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Critical Luxury Studies

Art, Design, Media

Edited by John Armitage, Joanne Roberts

Hardback i (Printed to Order)
eBook (ePub) i

A critical approach to contemporary luxury studies focusing on aesthetic, design-led and media practice with key case studies

Assembling the foremost scholars in this innovative, distinctive, and expanding subject, internationally well-known critical theorists John Armitage and Joanne Roberts present a ground-breaking aesthetic, design-led and media-related examination of the relations between historical and, crucially, contemporary ideas of luxury.

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List of Figures
List of Tables
Series Editors’ Preface
Notes on Contributors
Critical Luxury Studies: Defining a Field, John Armitage and Joanne Roberts
Knowing Luxury: From Socio-Cultural Value to Market Price?, Joanne Roberts and John Armitage
Luxury: A Dialectic of Desire?, Christopher J. Berry
The Luxury Duality: From Economic Fact to Cultural Capital, Ulrich Lehmann
‘Life’s Little Luxuries?’: The Social and Spatial Construction of Luxury, Juliana Mansvelt, Mary Breheny and Iain Hay
The Object and Art of Luxury Consumption, Mike Featherstone
Experiments in Suchness: Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Silk Shiki for Hermès,Thomaï Serdari
Libeskind in Las Vegas: Reflections on Architecture as a Luxury Commodity, Adam Sharr
Sartorial Connoisseurship: The T-Shirt and the Interrogation of Luxury, Jonathan Faiers
Online Luxury: Geographies of Production and Consumption and the Louis Vuitton Website, Agnès Rocamora

About the Author

John Armitage is Professor of Media Arts and Co-Director of the Winchester Luxury Research Group at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, United Kingdom. John’s research interests include luxury and visual culture, new media art, continental philosophy, and the critical theory of technology. He is the founder and co-editor of the Duke University Press journal Cultural Politics.

Joanne Roberts is Professor in Arts and Cultural Management and Director of the Winchester Luxury Research Group at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, United Kingdom. Her research interests include knowledge, innovation, creativity, and luxury. Her latest book is A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Knowledge Management (Sage Publications, 2015). She is an Editorial Advisory Board member of Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption (Taylor & Francis).


A collection of extremely high quality papers, which is interesting and provocative throughout, and exemplary in its commitment to the inter-disciplinary study of everything luxurious.
- Mark Featherstone, Keele University, Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption

Taking its lead from an innovative combination of social, philosophical, linguistic and aesthetic theories, this important book demolishes the myths of contemporary luxury-brand marketing. Goods from men’s wrist-watches to highly priced designer T-shirts will never appear the same. The book encourages the reader to take their own critical look at the contemporary landscape of globalised consumption.

- Peter McNeil, University of Technology Sydney and Aalto University

Armitage and Roberts offer a careful philosophical examination of luxury, enhanced by an exemplary series of case studies. In assembling this broad range of insightful contributions and through their own nuanced analysis, the authors make a timely contribution to the study of luxury as a cultural phenomenon.

- Peter Oakley, Royal College of Art

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