There’s hot and then there’s haute in luxury. After all, it’s not so much what is popular—but what is authentically unique, bespoke and highly desired among the world’s elite. In that sense, VeryFirstTo.com always seems to be on the cusp of what’s rare and wanted in luxury. Since 2012, the British retail site has made a name for itself by giving its 171,000 members first looks at one-of-a-kind luxury products and never-done-before experiences when they launch—whether it’s a $49,000 chocolate Easter bunny or a $284,000 around-the-world visit to all 109 Michelin 3-star restaurants.
“The surprise often comes from what people consider luxury,” says Amar Thapen, communications manager of VeryFirstTo.com and editor-in-chief of the site’s monthly e-zine, VeryFirstTo Know. “For some, it is sports cars and gems; for others, it is the newest and fastest tech. For others, luxury can come in the form of something that makes their life easier or frees up time for them to spend with friends or family.”
Regardless of how you define luxury, we asked Thapen’s team to compile a list of their poshest products and experiences for our July “Hot” issue.
He says: “When you are having a dinner party, this striking plate is bold and unequivocally makes a statement that says expect bold flavors and tastes tonight! Versace is not a brand for the demure, and these plates are no exception. Gold and platinum accents on the china are at the more flamboyant end of the luxury spectrum. Donatella just showed a softer side at her couture show in Paris, but these plates remain true to the “hot” Versace style.”
Lamp—Sera of London
He says: “Let there be light, as they say! In this case, unique one-of-a-kind couture lamps. The fabric of each is one of a kind and sourced from Paris by the designer herself. Something like this can totally change the decor of a room. Accents and accessories are the perfect way to freshen up a space. We really like the subtle nod to harsh corsetry with gentle lace. The 1970s vibe is on point as a trend for next season.”
He says: “Long gone are the days when your speakers had to take up an entire wall to show their power. These newly launched SoundSticks not only offer exceptional sound quality but are a nice addition to any decor. They are interesting and futuristic-looking enough to be considered a feature, yet discrete enough to blend in. It is up to you how or if you choose to highlight them.”
He says: “Time is the ultimate luxury, and what better way to highlight that than with a striking clock that brings the retro and deco history of train station clocks to a sedate and modern square shape. It is simple and classic, yet taps into a fondness of past times.”
He says: “Whether you are in Milan, Miami or Manchester, a feature fireplace will not be out of place! B+D Design offered up these amazing, custom-designed fireplace sculptures by artist Cathy Azria, who was inspired by coiled springs. The best part about these designs is that they are bespoke. The metal also reacts wonderfully to the heat, glowing red hot!”
On the Horizon
Don’t forget to keep checking the site this summer. VeryFirstTo.com is expected to launch a new Bespoke European Tour that Thapen promises to be “couture again…that’s all I can say!”
Adds Thapen: “Without a doubt, ultra-high-net-worth individuals are leaning toward experiences over products. All of our experiences can be tailored to an individual’s requirements. The extreme ‘over-the-top’ items open people’s minds.”