Luxury just isn't what it used to be. With many high-end purveyors catering to the masses, price and brand are no longer reliable indicators of what is worthy of the luxury label. So, how does one recognize the truly special from the run of the mill luxury? According to Men.Style.com, it isn't so much about price as it is about time. How long it takes to create an item ups its luxe factor and separates the good from the very, very good. With that distinction in mind, they have identified the world's top twenty luxurious items for men. From shoes to motorcycles, these are the cream of the crop for the discriminating male. My personal favorites from the list:
Stefano Bemer shoes. Bemer, who once worked for Gucci, is an Italian master cobbler who hand-makes truly unique shoes. Using materials such as toad and camel, his bespoke shoes take about three months to produce and start at around $2,000.
Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses. You could probably find a more expensive pair of sunglasses, but you would be hard-pressed to find a pair with better celebrity endorsements. Michael Caine, Peter Sellers and John Lennon have all enjoyed Goldsmith eyewear. Made from precise measurements of the client's face, each pair is cut by hand and takes about four hours of labor to produce. Four hours may not seem like a long time, but you'll have to get in line for your pair. Orders generally take about six weeks to fill and cost around $500 a pair.
Vanilla Bicycles. From his Portland, Oregon shop, founder Sacha White and his team handcraft bicycles built for you. Each bike is a one-of-a-kind creation, made to the customer's specifications. From the six weeks required for painting the frame to the ten hours spent polishing the lugs, owning a Vanilla Bicycle requires patience. Overall, 60 hours of labor are invested into these two-wheeled beauties and the price for the frame alone begins at $2,150.
Icho Cashmere. From Tokyo, Icho's outwear is handmade using traditional kimono techniques, where single fibers are used like thread, binding one piece of wool to another. After waiting two months and spending up to $2,000 for your jacket, imagine how disheartened you would be to see another man wearing the same design. Not to worry, should you desire, Icho will happily agree not to make your jacket for another customer.
Gallery: 20 Luxury Items for Men