Back in the ’50s and ’60s, Playboy Magazine promoted the “Playboy lifestyle,” which sought to define the appropriate lifestyle accouterments for the fashionable, successful man about town. Among a list of must-haves, including fancy golf clubs, fancy watches and hot cars, was a beautiful, high-performance hi-fi system, featuring McIntosh components and the like. This was all presented in full-color photo spreads showing the ultimate bachelor pad, or alternately, articles focused on the specific areas of interest. And these audio-oriented objects of lustful desire (and I am specifically not speaking of the women that the magazine also focused on) were not hidden away in closets, but proudly displayed as gorgeous works of art, which they were – and still are. All these objects, from Ferraris to Marantz amplifiers, were clearly presented as aspirational goals for which the acquisition of was something to be proud of, and to be shown off to one’s friends and associates.
Now fast forward to today. Clearly, we have developed a wider portfolio of aspirational objects of desire that define success and signify the expression of fully achieving the upscale lifestyle, not just for playboys and bachelors, but for everyone. Besides personal items like Rolexes (or how about a $387,000 Patek Philippe Grand Complication 10-Day Tourbillon?), $38,000 Testoni dress shoes and the like, let’s consider what goes into a successful person’s home.
When one builds or outfits a proper upscale home, there are the absolute must-haves. Beginning with the “showplace kitchen” (and the key word is showplace) we have the Viking ranges (not to mention $47,000 La Cornue Grand Palais ranges)), Sub-Zero refrigerators (or $41,000 Meneghini Arredementi refrigerators), as well as little add-ons, like $10,000 Mugnaini wood-fired pizza ovens and $10,000 La Cornue rotisseries. Let me tell you, when you outfit your home with entry-level luxury kitchen must-haves, or higher-end exotica, you don’t hide them; you show them off front and center.