Luxury and sustainable growth
In a week that’s heralded creative leadership changes at YSL, featured The New York Times “Luxury Beyond Product” Conference and a series of breaking announcements, it’s a suitable backdrop against which to reflect on the state of the luxury industry. A tale of two indices is indicative of the state of flux for luxury businesses: Savigny is down, the MSCI is up.
In the midst of uncertainty, we continue to see strong growth and results at Cucinelli and Hermès as these meta-luxury brands prove that subscribing to a culture of excellence can be maintained as a sustainable growth model.
Driving sustainable desire and demand is the real challenge for luxury brands. While many seek the elusive status and timeless value of the Hermès Birkin and Kelly icons, few can replicate that success. Business of Fashion takes a look at the brands that are succeeding “Beyond the ‘It’ Bag” in ready-to-wear.
When immediate gratification is increasingly the order of the day, luxury houses are playing out the various scenarios. Burberry is all in, melding menswear and womenswear and moving direct from runway to retail. Gucci is melding its collections but sticking with its current model. Couture meets The Age of You in a stellar commentary on the new models of runway to retail and hitting the sweet spot of creativity and demand.
Loro Piana x The Kooples
Product celebrated as retail experience at Moynat
The retail experience that drew my attention this week was Moynat Paris’ inaugural New York Flagship. A stunning example of product celebrated as experience as walking into the store evokes the sense of being immersed in the treasures of a giant trunk.
Voices from Versailles
“Luxury Beyond Product’ was the headline of The New York Times Luxury conference held at Versailles this week and featuring speakers from ACNE, Chanel, Gucci, Cucinelli and Hermès, to name a few scintillations.
The eminent and inimitable Richard Mille talked about how he puts his “watches in danger” with the performance athletes and sport stars who put excellence to the ultimate test.
Breaking stories featured Gucci melding menswear and womenswear in its future collections, but sticking to the traditional model of “see now, buy later.”
With meta-luxury brands, history is as much about looking forward as it is about looking back. It’s how brands carry forward their past into their present and future. Steinway has been on a fascinating trajectory since its re-ignition under the guidance of one of John Paulson’s teams. 2015 saw the launch of the Steinway Spirio—one of the most significant innovations in the past 70 years of the brand’s history.
Words of the week…
In honour of the inimitable Seamus Heaney:
Rain comes down through the alders
Its low conducive voices
Mutter about let-downs
And yet each drop recalls
The diamond absolutes
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