auth Lux Designer Guild, which includes inaugural members Julia Buckingham of Buckingham Interiors + Design in Chicago, Marcia Tucker of Marcia Tucker Interiors in Greenwich, CT and Denise McGaha of Denise McGaha Interiors of Dallas. ROHL followed up the creation of the Guild with its first ROHL Auth Lux Summit, a three-part series that examines the nuances of authentic luxury. The first two presenta- tions, which are summarized here, were held recently in New York and Chicago, respectively. The third is scheduled to be held in Dallas on September 14, 2017. DEFINING AUTHENTIC LUXURY So, what exactly is Authentic Luxury? According to the definition, it is "where original design and a commitment to craft come together, con- necting touch of hand, truth in materials and place of origin." To understand what authenticity means in the luxury market, Pam Danziger, principal, Unity Marketing, suggested looking at the terms separately. "You can look at a brand and a product and say it's authentic. It's measurable. It can be validated. It stands for something true. That's quantitative," she explained. The qualitative side, however, is the internal side. "It's the mindset of the consumer – how they interpret luxury," she reported. "So, luxury is different for every individual. It is highly unique," she added. When thinking about authentic luxury brands, what results is that the products are elevated to an even higher level – "where the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts," Danziger remarked. Key components of the authentic luxury brand include: the product itself is luxurious and crafted; it is culturally grounded in a place and time, and there is a story to tell about its history and tradition in the luxury market. Authentic Luxury's Role in Design BY ANITA SHAW The merging of the terms au- thentic – which means true to materials and the process, and luxury – which is about best in class, is shining a spotlight on a segment of the market that is poised for new growth. Participants at the recent ROHL Auth Lux Sum- mit in Chicago included (l. to r.): Joyce Romanoff, Greg Rohl and Julia Buckingham. Rohl sources its faucets from artisan-based companies throughout the world. The Pro Grand Range from Thermador was one of its many first-to-market items in its 101-year history. Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry crafts each door and drawer front according to designer specifications. The glass-front uppers, shown here, feature six panes of glass and two different wood species. 22 Kitchen & Bath Design News • August 2017 DESIGN UPDATE Continued

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