As all of us who read ForbesLife and countless other publications know, “luxury” can mean many different things to many different people. It can come from owning a rare Louis Vuitton handbag. And it can come from spending decadent days at a secluded spa retreat in St Barth’s. It can be the feeling wearing a priceless Richard Mille watch gives you when you board a private plane. Or it can the way the hair on the back of your neck stands up when you push the gas pedal to the floor in the cockpit of a one-of-a-kind Bugatti supercar.
But, when it comes to the ultimate luxury, nothing, and I mean nothing, trumps…exclusivity. And by “exclusivity” I don’t mean being able to get reservations at the “it” restaurant in town, or tickets to Hamilton, or even a seat on a private plane. These things are fantastic and of course super luxurious but, they’re also available to a relatively large group of people who can afford some of the finer things in life.
The “exclusivity” that I’m talking about is the ability to own something so big, and so stylish, and so innovative, and so customized, and frankly, so expensive, that only a rare few can experience the “ultimate luxury” that comes from owning and enjoying something that no one else in the world has.
Often times, this kind of “ultimate luxury” takes the form of a superyacht. But not just any superyacht. The striking profile of Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko’s 468-foot-long, 300-foot-tall Sailing Yacht A that was designed by Philippe Starck is just one example of “one-of-a-kindness” that’s possible.
But as you can see in these superyacht concepts from the UK-based yacht designer Andy Waugh, anything is possible when the sky is the limit. And the design that started my meditation on “ultimate luxury” is his radical “Nouveau” concept.
This fantastically futuristic concept will not be the largest yacht that will ever be built (if in fact it ever gets built at all) but, it obviously pushes the boundaries of yacht aesthetics to an extreme degree. And the cool thing is according to Waugh, it was inspired by the works of the classical exponents of the Art Nouveau style including Alphonse Mucha and Antoni Gaudi.
Further investigation of Waugh’s work reveals the massive, 426-foot long, yet equally innovative Epiphany concept. Waugh reports that the lines for Epiphany were inspired by a simplification of the conventional “yacht form.” He says, “The purity of the form is a product of “simple sophistication,” a concept derived from analysis of what makes a “design classic.”
As a result, the Epiphany concept uses the minimum of styling lines and structures to create innovative and elegant lines that disguise the practicality and large volumes of accommodation.
The owner’s deck is vast, extending much further forward than on more conventional designs. The stateroom forwards also has an increased ceiling height with skylights and open views towards a private foredeck with seating areas and a hot tub. The owners deck also has a private cinema as well as an imposing office with space adjacent for personal assistants or important staff members to use when visiting on business.
My only question is: When will opulent personal spacecraft take the top spot from superyachts on the luxury hierarchy? Probably sooner than we think.