Defining the New Luxury
Without a doubt, luxury today means far more than mere aesthetically-driven exclusivity. Spurred by a growing global awareness of the potentially damaging social and environmental effects our consumeristic choices trigger, high-end purchasers (and not only) are increasingly buying into exclusive brands that align with their values. Authenticity, sustainability and slow craftsmanship are traits that define the essence of contemporary luxury brands emerging to meet such a visionary approach.
Sustainable luxury lifestyle brand ISĒ dovetails seamlessly into this rising wave of purposeful retail. Founded in early 2019, its design philosophy stems from a deeply held belief that luxury lasts lifetimes and across generations. Organic is integral to all ISĒ fabric, which is assiduously sourced from farmers and producers who cultivate nature as a philosophy of life. Inspired by the Japanese vision of wabi, which finds appeal in humble simplicity, the brand honours raw textures immersed in a beauty that is enhanced with each wash and made personal through use.
We recently caught up with ISĒ’s Sydney-based founder, Lilian Tran, to discover what spurs her distinct creative vision and shapes her timeless design aesthetic.
- What emotions do you wish to stir within a client when they delve into the world of ISĒ?
A feeling that they have done more than just purchase a product. Ultimately, they are positively contributing to the age-old skills of artisans around the world, which are becoming a dying art, and we wish to celebrate their mastery and do what we can to keep these skills alive. Our suppliers align with our values and implement sustainable and ethical practices to improve the world we live in, and we want each of our customers to feel part of this narrative and to be proud of the decision they have made.
- What was the most challenging aspect of creating a brand that is at once sustainable and luxurious?
I would have to say that the sourcing of materials and trims proved most challenging. I had to ensure that every decision made aligned with our core values of being timeless, sustainable and ethical, without compromising on a luxury standard of quality. A lot of time was spent on research to ensure our quality was paramount – from the fabric to the thread component of our products. Every supplier we work with upholds our beliefs to ensure the ethical standards of our materials and trims run through every stage of creation.
- Where do you see ISĒ one year from now?
In a year’s time, I would like to explore greater ideas of contributing to sustainability. I have some upcoming projects that will help ISĒ evolve into a company that not only sells organic bed linen but also other products for the home. I can’t say too much as these projects are still in the works, but I expect exciting things to happen in the new year.
- What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is considering launching a sustainable luxury brand in the lifestyle sector?
It is very important to do your research and get to know the people you work with and what they are passionate about. Make sure they align with your brand’s values and don’t settle if you are not content.
It can be restricting at times when you set your own standard, but it’s important to set your own precedent. It is challenging to get suppliers to understand your vision, but when you find the right company it is a symbiotic relationship and they are 100% on board, which is a very satisfying feeling.
- What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My idea of a perfect happiness is being actively engaged in my passions everyday and, in turn, bringing happiness and comfort to myself and to others. Other than that, I find travelling and experiencing different cultures greatly inspiring, for it gives you more of a perspective on life.
Visit https://houseofise.com/ to explore ISĒ’s world and online boutique.
About Rossella E. Frigerio
Formerly one of Dame Vivienne Westwood’s legal advisors and co-founder of luxury accessories brand Sofia Capri, Rossella is currently based in Malta where she is the co-hotelier of her family’s boutique hospitality concept, Locanda La Gelsomina. A strong believer in positive, genuine collaboration, she has co-founded the Malta Creative Collective and launched consultancy brand One Blue Dot, which guides emerging ventures that hold a positive and global vision.