In the October Design issue of Robb Report – Robb Report
Here’s a question I bet you’ve never been asked before: What does your favorite shirt look like? Yes, “sound” rather than “look” or “feel”. I suspect it barely registers, but I wonder if it will for long, as sound is the final battleground on which the fight for you, the seasoned luxury consumer, takes place.
Of all the senses we use to fully absorb the products and brands we consume, sound is probably the last that you recognize as having an impact on how you rate an experience (with the exception of the soundtrack). accompanying your day through these fancy speakers and headphones). But these subconscious auditory links are still going on whether you know it or not, and for retailers and manufacturers alike, they are vital because “emotional connections run deeper and harder to break than logical connections,” like Lucy Alexander, Robb ReportThe editor of, explains in her fascinating exploration of the sound of luxury.
In addition to audio equipment, you may have rightly identified the automotive industry as another sector where sound is central to the experience, so much so that it plays an important role in everything from decisions purchasing to your visceral sense of pleasure on the road. But even the roar of that V-12 engine isn’t immune to the guys in the white coats, who have polished and tweaked every aspect of the symphony played by the internal combustion engine and, lately, its electric successor, for years.
“When you’re in a super sports car, sound becomes part of your emotions,” says Maurizio Reggiani, technical director of Lamborghini. At the other end of the acoustic spectrum, the sense of serenity felt inside a Rolls-Royce or Bentley is also fabricated, silence being as much, if not more, a signifier of luxury than another. This is further proof of how nothing is left to chance by those who run the design of the world’s biggest brands.
Speaking of design, which this issue focuses on, we’ve avoided the more common tropes of this genre in favor of some that I hope you find intriguing, perhaps even a little surprising. Take, for example, the stealthy ascent of the Côteaux Champenois. These are the still wines produced in Champagne which, despite having been produced long before the emergence of their sparkling brothers in the mid-1600s, remain virtually unknown outside of France. Devilishly difficult to obtain in the United States, they are increasingly worth tasting. To paraphrase one of the experts we consulted on these bottles, if Champagne is a diamond for oenophiles, these wines are like a whole new cup.
Elsewhere, we explore an unusual old bachelor pad in Texas that places the same importance on the owner’s car collection as it does on living spaces, and we ask some of our favorite color designers to highlight those in the design community. BIPOC which they believe to have been neglected. And then there is Mate Rimac. The 33-year-old Croatian has accomplished more in this year than many have in an entire career. He recently became CEO of Bugatti, taking the reins of arguably the most prestigious brand in the world in a joint venture between Porsche, which controlled Bugatti within the vast Volkswagen group, and its own eponymous electric hypercar maker, Rimac. . While the latter was launched 12 years ago, before the start of 2021, it had yet to get out of the vehicle. That was because he had instead built a multi-billion dollar business as a designer, manufacturer, and supplier of the high-performance electric propulsion technology you’ll find in Ferraris, Aston Martins, Mercedes, and Koenigseggs. Oh, and in August his first set of wheels, the Rimac Nevera, broke the world record for production car acceleration previously held by… a Bugatti Chiron.
Today, he is one of the most exciting entrepreneurs, business brains and designers on the planet. Writer Ben Oliver spent several months talking to Rimac as it all unfolded in an exclusive profile.
In addition, discover the new sports watch from Vacheron Constantin; why the preppy style is coming back (again!); and iconic furniture that three great designers cannot do without. Take advantage of the question.