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Tribes: Untethered Luxurians


Published by:

12 September 2019

Author: The Future Laboratory


Challenging what it means to be wealthy, this tribe have chosen a lifestyle that prioritises freedom and self-fulfilment over a settled existence.

Wealth is changing. While material goods were once considered the ultimate status symbols, something more abstract is taking their place – a sense of liberation. In our 2018 macrotrend, Uneasy Affluence, we explored how societal shame is driving wealthy consumers to lose interest in superfluous possessions. This buy-less mindset endures. YouGov’s Affluent Perspective recently found that the majority of luxury consumers are reducing their consumption; at least 77% of those surveyed are making fewer, but more meaningful purchases.

Uninterested in ownership, luxurians are swapping their designer clothing, supercars and expensive homes for the chance to be unchained from the traditional tropes of success. This extends to the workplace, where they have been liberated by the mass adoption of flexible working – 53% of people work remotely for at least half the week, according to the International Workplace Group.

With capital behind them to travel the world as they see fit, wealthy consumers are wandering between nations, cafés and hotel lobbies, confident in the knowledge that the technology is there to connect them should they need it. ‘Among high-net-worth individuals, there is an idea that everywhere is a playground and everywhere is a business transaction,’ says Philippa Wagner, creative strategy director at Ennismore. ‘They feel that the world is their oyster, and technology has enabled them to make it more seamless and convenient.’

Living on impulse, these tribe members are showing entirely new attitudes to travel, breaking away from the much-frequented luxury destinations of the past. According to Ipsos, 65% of affluent Americans prefer destinations that are off the beaten track. For these consumers who travel light, are hungry for rare adventures and are blessed with the privilege of time, travel is not a shortcut for experience-collecting. Instead, it is a tool for learning, self-realisation and fleeting moments of human connection. 

With roots in Switzerland and a London hotel, tribe member Puri has spent his life travelling the world in pursuit of the most extreme dining experiences, finest wines and impeccable service. Meanwhile, Amy, who fled the conformism of the corporate world to run her own business, treats her New York apartment as a glorified suitcase. Finally, San Francisco-based Travis has put his nomadism on hold to focus on building Norn, a members’ club that is tackling the solitude of travel.

For the Untethered Luxurians, wealth is not material – it’s the power to step off the corporate ladder, disconnect from digital technology and embark on a life driven by curiosity over comfort.



Discover all four of our Luxury Tribes on LS:N Global:

Life-long Learners small-1 Ascetic Luxurians small Anti Luxurians small Untethered Luxurians small

Life-long Learners

Ascetic Luxurians

Anti Luxurians



We have more than 60 Tribes across a variety of sectors to explore at our Trends Intelligence membership platform, LS:N Global.

Members get exclusive access to our full Tribes series which includes original ethnographic research and films covering influential subsets of consumer behaviour. Members also get access to our full library of trends intelligence reports, including the Tribes: Food & Drink Collection. 

Find out more about the membership here.


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