HELLO! lists 10 of the most luxurious brands in the world, accessible to those with discerning taste — and some seriously deep pockets. From luxury bags to cars, these brands are as coveted as they’re expensive.
The Fashion House: Hermès
While most people get to reward themselves with designer paraphernalia, few have the actual privilege of splurging in an Hermès store. This, folks, isn’t affordable fashion. Not by a mile! With just their document holders costing nearly Rs 8.5 lakh, the big league indeed, status-symbol Birkins not only have years-long waiting lists, but cost as much as small apartments. The prestige and luxury that comes with a brand like Hermès continues to grow strong, making them one of the most expensive and in-demand in the glittery world of fashion.
The Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton
No one does luxury stays quite like The Ritz-Carlton chain of hotels. Its Swiss founder, César Ritz, was known as the king of hoteliers and the hotelier to kings. With this standard still engraved in the brand’s DNA, a century later, its 108 properties in prime locations across the globe boast the best in luxury that comes with a tag of around Rs 21.5 lakh per night if you’re reserving their best suite!
The Watch: Patek Philippe
One of the first things a person notices is the watch you wear. While having a good one is a nod to luxury, having a Patek clapped around your wrist is a game-changer. This brand automatically lets people know you’ve made the big bucks, given that the price tag for one of these timepieces is staggering, to say the least — these watches cost upwards of Rs 10 lakh and can go up to several crores for the most exclusive ones. As the last independent, family-owned watch manufacturer in Geneva, each piece is a work of art, with true finesse and sophistication in how they’ve meticulously been crafted, as can only be expected from the Swiss.
The Car: Rolls-Royce
There are cars, and then there’s Rolls-Royce. The gold standard of luxury in the automobile world, the brand has held the title since the early 1900s. Plush, seemingly palatial interiors fit for royalty (literally) and ultra-slick engineering, a Rolls-Royce will, at the blink of an eye, set you back over Rs 8 crore for starters and can run up to over Rs 10 crore. And given that they recently launched their first ultra-luxury electric super coupe — aptly named Spectre — the brand has already stepped into the future of luxury for the next generation of billionaires to enjoy.
The Jewellery: Bulgari
This luxury brand really doesn’t need an introduction. Whether it’s their handbags, eyewear or jewellery, their exquisite creations are loved by all who have the good fortune of being able to afford them. Celebrating Italian glamour and opulence, Bulgari jewellery is unmistakable — be it their famed coiled Serpenti collection (synonymous with the house since 1940) and necklaces costing anywhere between Rs 38 lakh and over a crore, or their bright, vibrant (and rather sizeable) gemstones that make up some of the most beautiful pieces ever seen.
The Shoes: Christian Louboutin
If there was ever a cult status symbol, it was and continues to be the red sole of a Christian Louboutin shoe. Emblematic of wealth, style and, of course, taste, the brand uses the very best materials and master craftsmanship to produce these beloved shoes. Often studded with Swarovski crystals, or made with exotic materials that can also be customised, lovers of fashion (worldwide celebrities included) don’t mind spending a couple of lakhs for their feet to be enveloped in these spot-from-a-mile-away shoes.
The Furnishing: Fendi Casa
The Italian house is now as celebrated for their home décor ranges as they are for their fashion — and with good reason. Tailor-made to perfection and using the finest materials, couped with other-worldly craftsmanship, luxury with a modern feel is what you get when you lay down those banknotes for a Casa Fendi home. So chic and coveted is this brand that even the interiors of superyachts and private jets are furnished with their upholstery, lighting and furniture.
The Scotch: The Dalmore
Not the stuff you swig at your local watering hole during happy hour. The Dalmore produces a wide range of some of the best scotch known to man, breaking several price records in recent years (including The Dalmore 62 that sold at an auction for almost Rs 2.5 crore!). Perfected and aged like no other alcohol, this Scottish liquid gold belongs in the dens of only the poshest folk — and is usually found there, considering these bottles cripple bank accounts with ease.
The Fragrance: Roja
Roja parfums, helmed by British master perfumer Roja Dove, is one of the world’s most luxurious fragrance houses. Working with only the finest materials (think Rose de Mai, Jasmine de Grasse and natural Ambergris), Dove once claimed to spend 10 times the price of gold for ingredients. Some of its fragrance boxes are silk-lined and crystal-encrusted, and boast 24-karat gold-coated caps, explaining the hefty price tags (Roja’s By Appointment — just a single bottle of which was made a few years ago — would have set a person back Rs 73.5 lakh). And while many its scents aren’t as eye-wateringly expensive, a bottle would still cost a cool Rs 20,000+, just to start.
The Cigar: Cohiba
Lighting up a cigar is regarded as a rite of passage for life’s special moments. A son gets one from his father when coming of age, securing that corner office at the firm, the birth of a first child… And the best kind is arguably Cohiba, the Cuban thoroughbred that every emphatically. Much like fine wine, there are distinctive attributes that separate a good cigar from a fantastic one — the kind of tobacco, infusion of flavour, size, shape and wrapper — and this brand is among the most venerated premium ones in the market.
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in HELLO! India’s December 2022 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!