Tribes: Untethered Luxurians


Published by:

Jul 2, 2020 4:33:00 PM

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.

Untethered Luxurians is part of our new Luxury Tribes Report. If you have already purchased the Untethered Luxurians report, you can watch the original case study video below - you can find the password to the video inside your PDF report.

To get an exclusive glance into the homes and mindsets of your future luxury consumers, and unlock all four videos, download all of the Tribes: Luxury Collection reports.




MPS Puri

Originally from India, Puri is based between the 45 Park Lane hotel in London and an apartment in St Moritz. With 153 countries under his belt, he is well on his way to achieving his personal challenge of visiting every country in the world. As a food and drink consultant for luxury hotels, Puri often travels to research a particular food concept, restaurant or vineyard. ‘I must touch, smell, feel, hear, see and taste to really understand the experience,’ he says. ‘If I hear of a great restaurant in Norway that is doing something fantastic, I get on a plane and go to Norway. That’s how I learn best.’

Constantly on the move, Puri believes that jet lag is a state of mind and keeps himself grounded with meditation, silence and reading. With no emails, news or social media on his phone, he believes it is truly a luxury not to be constantly connected. ‘While some connectivity is good – especially GPS – I think the pendulum has swung too far the other way and we’ve become slaves of connectivity. I have friends that don’t own a mobile phone or even have an email address and I envy them.’

Amy Chan

Amy rents an apartment in New York, which she now treats as a glorified suitcase. With a background as a luxury hotel reviewer and chief marketing officer, she fled the corporate world to set up Renew Breakup Bootcamp, a business she runs from cafés and hotel lobbies across the globe. ‘Now, I feel the wealthiest I’ve ever been,’ she says. ‘For me, wealth is fulfilment, it’s freedom, it’s flexibility. It’s not having to sit at a desk hour after hour. That’s not wealth to me, that’s imprisonment.’

Since Amy left the corporate workplace, her attitude to consumption has changed. ‘I used my disposable income to buy luxury goods. I used luxury as a crutch for not being fulfilled or happy,’ she says. Now, she opts for discreet premium products and uses Style Lend to rent out her luxury goods. Most of her wealth goes towards hotels – her penchant for interior design and passion for spirituality mean she is constantly seeking the most memorable hospitality experiences in the world.

Travis Hollingsworth

Having spent seven years living out of a suitcase as a consultant for Oliver Wyman, Travis now rents an apartment in San Francisco where he is building Norn, a members’ club that brings people together for 90 minutes of phone-free intimate conversation. ‘Travelling is full of chitchat and superficial experiences,’ he says. ‘I wanted to design a way to enter a city more authentically.’

While people would traditionally relate to one another through long-term relationships, Travis feels that this is changing as more people search for more transient moments of human connection in their peripatetic lifestyles. As a single traveller who does not keep in touch with people back home, he believes that the dominant narrative of marriage, children and settling down is something that must be changed. ‘I can be single, mobile, happy, and in many ways, better off than my counterparts,’ says Travis. ‘There is a notion that if you live an alternative lifestyle there is something wrong with you. I think brands could change that narrative.’

For Tribes: The Luxury Collection, we spotlight 12 consumers who are challenging the industry. 

Discover all four reports in the Tribes: The Luxury Collection here:

Life_long Learners Ascetic Lux Anti-Lux Unthered Lux

Life-long Learners

Ascetic Luxurians

Anti Luxurians



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