‘saratoga living’ Editor In Chief Richard Pérez-Feria: What ‘Luxury’ Means To Me

For someone who doesn’t meet the stratospheric monetary requirements to be so deeply invested in this word, I spend an inordinate amount of time—and have, over many, many years—thinking, discussing and writing about the concept of “luxury.” As an editor in chief who has carved out a career leading dozens of magazines and websites that largely cater to the well-heeled, I felt right at home when I happily landed in Saratoga Springs to reimagine the magazine you’re holding in your hands. And I knew from the moment I accepted this massive responsibility that one of our special issues of saratoga living this year would be dedicated to all things luxury. And here it is.

Being around fabulous people and chronicling the lifestyle of the one-percenters does have sweet perks, to be sure (global travel, world-class cuisine, celebrity encounters), but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized what every Hollywood rom-com and This Is Us episode explicitly lays out: Love is all that matters.

Yes, of course that’s true, but is it the full picture?

As my career ascended and my tastes in “things” grew, I went through an extended “must-have-this-right-now” phase that I still can’t quite believe. Jaguar convertible? Check. Rolex Daytona? Check. Rodeo Drive shopping sprees? Check. I mean, it got crazy silly really quickly, and I look back on those many years as being nothing short of an insane fever dream. Was it fun? Yeah. Was it nuts? Absolutely.

I was living the high life, the luxe life, or so I thought. When the world started crashing down around me and the magazine industry first felt its early knocks a decade or so ago, I knew the wave of change was coming and that I had to snap out of my luxury haze. So, I did. My spiritual and intellectual reboot has taken me to a much happier place, where words such as “kindness,” “forgiveness” and “perspective” have replaced Gucci, Nobu and Soho House. I didn’t quit all of those seductive fancy trappings cold turkey, exactly, but the shift was definitely on—and I liked it. I needed it.

When people ask what “luxury” means to me—an admittedly odd question that I’ve somehow been asked a handful of times in my life—my answers have always been honest at the time. Today, right now, my response is as simple as it is sincere: silence. Think about it. How much would I pay to not sit next to the crying baby on an airplane? To not have to listen to certain politicians lie as sport? To not hear my neighbors arguing when I’m Netflix-and-chillin’? Silence is the ticket, baby. And that’s what I crave the most.

The sound of silence is my luxury happy place. What’s yours?

Richard Pérez-Feria
Editor in Chief

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