Consumer Behavior

How Do Millennials Define Luxury?

  • Kelcie Slaton orcid logo (Iowa State University)
  • Jessica L. Hurst (Iowa State University)


The aim of the current study was to determine and define what luxury means to Millennial luxury consumers. For this study, the authors drew from a systems theory perspective (von Bertalanffy, 1968). Particularly, this study used a modified version of Bubolz et al’s (1980) human ecosystem. This model embeds the Millennial luxury consumer, human behavioral environment, and the human constructed environment all within the context of the natural environment. An exploratory mixed method approach was utilized. Interestingly, the top five relevant words in defining luxury included quality, self-pleasure, price, aesthetics, and designer/brand. Based on the findings of the current study, a working definition for “luxury” is as follows: Luxury is the characteristics of the products themselves, including quality, price, aesthetics, designer/brand, and specific products or service, addresses the consumer’s personal needs, including self-pleasure and overall shopping experience, and addresses the consumer’s social needs, including impeccable taste, expressiveness, and social status.

Keywords: luxury, systems theory, millennial

How to Cite:

Slaton, K. & Hurst, J. L., (2022) “How Do Millennials Define Luxury?”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 78(1). doi:

Download PDF
View PDF



Published on
15 Sep 2022