Aspirations by Alice Mann


For the current issue of Numéro Berlin No. 8, dedicated to the theme The New Luxury, art photographer Alice Mann, in collaboration with our fashion director Sina Braetz, captured young, Berlin based individuals to understand how the definition of luxury is shifting in the hands of a young generation. 

Extreme times like these inspire introspection. What is luxury today? What is luxury in 2020? And what is luxury in near future?Running into an essential year of change, even before the COVID-19 crisis and the current Black Life Matters Movement, we asked ourselves this question. With the pandemic reaching the global stage, we had been challenged even more to think about what really matters and where we want to be heading in the near and far future. To explore this fundamental question, we invited the South African photographic artist Alice Mann to come to Berlin to shoot for us a series of young individuals at their homes and ask them about their very personal view on luxury. In february, we drove with her through Berlin to meet and portray these young individuals. And to ask them what true modern luxury of tomorrow is.



What is luxury for you today?

Living in abundance and material comfort.

What is your future vision of luxury?

Having not only the access to every resource but also knowledge and information.

-Esra at let it go management




What is luxury for you today?

For me, luxury nowadays means the ability to do the stuff I like. For example I am writing this in the plane to Berlin where my boyfriend lives. Later this month I will go on a holiday and went out for dinner a couple times this week. I think for me this is the biggest luxury I experience today; working and being able to do things I like with my beloved ones.

What is your future vision on luxury?

I think luxury in the future is more about innovation and sustainability. I think that the future of luxury will be the Ability to live in a sustainable and conscious way and that the value of innovative and sustainable design will become even bigger and more respected/wanted.

-Emma Hersbach, Student




What is luxury for you today?

For me personally, luxury is something that I treat myself with outside of the day-to-day routine. It can be a visit in a nice restaurant (which doesn’t have to be super expensive, per se, but the quality of the food should be high and the whole setting should be something that stays in your memory) or buying a pair of shoes or sunglasses that I know is maybe a bit over my usual budget. But I guess what people perceive as luxury is as different as there are humans. Also thinking of the current Corona situation, one realizes what a luxury it is to be outside in the sun with friends enjoying your favorite spring-but-summer-is-coming-drin, like an Aperol Spritz.

What is your future vision on luxury?

It would be a really good thing if future forms of luxury could be connected to sustainability. Of course luxury is somehow connected to the notion that you either buy something unique or get a unique experience of something not just anyone can get. But maybe this doesn’t automatically have to go hand in hand with exclusion or exploitation.

-Caroline Schechtner at let it go management




What is luxury for you today?

Spending time with my son without needing to work at all.

What is your future vision on luxury?

To buy a house in my second home country (south of Spain), to create a place for me, my son and my friends where we can all spend quality time: offer yoga, organic food, and mindful retreats seasonally at this space as well.

-Alexandra Garcia Medina, Model Agent, and her son Joshua




What is luxury for you today?

Luxury is having the time and energy to pursue personal desires. In today’s society, luxury varies from peace of mind to material possessions.  If you cherish those around you and what you have, then you’ll understand true luxury.

-Martin “Murt” Dreves Castillo


What is luxury for you today?

Individuality is at an all time high and more people will continue to find their own ways into it. Having the opportunity to choose your own path and build a whole business by yourself now is something we will all use to get to our highest selves. Our future vision of luxury is exactly how most of us are already living: pursuing your deepest wishes, being surrounded by a very strong supportive system (family and friends), and finding peace within ourselves.

-Awa Kaloga




What is luxury for you today?
Luxury for us today is to have a lovley and connected soul family and to live free and authentic.
What is your future vision on  luxury?
That we all will focus more on the connection between relationships, friendship, and the balance of internal & external change. A balance and redistribution of money and things. That everyone can live this kind of luxury.


-Melanie and Daniela at Hore Models




What is luxury for you today? And what is your future vision about luxury?

Let’s have a look at the  Ethymology: Luxury = luxus = latin for excess. But also= Lux = Latin for light. Fiat Lux – Let there be light. Beginning of the Genesis. Also: מותרות – Hebrew : more than subsistence. מיותר – Hebrew : unnecessary. So luxury as the practice of light? Alain de Botton once defined luxury as ‘The materialistic view of happiness of our age starkly revealed in our understanding of the word luxury.’
The human mind is conditioned by the society of which it is the product. Our western society is materialistic, and existence is rationalized, measured, constrained into the idea of the greater good, and the socially desirable. But life is not about sparing, containing, controlling through rationalized work. “Man does not live by bread alone.” The essence of life is excess, continuous production of a profusion of organisms in an infinity of shapes, forms and behavior. These organisms then plunge into the great waste of fighting, dying and so on . Multiplying themselves, and sometimes experiencing pleasure in the process. Luxury, as a wasteful, lively, creative excess, is life’s very essence.

My work is bound up with “squandering” vast amounts of time, many many meetings with strangers as subjects, many hours of printing and developing many images. Wallowing in the luxury of the doing.

The traditional understanding of luxury is limited by the fact that it can still be measured in numbers. It only exists in relation to a model of a rationalized social life that anyone is subjected to. Luxury only becomes what goes beyond this basic living requirement.

It only considers a state of excess of possessions but doesn’t express the mental state of luxury. The possibility of luxury is left to exist only for a happy few who can get luxus  (excess) but not necessarily lux, (light).

There are at least two different types of luxury. Traditional luxury implies excess, debauchery, mis-used materialism, measured in numbers, in money. This idea of luxury, with its expensive objects and spaces is not a creative idea. It gets more interesting when we link the idea of luxury to a feeling of quality, singularity, refinement, which are qualities an artist should be thriving to create.

Another way of exploring the concept of luxury is to go back to its latin root, Lux. Fiat Lux – “may there be light”. It is one of God’s first action in the book of Genesis. Light being what produces life, photosynthesis.

At the creation of the world, humanity was plunged into light. Does that mean that humanity is already in a form of luxury without realizing it? Of course, the only way to live as a human is to live in luxury.

On a personal level, this is how you create your own emotional light -space.

The first luxury is external the other is internal and spiritual. Living organisms are in a constant quest for their right amount of light.

The mental exercise of luxury is a continuous exercise of considering the darkness from which the light contrasts. Too much light destroys the ability to see.

The practice of photography, the practice of light, capturing light on paper (analog photography). The practical exercise of light and darkness.

Creating is a luxury. It is rich to the point of excess. It is a process in which an individual or a group creates a space beyond the main social and practical necessities in order to experience the singularity of living. Is it a sacred space?

By practicing creative luxury, we go beyond the glass ceiling imposed by society’s standards to create the experience of singularity. The future of luxury is a continuation of the past, we have left physical luxury behind and are striving to refine another language of luxury.

-Aviya Wyse




What is luxury for you today?

If you asked me this question a few weeks ago, my answer would be that I feel really lucky as an artist to be dancing at my dream job, where I’m offered financial stability, and good working conditions. It’s a luxury that I’m able to live in a small cute flat right next to work and also close to all my friends where everything is within walking distance. Now during the Covid-19 crisis, all of these things still apply, but now its more of a luxury to have my small minimalistic flat which gives me the opportunity to stay healthy and fit using the space to do online ballet classes, and workouts, as well as stay connected with friends and family. 

What is your future vision on luxury?

My future vision about luxury would be to continue to live my dreams. It would also be nice to have a bigger flat in a nice area, close to my work and my friends.

-Azama Bashir at Izaio Models


What is luxury for you today?

Luxury for me today is the privilege to live comfortably on my own. I have a small flat, but I have everything I need. Especially now that the world has been forced to take a pause and be still, I have been able to reflect  and be grateful for the luxury I have of clean water, my wonderful job, and a great healthcare system. Also, it is a huge luxury to be able to do what I love, especially with my twin sister. I love her very much and I’m happy to have her.

What is your future vision on luxury?

Honestly, for everyone to be able to have basic needs like clean water, healthy food, and education. This is my future vision about luxury. Also, most importantly for everyone to find their purpose in life and live it fully. That would be amazing!

-Azza Bashir at Izaio Models




What is luxury for you today?

At this point in my life it’s probably something tangible, but not necessarily expensive. I find beautiful interior objects like vintage lamps or vases luxurious, but often I’ve picked them up cheaply in a flea market. Also clothes – wearing something that makes me feel powerful and look good feels like luxury. This might sound materialistic, but at this point in my life, this is what luxury feels like. 

What is your future vision on luxury?

Thanks to celeb’s aspirational instagram posts, the bar for what is considered luxury is climbing higher and higher, so I think the world’s future perception of luxury could be unattainable for most. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want my future luxury to include a beautiful home and lifestyle, but I don’t want those things to define luxury for me. I’d like my perception of luxury to be about freedom, taking pleasure in what I already have and contentment.

-Amy Brandhorst


What is luxury for you today?

Luxury for me echoes to scarcity and savoir-faire. It’s not necessarily opulent or loud but a combination of craftmanshift and beautiful materials. It’s independant from trends and carries a notion of timelessness.  I think that today, people have more access to luxury brands than before. They integrate and appropriate the codes which I find great and I like how sometimes mixes are made between luxury pieces and not branded stuff. 
What is your future vision on luxury?
I think that the way of consuming articles of luxury brands will change and I could see that the luxury second hand market will be more important than it is today. Which would be synonym of scarcity and uniqueness. 

-Cecilia Crano

What is luxury for you today?
I like to consider luxury as a mix between functionality and elegance. I think that it is a question of taste rather than the price tag. On the other hand, I tend to see a luxurious existence more and more like a life achievement where your passion meets your job while having enough free time to enjoy your family, friends, and hobbies. 
What is your future vision on luxury?
We used to consider that luxury was consuming expensive and non-essential goods. I feel that this behavior is changing and that we are moving into a new era that combines luxury with a “back to the roots” ecologically responsible way of acting. For example, Michelin restaurants increasingly tend to source their products from local, independent and organic farms. And maybe tomorrow staying in a train accessible beautiful vineyard property will become more luxurious than flying to a private beach on the Maldives.

– Robert at Nest Models


What is luxury for you today?

Luxury means for me having all aspects in your life from your health & fitness, emotional and intellectual wellbeing to your financial, social and quality of life, align with your life vision. Not outweighing one aspect over another, but finding balance, peace and inner happiness with all of them as you continue to follow your goals.
What is your future vision on luxury?

I think the things we consider luxurious today will share common traits with the things we will find luxurious in the future. These are things which we failed to appreciate (enough) and have lost or have little off, and those things which we think will make us happy because they fill some sort of void in ourselves. Some of these things will be the same things as nowadays. What these things are specifically is hard to say because they depend on the actions we take in the present. For some water and fertile land will become more luxurious, for others finding a way to escape overload of information, and some will still define that living in a villa means you are living a luxurious life.

– Shannon Lutterodt


What is luxury for you today?

I would actually need a whole TED Talk for this but I try to keep myself short. For me, luxury is emotional and mental wealth as well time, which is very difficult to maintain, especially growing up, living and being socialized in an industrial country like Germany. I would be lying if I said that I don’t care about bills or that I sometimes don’t want to spend my money on material things, but the older I get, the more difficult it is for me to navigate myself through a capitalist system, which does not waste two thoughts on me and would replace me within seconds. At the end of the day I like to prioritize my well being which does not mean to cut other people in their space and vise versa. (which is open to you for interpretation).

What is your future vision on luxury?

I think I have to agree with Shannon and Shawn in some aspects. Tho I would love to see a shift from material things to spiritual, mental, emotional etc. Luxury. I mean who can really say they are one with them, it’s more people of integrity I would love to see with strong moral and ethical principles.

– Solange Adjakoh


What is luxury for you today?

Luxury for me these days means to go out and spend money without having your bank account in the back of your mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s groceries or material things like cloths, jewelry etc. To know u can spend money as you please without worrying if it will be enough at the end of the month for rent and bills.

What is your future vision on luxury?

In the Future, luxury could be time, but for people of 20+, it might be space, living space. How much space you will have to live in could determine whether you want kids, or to start a family or not. In some countries, this is already the case. Wishing for a nice apartment, a nice area to live in, where you want to start a family, this could be seen as luxury all over the world. A luxury not everyone can afford or is allowed to have.

-Shawn Adjakoh




What is luxury for you today?

Last year I founded the Peace of Mind Yoga Collective, a community where it’s about finding softness and peace in your life. We focus on how we can live a happy and healthy life. This work fulfills me so much, it opens a space to be creative, to communicate, to learn and to share. To have the opportunity to do a work that gives me so much, is luxury for me.

What is your future vision on luxury?

I think in the future, luxury will change from owning lots of material things to focus more on mental and physical health. So people are able to spend time with the people they love as well as consuming organic, sustainable and high quality products. My future vision about luxury means to do what I still love, to be happy and healthy, and to spend enough times with my loved ones.

-Friederike Laker


What is luxury for you today?

For many people, Luxury is a status symbol. They use it as a tool to show who they are and how they fit into the social hierarchy. Status is measured by what you own. For me, the meaning of Luxury is different. Being free to do what I love, being able to try out new things and, especially nowadays, that my family and friends are safe and healthy – that means true Luxury for me.

What is your future vision on luxury?

My future vision about luxury is freedom. The freedom to live where I want. The freedom to develop my own style without worrying about the high prices for designer pieces. The freedom to travel or to pursue passions. The freedom to do stuff you love and burn for instead of doing a job you hate because you have no other choice. I hope this kind of luxury will be easy accessible for everyone. Of course there will always be materialistic stuff some people will never be able to buy, but luxury is much more than just about things like that.

-Johanna Löer


What is luxury for you today?

Luxury means to be free. To have the opportunity to travel around the world and see a lot of beautiful places. Places I will never forget and which will stay forever in my heart. Luxury for me is a world full of love. To have friends and family with who you can share the best moment of your life. People you can trust and people you can cry with.

What is your future vision on luxury?

Due to this modern and fast living society, my future vision of luxury is time. A lot of people are in a full time job which goes ahead the typical nine to five job. Time provides a lot of things. Spending time with loved ones, doing stuff you ever wanted to do or if its just a me time evening. Not everyone has enough time to do what they really want to do and our life is too short for not having this kind of luxury. Hopefully everyone has already enough time to spend. But for those who doesnt, make sure you does! Time is important because all in all life is too short for not actually living it.

-Marlene Löer




Fashion Editor & Text SINA BRAETZ





 Production Assistant LUKAS STAEDLER



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