8 TRENDS THAT DEFINED THE LUXURY INDUSTRY IN 2012

Luxury Society presents eight key trends that helped to define the luxury industry in 2012…

India added a local sourcing clause to FDI, making it difficult for luxury brands to enter the local market. China overtook the United States as the world’s biggest consumer nation of luxury goods. Luxury goods brands led a mass exodus from Argentinian retail.

European luxury brands were snapped up by wealthy investors in Asia and the Middle East. Fast running out of brands to acquire, luxury conglomerates intensified acquisition of suppliers.

Luxury fashion houses made a serious foray into fine jewellery and timepiece categories. Luxury conglomerates went to court for counterfeit, copyright and everything in between. And continued to look for heritage brands of the past to bring them growth in the future.

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Challenges Remain in India

In November 2011, we reported that India’s union cabinet had agreed to allow 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand and 100% FDI in mono-brand retail. Meaning that luxury brands, for the first time in the country’s history, were able to open their own directly controlled stores, without the aid of a local distributor.

Bowing to political pressure, the government amended this ruling in April 2012, when a local sourcing clause was added. In respect of proposals involving FDI beyond 51%, this meant mandatory sourcing of at least 30% of the value of products sold, from Indian small industries, artisans & craftsmen. Which in many cases halted the further development of an Indian retail network for luxury brands.
Further Reading: Challenges Remain for Luxury Brands in India

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China, It’s Official

In December 2012 Bain & Co. reported that Chinese consumers have overtaken U.S. shoppers to become the world’s biggest buyers of luxury goods. The Chinese now account for 25% of global sales through purchases at home and overseas according to the consultancy firm, as U.S. consumers account for one-fifth of the world’s luxury sales.

China’s domestic luxury sales, estimated to be worth 106 billion yuan ($17 billion) in 2011, are expected to grow 7% this year – a marked slowdown from 30% growth in 2011. In 2012 it also became clear that more and more Mainland Chinese tourists are shopping in cities like London, New York and Paris, where they can save as much as 40% on luxury goods because of the weaker euro and on differences in tax or duties.
Further Reading: Attracting and Serving China’s Global Luxury Consumer

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European Brands Find New Homes

In the past decade a flurry of French, English and Italian luxury brands have ceded control to foreign investors, some due to hangovers from 2008’s global financial crisis, others in a bid to expand and better conquer so-called ‘emerging’ markets.

Britain’s Aquascutum was recently acquired by China’s YGM, Italy’s Cerruti is now controlled by China’s Trinity Limited, Germany’s Escada is owned by India’s Mittal family and France’s Sonia Rykiel forms a part of Hong Kong based Fung Brands. Bedat, Gieves & Hawkes, ST Dupont, Ferretti Group and Pringle of Scotland form further examples of European brands picked up by foreign owners.

Most recently, Kazakh billionaire Goga Ashkenazi purchased the remaining shares of Vionnet from Matteo Marzotto, to become the sole owner of the heritage brand.
Further Reading: Emerging Wealth Fuels Foreign Acquisition of European Luxury Brands

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Exit from Argentina

Weary of high tariffs and currency restrictions that have dented their profits in Argentina, purveyors of luxury goods abandoned this once lucrative market, according to AFP. Brands such as Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Escada and Calvin Klein shuttered doors on their local boutiques, as Ermenegildo Zegna was forced to close one of its retail locations for two months because it could not import stock.

Giorgio Armani, Hermès and Cartier are three more significant luxury brands rumoured to be shuttering local operations, as the government ramps up import barriers and imposes tough currency controls tightening measures to protect foreign exchange reserves.
Further Reading: A Quick Look at Luxury in the BRICs

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Fashioned Fine Jewellery

‘Hard luxury’ became a bit of a buzzword in 2012, as stellar jewellery and timepiece performance suggested a shift from seasonal accessories to investment in longer term luxury goods. Louis Vuitton cemented its commitment to fine jewellery with the opening of its dedicated jewellery boutique and atelier, on the prominent corner site of Place Vendôme.

“All of this suggests the jewellery sector is getting the full heat of the luxury industry’s fast growth incubator,” explained Maria Doulton. “And with reason, the Richemont Group reported that in 2012 their jewellery maisons represented 52% of sales by area against 26% for watches. Between Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels sales grew from €3,479 million in 2011 to €4,590 million in 2012, representing an increase in 32% for jewellery sales similar to the 31% for watches.”

“If we look at how the luxury conglomerates turned around the watch industry ten years ago, it appears that the same fervour is being focused on, the until now largely unbranded and under exploited, jewellery industry.”
Further Reading: Innovation & Creativity Suggest a Bright Future for Branded High Jewellery

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Luxury Loves a Lawsuit

Hermès International SCA won a judgment against 34 websites that sold fake copies of its luxury goods and was awarded approximately $100 million in damages. LVMH was less lucky when the French high court partly overturned rulings against eBay from 2008, when LVMH accused the online marketplace of breaching distribution networks and selling counterfeit goods. eBay was originally ordered to pay €38 million in fines, an amount reduced to €5 million in 2012.

Richemont went up against a Russian organisation, which was producing mid-priced clothes under the locally registered trademarks “Vacheron Constantin” and “Jaeger Lecoultre”.

12 sitting justices unanimously agreed that a well-known trademark in another country may not be co-opted and applied to different goods in the local country because it is confusing to the consumer and unfairly trades on reputation. They also ordered that the local trademarks be cancelled.
Further Reading: Luxury Conglomerates Have Their Day in Court

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M&A Goes Vertical

The industrialisation of the luxury industry has resulted in a record amount of M&A deals in the past decade. Where the initial focus was developing a portfolio of strong individual brands – bringing us conglomerates as we know them today – the focus is shifting towards the acquisition of suppliers and craftsman, in a bid to protect competitive advantage in the future.

In 2012 alone, Chanel acquired cashmere producer – and longtime supplier – Barrie knitwear. Italian textile leaders Ermenegildo Zegna, Marzotto and Loro Piana purchased a controlling stake in Pettinature Di Verro, a combing mill specialised in fine wool, cashmere and special fabrics needed for suiting.

La Montre Hermès acquired dial manufacturer Natéber SA, more recently Richemont took control of VVSA, a high-end manufacturer of stamped exterior components for watches. LVMH managed to acquire two watch dial manufacturers – Léman Cadran and ArteCad SA – as well as French artisan shoemaker Delos Bottier & Cie and haute couture manufacturer Arnys.
Further Reading: Luxury M&A Goes Vertical

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The Heritage Revival

The current economic slowdown, combined with densely crowded prestige markets, has led many entrepreneurs to consider reanimating an old brand rather than creating a new one,” explains James Lawson. “By reviving an old brand, entrepreneurs will benefit from its existing brand recognition and equity, usually defined as a combination of positive visual, verbal and emotional associations.”

A classic example is Faberge whose brand was long used for fragrances and cosmetics and only recently saw the original production of jewelled eggs restored. Similarly, LVMH acquired Moynat, a luxury leather luggage house that was founded 150 years ago but whose brand had been dormant for the past three decades. This year Tod’s resuscitated Maison Schiapparelli, a fashion brand that had been dormant since 1954.

Further Reading: Luxury Conglomerates Look to Heritage Revival


To further investigate the overall luxury industry on Luxury Society, we invite your to explore the related materials as follows:

2012’s Best Global Luxury Brands
2012 Luxury Industry Predictions from the Experts
A Year of Change: The Luxury Industry in 2011


© Luxury Society, 8 Trends That Defined The Luxury Industry in 2012, 18 December 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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THE LATEST APPOINTMENTS: CHRISTIE’S, RICHEMONT & FERRARI

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Nicolas Ghesquière and Balenciaga will part ways at the end of November (Image: Giovanni Giannoni, WWD / Condé Nast / Corbis).

The Latest Appointments at Tom Ford, Walpole, Alberta Ferretti, Richemont, Orient-Express & Vertu, with exits at Balenciaga, Gilt Groupe, Azzaro & Cacharel.

After 15 years with PPR, Nicolas Ghesquière and Balenciaga have reached a “joint decision to end their working relationship,” effective Nov. 30. CEO Isabelle Guichot told WWD a successor would be named “as soon as we’re ready,” and that the brand already has a short list of candidates. Over the weekend Christopher Kane was rumoured to take the top spot, something he has since denied to WWD.

Over at Azzaro, creative director Mathilde Castello Branco has stepped down from her role after just over a year. “The House of Azzaro and Mathilde Castello Branco are moving forward in different directions,” explained a statement from the brand. “Azzaro will shortly be announcing her successor.”

At Cacharel, CEO Pascal d’Halluin has confirmed his exit, also after less than one year in the role. According to WWD, the executive is leaving by mutual agreement with the French label’s founder and president Jean Bousquet following his trial period.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, chairman of Ferrari, has resigned his position as chairman of Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori, Europe’s first private operator of high-speed trains. “My growing professional commitments force me to step back now that the company is fully operational,” Montezemolo explained to Reuters. “I will continue to contribute to the success of this company, as shareholder and board member.”

Finally Gilt Group’s board and co-founder Kevin Ryan have “agreed about two months ago that Ryan should step aside in favour of a new CEO with strong operations and e-commerce skills.” The to-be-named replacement will be the company’s third CEO in two years, and is expected to steer the eventual launch of an IPO.

Marc Spiegler, Director, Art Basel

Marc Spiegler has been appointed to oversee Art Basel events in Basel, Switzerland; Miami Beach, Florida & Hong Kong, as the organisation re-arranges its leadership team. Mr. Spiegler will chair a four-member executive committee including a director of new initiatives, director Asia, and a director of resources and finance who will be named in the near future.

Source: Gallerist
Kamel Ouadi, Managing Director, Christie’s

Kamel Ouadi has joined famed auction house Christie’s as international managing director. Mr. Ouadi most recently served at Louis Vuitton as chief digital officer/chief creative officer, where he was responsible for the conception and launch of NOWNESS.com

Source: LinkedIn
Jean-Guillaume Prats, CEO, Estates & Wines

Jean-Guillaume Prats will join LVMH-owned Estates & Wines effective February 2013. Mr. Prats will be based in Paris, and will be a board member of the LVMH Comité Opérationnel. Since 2011, Prats has been chairman of the board of Domaines Reybier and Château Cos d’Estournel.

Source: Decanter
Eddy Cue, Board, Ferrari

Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP Internet software and services has joined the board of Ferrari. Mr. Cue currently oversees the iTunes Store, the App Store and the iBookstore, as well as Siri, Maps, iAd and Apple’s iCloud services.

Source: New Car Net
Christophe de Pous, CEO, Gucci North America

Effective January 1, Christophe de Pous will assume responsibility for Gucci North America. Mr. De Pous has served as president and CEO of Gucci Japan since September 2009, and replaces Lauren Lendrum, who left the position in April.

Source: Styleite
Cristina Egal, Managing Director, Lorenz Bäumer

Cristina Egal has been named the first managing director of Lorenz Bäumer, reporting to Bäumer, the president, founder and creative force behind the brand. Most recently, Ms. Egal operated an eponymous communications agency and boasted such clients as BNP Paribas, Sodexo, Servair and Fondation Claude Pompidou.

Source: Fashion Snoops
John Scott, CEO, Orient-Express

John Scott will become president and CEO of Orient-Express hotels, after serving as CEO of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts for over eight years. He replaces Paul White, the former president and CEO of Orient-Express Hotels, who resigned from the company and from the Board last year.

Source: Travel Mole
Natalie Ratabesi, Creative Director, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti

Alberta Ferretti will hand over the creative direction of the Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti collection to Natalie Ratabesi, who most recently served as senior creative director at Ralph Lauren. The British designer and graduate from Central Saint Martins College will make her debut for the brand with the autumn/winter 2013 collection.

Source: Fashion United
Bernard Fornas, Richard Lepeu, Co-CEOs, Richemont

Richemont has appointed two longstanding employees as joint chief executives, in a bid to help founder and controlling shareholder Johann Rupert steer the luxury goods group through a period of slowing sales growth in its important Asian markets. Cartier chief Bernard Fornas and deputy chief executive Richard Lepeu will take over from Rupert as CEO in April 2013.

Source: Reuters
Eva Taub, CEO, Robert Clergerie

Robert Clergerie has appointed Eva Taub as CEO, following tenure as head of Christian Dior Couture’s leather division at LVMH. The Stanford and Harvard Business School alum previously launched Isotoner in Europe, prior to which she served as a Merrill Lynch financial advisor in New York and Hong Kong.

Source: Fashion Week Daily
Jerome Cheung, CEO Asia Pacific, Tom Ford

Former Gucci Group executive Jerome Cheung, has been named to succeed Regina Lam as chief executive officer at Tom Ford, for the Asia-Pacific area. The position is based in Hong Kong and Cheung will be reporting to Tom Mendenhall, vice president and chief operating officer (COO) of the company since 2006.

Source: Fashion Mag
Anssi Vanjoki, Chairman, Vertu

Luxury phone maker Vertu has selected long-time Nokia executive Anssi Vanjoki as its non-executive chairman following an ownership change. Vanjoki, who spent 20 years at Nokia in various executive positions, left the Finnish cell phone maker in 2010 after the board appointed Stephen Elop as the next chief executive.

Source: Reuters
Michael Ward, Jonathan Heilbron, Board, Walpole

UK luxury brand trade body, Walpole, has announced the appointment of Michael Ward, managing director of Harrods, and Jonathan Heilbron, CEO of Thomas Pink, to its board of directors. Prior to joining the board, both Ward and Heilbron have been long-time supporters of Walpole, as Walpole Brands of Tomorrow mentors and regular speakers.

Source: Fashion United

For more in the series of The Latest Appointments, please see our most recent editions as follows:

The Latest Appointments: PPR, Cadillac & Baccarat
The Latest Appointments: Mulberry, DVF & Ralph Lauren
The Latest Appointments: Burberry, Coty & Condé Nast


© Luxury Society, The Latest Appointments: Christie’s, Richemont & Ferrari, 19 November 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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THE LATEST INVESTMENTS: ASTON MARTIN, FABERGE & CHRISTOPHER KANE

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Orient Express turns down a $1.8 billion takeover bid from Indian Hotels Group, as mining company Gemfields seeks to acquire fine jeweller Fabergé for $142 million.

Acquired: Fabergé, Gemfields

Gemfields, pending minority investor approval, is to buy luxury jeweler Faberge from one of the colored gem miner’s own shareholders, in a deal valuing the fine jeweller at $142 million. The all-share deal will create an integrated company that mines colored stones and uses the Faberge brand to promote their use in jewelery.

Source: Reuters
Speculation: Sale, Aston Martin

Investment Dar Co., owner of Aston Martin, is said to be in “advanced” talks to sell new shares to investors to boost funding for future development. The Kuwaiti based investment group has received competing bids from Investindustrial and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (MM) for 50% of voting rights and a 40% equity stake.

Source: Bloomberg
Rejected: Takeover Bid, Orient-Express

Orient-Express has rejected an unsolicited $1.2 billion takeover offer from Tata Group’s Indian Hotels Co Ltd and a fund controlled by Italy’s Montezemolo & Partners. The unsolicited bid was 43% higher than Orient-Express’s 20-day average price, a record premium for the industry, and valued the company at the highest earnings multiple in six years for a hotel takeover.

Source: Reuters, WSJ
Acquired: Investcorp, Georg Jensen

Bahrain-based alternative asset manager, Investcorp, has purchased Danish luxury retailer Georg Jensen for $140 million. Hazem Ben-Gacem, Investcorp’s European private equity head, will co-chair Georg Jensen, as saying Investcorp planned to expand the Danish brand in Asia, particularly China.

Source: Reuters
Speculation: PPR, Christopher Kane

PPR, helmed by Francois-Henri Pinault, is said to be in discussions with Christopher Kane, to invest in his eponymous brand. The company is believed to have held discussions with Christopher Kane in which financial backing has been offered. Nothing has yet been confirmed and representatives for PPR and Kane were unavailable for comment.

Source: Vogue UK
Acquired: Vionnet, Goga Ashkenazi

Kazakh oil billionaire Goga Ashkenazi has acquired all outstanding shares in Vionnet to become its sole owner. Ms. Ashkenazi bought into Vionnet in May 2012, but has since purchased all remaining shares from past owners Matteo Marzotto and Marni CEO Gianni Castiglioni.

Source: Elle UK
Boughtback: Derek Lam, Labelux

In a bid to refocus on luxury leather goods and shoes, Labelux has sold Derek Lam back to its founders, Lam and CEO Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann. “We have taken a strategic decision to refocus our activity on luxury leather goods and shoes,” explained CEO Reinhard Mieck said. “We wish Derek and Jan well as we return the leadership into their capable hands.”

Source: Fashionista
Invested: Damiani, India

Damiani is the first foreign investor to get the government approval to invest in the jewellery monobrand retail in India, after working with the Indian government to acquire 51% of Damiani India Pvt Ltd, the company managing the Damiani store in New Delhi at the Oberoi Hotel. Damiani will then agree to establish a joint venture with Indian partners.

Source: Damiani
Confirmed: Karl Lagerfeld, Inter Parfums

Karl Lagerfeld has signed a 20 year worldwide license agreement with Inter Parfums, to create and distribute perfumes under the German fashion designer’s namesake brand. Karl Lagerfeld has since ended its deal with fragrance and cosmetics company Coty BV.

Source: Reuters
Sold: Plaza Hotel, Subrata Roy

Indian billionaire Subrata Roy has purchased a 75% stake in New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel for $575m from US-Israeli retailer El Ad. The remaining 25% of the hotel is being retained by its current owner, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, via his Kingdom Holding group.

Source: BBC
Rejected: Four Seasons Hotel NYC, Asian Buyer

Four Seasons Hotel New York owner H. Ty Warner has decided not to sell the Manhattan property after receiving an unsolicited bid of about $900 million. “Due to the continued strength in the New York real estate market and impending fiscal cliff, he does not feel that this is an advantageous time to sell this iconic property,” explained Donna Snopek, chief financial officer of Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts LLC.

Source: Bloomberg
Invested: DiamondCorp, Laurelton Diamonds

Laurelton Diamonds Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tiffany & Co., has issued a $6 million term loan to DiamondCorp plc, a South African diamond development and exploration company listed on London’s AIM stock exchange. As part of the loan agreement, Laurelton Diamonds will have the right to purchase production from DiamondCorp’s Lace Mine in South Africa.

Source: WWD
Stake: Luxottica, Salmoiraghi & Viganò

Salmoiraghi & Viganò, a leading Italian company in the eyewear retail sector, has received approximately €45 million from eyewear manufacturer Luxottica. Luxottica will subscribe for newly issued shares of Salmoiraghi & Viganò resulting in a 36% equity stake in the Italian optical retailer, which will retain control of company operations.

Source: 4Traders
Acquired: Four Seasons Toronto, Saudi Prince Walid

Billionaire Saudi Prince Walid bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding investment group has purchased the luxury hotel Four Seasons Toronto, Canada for $200 million. “The transaction was funded by a $130 million mortgage loan while $70 million came from (the company’s) own resources,” Hazem al-Dosari, a Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) spokesman, told AFP.

Source: Al Arabiya
Sold: Ekati Diamond Mine, BHP

Diamond company Harry Winston agreed to purchase BHP Billiton’s Ekati mine in Canada and its marketing operations for the precious stones for $500 million. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, according to BHP.

Source: The Israeli Diamond Industry
Invested: Aeffe, Emanuel Ungaro

Aeffe has signed an exclusive partnership agreement with Emanuel Ungaro for the production and worldwide distribution of women’s clothing and accessories, as well as the option to acquire a significant minority share of Ungaro’s capital stock on achieving shared goals. The license will be active for a period of 7 years, with the option to renew.

Source: Aeffe

For more in the series of The Latest Investments, please see our most recent editions as follows:

The Latest Investments: Chanel, Marcolin & Orient Express
The Latest Investments: Anya Hindmarch, Berluti & Harry Winston
The Latest Investments: Coty, Porsche & Valentino


© Luxury Society, The Latest Investments: Aston Martin, Fabergé & Christopher Kane, 30 November 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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LUXURY CONGLOMERATES LOOK TO HERITAGE REVIVAL

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Maison Moynat, founded in 1849, revived by LVMH in 2011

James Lawson, director of Ledbury Research, explains why well capitalised entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities with dormant prestige brands

The current economic slowdown, combined with densely crowded prestige markets, has led many entrepreneurs to consider reanimating an old brand rather than creating a new one. This entails acquiring the brand, either to restart its original activities or to use its reputation to start new production.

A brand is normally considered dormant – and, therefore, available for acquisition – if its trademarks have not been used for a number of consecutive years, usually three or five, depending on the country.

By reviving an old brand, entrepreneurs will benefit from its existing brand recognition and equity, usually defined as a combination of positive visual, verbal and emotional associations. That is to say, an historic brand intrinsically carries a sense of heritage, credibility and longevity.


“By reviving an old brand, entrepreneurs will benefit from its existing brand recognition and equity.”


Also, from a financial perspective, unlike the creation of a new brand, the reanimation of an historic brand would require a smaller initial investment to cover marketing costs.

However, reviving an old brand can also present a number of disadvantages. Beyond questioning why the brand died originally, the new products, for example, might not appeal to a younger generation or take into consideration the changes in consumers’ taste.

In addition, using an old brand to commercialise a new range of products could generate confusion in those customers who still associate it with the old products.


“Using an old brand to commercialise a new range of products could generate consumer confusion.”


Recently, the trend of re-launching historic brands has become particularly significant across the luxury industry, especially among major luxury groups that are looking for historic fashion houses with deep roots and a high level of authenticity.

A classic example is Faberge whose brand was long used for fragrances and cosmetics and only recently saw the original production of jewelled eggs restored. Similarly, LVMH acquired Moynat, a luxury leather luggage house that was founded 150 years ago but whose brand had been dormant for the past three decades.

Moreover, following its successful re-launch of the French shoemaker Roger Vivier a few years ago, this year Tod’s resuscitated Maison Schiapparelli, a fashion brand that had been dormant since 1954.


“Reviving historic brands requires a significant initial investment that only major luxury groups could likely contemplate.”


Undoubtedly, reviving historic brands requires a significant initial investment that only major luxury groups could likely contemplate, and in most cases, the name and the logo represent the only elements of continuity between the historic brand and its present incarnation.

Nevertheless, it appears to be a cost-efficient development strategy for companies looking to create an exclusive niche brand characterised by a strong sense of history and heritage.


To further investigate luxury brands on Luxury Society, we invite your to explore the related materials as follows:

2012’s Best Global Luxury Brands
What Makes for a Successful Luxury Re-Brand?
Has Luxury Brand Diversification Gone Too Far?


© Luxury Society, Luxury Conglomerates Look to Heritage Revival, 04 December 2012, by James Lawson.


Ledbury Research
is a research company specialising in the understanding and engaging of High Net Worth Individuals.

Bespoke consumer work spans all forms of quantitative and qualitative research, typically conducted on a multi-country basis, in wealth hubs around the world.

The analyst team delivers market information, trends and analysis through regular reports on the luxury and wealth markets.


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THE LATEST APPOINTMENTS: CARTIER, CACHAREL & CHRISTIAN DIOR

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Raf Simons has been appointed as creative director of Christian Dior, succeeding John Galliano.

 

The Latest Appointments at Starwood Hotels, Christie’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Cartier, YSL Beauté, Sonia Rykiel, PPR, Bentley Motors, Akris & Cacharel

The Dior saga is finally over. After one year of speculation – where everyone from Riccardo Tisci, Marc Jacobs, Kayne West, Alber Elbaz, Alexander Wang and even the disgraced Galliano himself were rumoured to be taking the top spot – Raf Simons has been confirmed to head womenswear and haute couture, whilst Kris Van Assche continues to head design at Dior Homme.

Over at Richemont, group manufacturing director Jan Rupert is stepping down to focus on other activities and to broaden his remit within the family of companies controlled by Johann Rupert. Whilst Mr. Rupert will remain an executive director of the group, Richard Lepeu, Richemont’s deputy chief executive, will oversee the group’s manufacturing strategy as of April 1.

At PPR, Gucci America’s president Laura Lendrum has resigned to pursue other opportunities according to WWD. Ms. Lendrum joined Gucci in 1997, and moved to Yves Saint Laurent America as president in 2001. Gucci president and chief executive officer Patrizio di Marco will oversee the Americas region in the interim until the company names a successor.

Raf Simons, Creative Director, Dior

Ending a year of speculation, Belgian designer Raf Simons has been named as the next artistic director of Christian Dior, following his recent exit from Jil Sander. Mr. Simons will be in charge of haute couture, women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, starting with the couture show in July, while keeping his eponymous men’s line. Kris Van Assche remains in his position at Dior Homme.

Source: NYTimes
Stanislas de Quercize, CEO, Cartier

Cartier has appointed Stanislas de Quercize to take over from Bernard Fornas as chief executive of top-of-the-range jewellery and watchmaker Cartier. Mr. De Quercize is currently serving as CEO of fellow Richemont subsidiary Van Cleef & Arpels, and will replace Mr Fornas at the end of the year, when he is due to retire.

Source: Reuters
Joshua Schulman, President, Bergdorf Goodman

Following his departure from Jimmy Choo in late 2011, Joshua Schulman has been named president of U.S. luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman. Prior to his tenure as CEO of Jimmy Choo, Mr. Schulman served as executive vice president at the Gucci Group, where he oversaw worldwide merchandising and wholesale for Yves Saint Laurent, and served as worldwide director of Gucci women’s ready-to-wear.

Source: WWD
Stephan Bezy, General Manager, YSL Beauté

Joining the Management Committee of L’Oreal Luxe, Stephan Bezy has been appointed International General Manager of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté. Mr. Bezy joined L’Oréal in 1991 and has since served as global President at Redken, International General Manager at Shu Uemura and General Manager of Cacharel.

Source: Premium Beauty News
Management Team, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Starwood has restructured its executive team following the retirement of three senior leaders, Matt Avril, President of the Hotel Group; Denise Coll, President of Starwood North America; and Miguel Ko, Chairman and President of Starwood Asia Pacific.

Currently president and CEO of Starwood Vacation Ownership, Sergio Rivera, has been promoted to co-president of Starwood Americas. Osvaldo Librizzi who assumes primary responsibility for Latin America joins him as co-president of Starwood Americas. Stephen Ho, currently Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for Starwood China, has been promoted to President of Asia Pacific. And finally currently head of Starwood’s operations for China, Qian Jin, has been promoted to the title of President of Greater China.

Source: PR Newswire
Vincent Gillet, Brand Chief, W & Le Meridien

Starwood has appointed Vincent Gillet as brand chief for W Hotels and Le Meridien brands, replacing Eva Ziegler. Mr. Gillet has spent the last two decades working on well-known luxury brands for LVMH, Chanel and Pernod Ricard, followed by a three-year tenure as chief marketing officer at Six Senses Resorts & Spas.

Source: USA Today
Eric Langon, Managing Director, Sonia Rykiel

Eric Langdon has been appointed as managing director of Sonia Rykiel effective April 16, where he will report to CEO Jean-Marc Loubier, also CEO of Fung Brands, which acquired an 80 per cent stake in the French fashion house in February. Most recently Mr. Langon served as chief operating officer at Lancel.

Source: WWD
Katrina Burchell, Intellectual Property Director, PPR

Katrina Burchell has been charged with the task of re-organising and monitoring PPR’s Intellectual Property function, joining the French conglomerate as Intellectual Property Director. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Burchell headed the Trademarks, copyrights and domain names at Unilever group.

Source: 4-Traders
Emile Rubenfield, CEO, Carolina Herrera

Emilie Rubinfeld has been appointed vice president of global marketing and communications, in a newly created title at Carolina Herrera. Most recently Ms. Rubinfeld served as senior vice president of marketing and communications at Akris, following tenure as vice president of marketing at Giorgio Armani Corp.

Source: WWD
Jinqing Caroline Cai, Managing Director, Christie’s China

Auction house Christie’s has appointed its first managing director in China, Jinqing Caroline Cai, effective June 1. A founder of the Brunswick Group, a global PR firm in Beijing, Ms. Cai will manage the office and oversee all activities involving the Chinese marketplace.

Source: JustLuxe
Katie Reed, Associate Vice President, Akris

Katie Reed has joined Akris as associate vice president of marketing and communications, following service at Patek Philippe North America, as public relations and communications director. Ms. Reed will oversee all areas of marketing, advertising, public relations and special events in the U.S.

Source: WWD
Kevin Rose, Sales & Marketing Chief, Bentley Motors

As part of a reshuffle of senior marketers within Volkswagen Group UK, Kevin Rose has joined Bentley Motors as its new board level sales and marketing chief, taking over from Alasdair Stewart. Mr. Rose joins from parent group Volkswagen’s China business, where he was executive vice president for sales.

Bentley has also named Andrea Baker as head of media relations, who most recently served as head of public relations with Porsche Cars Great Britain.

Source: Marketing Week
Source: JustLuxe.com
Pascal d’Halluin, CEO, Cacharel

Pascal d’Halluin has been appointed chief executive officer of Cacharel, succeeding managing director Marc Ramanantsoa, effective March 19. Mr. d’Halluin worked with L’Oréal for eight years before taking over as CEO of Lee Cooper France in 1994.

Source: Just Style
Michael Burgess, President, Saks Direct

Saks Inc. has named Michael Burgess president of Saks Direct, reporting to Denise Incandela, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Mr. Burgess was most recently led merchandising, marketing, consumer information technology and other functions of the consumer division of FTD, the florist, which is owned by United Online Inc.

Source: WWD
Michael Kingston, SVP & CIO, Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus Group has named Michael R. Kingston senior vice president and chief information officer, succeeding Phillip Maxwell, who earlier this month announced his retirement. Earlier, Mr. Kingston served as vice president, applications at Coach Inc. and international director of information services at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Source: WWD

For more in the series of The Latest Appointments, please see our most recent editions as follows:

The Latest Appointments: Givenchy, Jil Sander & Yves Saint Laurent
The Latest Appointments, Pucci, Tod’s & Girard-Perregaux
The Latest Appointments, Bulgari, Labelux & Net-a-Porter


© Luxury Society, The Latest Appointments: Cartier, Cacharel & Christian Dior, 17 April 2012, by Sophie Doran


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MENSWEAR A/W ‘12: EXTREME LUXURY IN CLIMATIC AUSTERITY

“There are at least two ways in which you can deal with what’s going on in the world. You can confront it right up close, or you can escape into a dream world in your gold bullion embroidered Dolce & Gabbana cape.”

Whilst Tim Blanks may have been referencing Dolce & Gabbana’s Baroque inspired, chandelier lined catwalk, he also articulated the dichotomous mix of climatic austerity and extreme luxury that categorised the Autumn Winter 2012 menswear shows in Paris and Milan.

The creative and corporate alike seemed acutely aware of the storm clouds lingering over the European economy. A conversation difficult to avoid when menswear presentations were immediately preceded by Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the sovereign credit ratings of both Italy and France. Yet the mood did not suffer any collateral pessimism, nor did brands seek to hide from the luxuries they are best known for.


“ A dichotomous mix of climatic austerity and extreme luxury categorised the Autumn Winter 2012 menswear shows in Paris and Milan.”


Instead houses championed the hyper luxurious. Gold filigree threads on Baroque-inspired evening suits at Dolce & Gabbana, golden studs and tuxedos encrusted with crystals at Versace, gold on gloves and leather bags at Burberry Prorsum. Even at Calvin Klein, widely known for its minimalist approach to luxury, blazers could be found in ostentatious alligator.

“Luxury! That’s it, pure luxury,” quipped menswear director Kim Jones, when The Guardian pressed him on his overall mood toward his AW12 collection for Louis Vuitton.

“We were looking at lots of Japanese references, so we were also looking at lots of Japanese fabric companies. We came across this mill that could only make twenty centimetres a day – all done by hand – and I just thought that was the ultimate luxury in terms of suiting,” Jones reiterated to Style.com.

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(L – R) Gold filigree at Dolce & Gabbana, Alligator suiting at Calvin Klein and crystal tuxedos at Versace.

The combination of the expensive and hedonistic, in a time of general frugality and preservation, seems almost nonsensical. Yet these collections – for both their timing and accents of flamboyance – make nothing other than perfect business sense. Whilst the greater economy suffers, luxury has prospered, and few segments are prospering as hard and fast as menswear.

Consultancy Bain & Co estimates the luxury menswear market to be worth 180 billion euros ($240 billion) and growing at about fourteen per cent a year, nearly double that of luxury womenswear at eight per cent (Reuters).

Jean-Marc Bellaiche, consultant at Boston Consulting Group, believes that the market has traditionally been underserved, suggesting that menswear “remains very underdeveloped compared to the woman’s market, so there is a lot of catching up to do.”


“ The luxury menswear market is worth €180 billion euros and growing at about 14% a year, nearly double that of luxury womenswear.”


Whether chief creatives are taking note of such predictions, or simply basking in the glow of 2011’S revenues, design seems to be making some space for the commercially risky. Bread-and-butter casual wear and suiting remained, but far more houses seemed more at ease experimenting with colour, embellishment and shape, than previous seasons.

Dries Van Noten expressed some commercial trepidation in launching his ‘psychedelic elegance’ collection. “It’s a risk. I’m fully aware, I’m actually quite nervous now,” he shared with Tim Blanks. “I just said ’let’s go for that, lets bring in colour, lets bring in fun’. I’m fully aware that it’s a risk to go that way, but I just wanted to do that.”

One could also muse that the importance of new geographies, particularly China and India, will begin to pave the way for more experimental and extravagant menswear. After all, these are not cultures that have been built on carbon black, achingly slim Hedi Slimane suits.

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Some of the more experimental looks from Dries Van Noten’s ‘psychedelic elegance’ collection.

Not that such suits won’t have a place in the east, particularly as the regions modernise. But hopefully there will also be space for lavish embroidery, colourful silks and less-tested-in-the-west silhouettes, incorporating elements regional traditional dress. Hermès have embraced the production of the Sari, why not menswear next?

The segment is also blooming at a particularly fertile time for luxury goods – current economic woes don’t yet seem to carry the social connotations that accompanied 2008’s GFC. In short, shopping hasn’t yet seemed to have gone out of fashion.

“Everyone stopped shopping in 2008 because there was a crisis of confidence; everyone’s financial portfolio was hit,” remarked the Business of Fashion’s Imran Ahmed to CNN. “And, even if you did have money and weren’t that affected by everything, it was seen as a bit crass to go out spending on luxury goods. Now that a certain amount of time has elapsed, I think that hesitation to shop has dissipated somewhat and the big spenders are out spending again.”

With expected double-digit growth in 2012, as well as an expanding range of products to better serve segments and regions, Menswear looks to be the luxury category to beat in the coming twelve months. And if recent collections are anything to go by, they will best positioned to satiate many different palettes.


To further investigate Menswear and Fashion Week on Luxury Society, we invite your to explore the related materials as follows:


© Luxury Society, Menswear AW12: Extreme Luxury in Climatic Austerity, 23 January 2012, by Sophie Duran.


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A NEW WAVE OF OPPORTUNITY FOR LUXURY BRANDS IN INDIA?

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Hermès Horniman Circle, Mumbai, India’s only stand-alone, street level luxury retail store.

India has passed legislation allowing 100% foreign direct investment in retail stores for the first time. But given its complex landscape, is one change significant enough to start a revolution?

Following two years worth of intense political debate, India’s union cabinet has agreed to allow 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand and 100 percent FDI in monobrand retail. In layman’s terms, luxury brands are finally able to open directly owned, operated and controlled boutiques, in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

An economy that has produced more than 200,000 millionaires, trailing only the United States and China, according to Reuters. Despite such affluence, the region only accounts for only half a percent of the global luxury market ($846 million), as compared to Greater China, which accounts for 10 percent of the very same pie ($17 billion).

India is without one single Tiffany & Co store. Louis Vuitton – an arguable benchmark in the case of luxury retail – has only three stores in India, all three of which are located within upscale hotels or luxury malls. Hermès is currently the only luxury brand in the country to have a stand-alone store at street level, following this year’s opening in Horniman Circle, Mumbai.


“ The complexity of India’s luxury retail landscape makes it difficult to predict whether or not this change in ownership legislation will have a rapid impact on store openings ”


The complexity of India’s luxury retail landscape makes it difficult to predict whether or not this change in ownership legislation will have a rapid impact on store openings. Product import duties in India hover at 30 percent, real estate is heavily regulated, existing retail infrastructure is non-existent and potential street-level environments are often unkempt. Challenges not addressed by the sudden ability to set-up company owned shops.

“The challenge is infrastructure. Luxury requires an ecosystem,” identified Anand Ramanathan, manager at KPMG Advisory. “It’s pointless having a luxury mall on a road that is potholed. Even the so-called ‘luxury malls’ in India are not really luxury. They have issues with basic infrastructure, with training of staff, it’s just not a luxury experience.”

Further inhibiting the potential for change are the behaviours of Indian luxury consumers, which are not necessarily geared to support local retail. India’s affluent have developed a habit of purchasing goods overseas, where they find the selection more diverse and the costs significantly lower, as a direct result of the underdeveloped state of domestic luxury retail.

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Hermès have begun to manufacture Saris in Paris, available exclusively in its Indian stores.

As business in domestic stores remains slow, buying becomes cautious and ranges become limited. Particularly ironic as it then further inhibits the potential for growing local sales. And range is always going to be a sticking point for luxury brands, as the Indian consumer demonstrates significant disparity in taste, to those consumers in the west, meaning that products that work in Paris, won’t necessarily work in Pune.

The last landmark change in legislation was passed in 2006, allowing 51 percent FDI in single brand retail and resulting in the entry of more than 50 global brands with local partners in India, according to WWD. It will be interesting to see if last week’s announcement rallies the same level of interest and activity from international luxury brands, given the array of challenges market entrants will still face.

That said, it seems entirely plausible that these factors can be overcome – or at the very least managed – in the future. Luxury conglomerates now have a much greater scope to create their own retail destinations in India and begin to plant the seeds of desire, which will hopefully result in the next generation of affluents aspiring to buy their products.

If brands move towards directly owned and operated stores, they will begin to increase their internal understanding of complex real estate regulations and position themselves more strongly for future expansion. The creation of luxury retail precincts and street-level destinations – driven by a potential alliance of luxury brands entering the market independently – could help to solve problems associated with a lack of eco-system and help to create the correct environment in which Indians can experience true luxury.


“ It’s difficult, it’s frustrating, to do business here. Real estate regulations, bureaucracy, it takes years to set up office – Bertrand Michaud, Hermès India ”


The local market will benefit from brands commanding a more intimate understanding of local retail and developing both marketing and products to best suit the region. With any luck, consumers will also benefit from more competitive pricing and a diverse range of goods and services.

Speaking with Reuters at the time of the Mumbai launch, president of Hermès India, Bertrand Michaud, made the remark: “It’s difficult, it’s frustrating, to do business here. Real estate regulations, bureaucracy, it takes years to set up office, the goods sit at customs for months. I wish they would make it easier.”

And whilst the bureaucracy and taxes may remain, India may be that one crucial step closer to ‘making it easier’ for luxury brands to invest in real estate and be present in a market rife with opportunity, without ceding control of brand image and operations to distribution partners. Maybe, just maybe, this change and its resulting developments, will ignite a system of functionality and demand for luxury goods, reflective of India’s exponentially growing wealth.


© Luxury Society, A New Wave of Opportunity for Luxury Brands in India?, 28 November 2011, by Sophie Duran.


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