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1990s | 70 Defining Moments in Luxury History


Loro Piana develops the Storm System, an advanced treatment technique that renders natural fibers such as cashmere and fine wools both waterproof and wind resistant. The trademarked treatment merges the generations-old Italian brand’s water- and stain-repelling Rain System technology with a newly engineered ultrathin membrane that is protective yet breathable. The new luxury fabrics are soon used by other well-known designers and brands, including Brioni, Giorgio Armani, Turnbull Asser, and Dunhill. -Anush Benliyan

1994
Five years after the Berlin wall falls, watch manufacturer A. Lange Söhne re-forms, effectively resurrecting the entire tradition of German watchmaking. The relaunched brand’s first collection creates a powerful, uniquely German identity and stokes horological interest worldwide. Just a few years later, Glashütte-the traditional seat of German watchmaking-will expand the new genre, solidifying the country’s eminence in the industry. -James D. Malcolmson

Third-generation jeweler Stefan Hemmerle is commissioned by an art collector to create a diamond ring that satisfies her proclivity for sleek, architectural-style cast-iron jewelry. In a sharp contrast to his company’s heritage in classical gold and gemstone jewelry, Hemmerle sets a D-flawless diamond in iron and establishes himself as a cutting-edge design force fluent in unorthodox materials. The art world takes notice, and Hemmerle’s avant-garde style becomes a new signature for his brand. -Jill Newman

The first invitations for American Express’s new Centurion Card are sent to a select number of high-rolling clients. Shrouded in secrecy, the charge plate is reportedly offered only to those with seven-figure annual incomes who spend more than $250,000 a year on existing AmEx accounts. American Express is tight-lipped about the titanium card’s perks, sparking rumors of unlimited credit lines and personal concierges at the beck and call of cardholders. The Black Card, as it is informally known, quickly becomes a status symbol, earning its place as a marker of luxury in pop culture. -Phoebe Neuman

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton purchases Krug Champagne for $176 million. With a portfolio that also includes Veuve Clicquot, Dom Pérignon, Moët Chandon, and Pommery, the luxury conglomerate gains a near monopoly on prestige bubbles. -Michalene Busico

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