THE LATEST DIGITAL: CARTIER, PRADA & TOD’S

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An excerpt from Diane von Furstenberg’s Glossi

Montblanc teams up with Harrods to launch an in-store augmented reality experience, as Hermès partners with Harper’s Bazaar to retail a limited collection online.

In the past month the digital luxury landscape has been dominated by the moves of the media and retailers. As the New York times announced restructuring measures to the tune of thirty senior journalists, Net-a-Porter announced its intention to launch a full-blown fashion glossy.

As Rupert Murdoch confirmed he will shutter The Daily – the iPad-only magazine he launched two years ago – social-shopping company ThisNext unveiled Glossi, a platform which allows users and brands to create their very own digital magazines.

But perhaps nothing was more surprising, than to hear that Hermès will be retailing a selection of footwear on the eCommerce venture of fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar. Digital may have muddied the waters, but never have the lines between brand, retailer and publisher been so blurred.

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Boucheron, Website

Jeweller Boucheron has relaunched its website in the colours of the new visual identity of the maison. Visitors can browse the portal in English, French, Japanese and Simplified Chinese, or take a virtual 360-degree tour through the Boucheron flagship store at Paris’s Place Vendôme. For the first time, Boucheron is sharing the history of its founders and products, whilst boosting social connectivity with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube integration.

Website & Source: boucheron.com

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Cartier, e-Commerce

Cartier has relaunched its e-Commerce offering in the United States, with an enhanced e-boutique and 360-degree product display and videos. Alongside the online boutique, the site offers information regarding after sales service, product maintenance and store locations, as well as dedicated sections to heritage, CSR projects, events, savoir-faire and social media.

Website: cartier.com
Source: Luxury Digital

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Ferrari, App

Ferrari has launched an App for brand fanatics, offering users the opportunity to discover its rich history, simulate driving, wake up to the sound of a V12, take Ferrari-themed photos with RedCam or personalise devices with wallpapers. Built for the iPhone and iPad, the app comprises of photo galleries, videos and factsheets about current and classic models as well as selected Sports Prototype and Formula 1 cars.

Download: Ferrari Mania
Source: Luxury Daily

Georg Jensen Holition Gesture Experience from Holition AR on Vimeo.

Georg Jensen, Augmented Reality

Holition has created a unique application for the special launch of George Jensen’s ‘Fusion Ring Builder’ website. The website was activated to run in store using gesture to drive product selection, simply by selecting product with a hand gesture. The user can play and see the separate components of the Fusion ring come together from all angles using the iPad, or use one of Georg Jensen’s personalised iPads at Harrods, Selfridges London and Selfridges Manchester.

Website: georgjensen.com
Developer: Holition
Source: Retail Jeweller

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Harper’s Bazaar, Hermès, eCommerce

Hermès is set to debut some of its products on ShopBazaar.com, the eCommerce site powered by fashion glossy Harper’s Bazaar. In the first e-commerce channel outside of its own website, the French luxury house will retail six shoe styles. “We thought it would be great to expand the introduction of Hermès footwear to Bazaar’s audience,” explained Hermès CEO USA Robert Chavez.

Website: ShopBazaar.com
Source: Fashion United

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Luxure, iPad

Luxure has launched its inaugural iPad Edition, in a bid to showcase its existing magazine content in the most spectacular, insightful and explorative of climates. The iPad Edition of Luxure will provide insight into an array of photography complemented by the new retina display, alongside rich additional content via audio, video and animation.

Download & Source: Luxure

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Montblanc, Virtual Pop-Up

Harrods London and Montblanc UK collaborated to produce a virtual pop-up store, featuring an extensive selection of artworks from the Montblanc Cutting Edge Art Collection, permanently exhibited in Hamburg. By pointing a smartphone or tablet at the image displayed in one of the Montblanc Harrods windows, users could not only view the artworks, but purchase four exclusive Montblanc products through Harrods.

Website & Source: montblanc.com

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Prada, iPad

In celebration of its Fall Winter 2012 menswear show in Paris, Prada collaborated with fashion illustrator Richard Haines, to produce a limited edition book featuring 150 artworks based on the collection. In the final chapter of the project the Italian brand has launched an iPad application, allowing users to take an interactive tour of a virtual palazzo designed by James Lima, to discover both the artworks and collection.

Download: Il Palazzo
Source: Prada

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Shanghai Tang, App

In time for the holiday season, Shanghai Tang has launched apps on Facebook and Sina Weibo, allowing fans to create Christmas wish lists according to their Chinese zodiac sign and share it with their friends. The wish list is focused on Shanghai Tang’s Christmas collection of homeware, displayed in an animated kaleidoscope, and users can then personalise the products they want to include prior to sharing the final wish list with their friends.

Apps: Facebook, Sina Weibo

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Whitewall, Website

Whitewall is pleased to announce the launch of the new beta version of Whitewallmag.com, which will continue to cover contemporary art, luxury lifestyle, fashion, and design, and how these industries intersect. Debuting on the eve of Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) 2012, the site will focus exclusively on pre- and day-to-day coverage of the fair.

Source: whitewallmag.com

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

The Latest Digital: Balmain, Yoox & Mandarin Oriental
The Latest Digital: Versace, Balenciaga & Ritz-Carlton
The Latest Digital: BMW, Maserati & Salvatore Ferragamo


© Luxury Society, The Latest Digital: Cartier, Prada & Tod’s, 05 December 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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THE TOP 50 MOST-SEARCHED FOR LUXURY BRANDS IN CHINA

World Luxury Index China – Top 50 Most-Searched For Luxury Brands in China

View more presentations from Digital Luxury Group, DLG SA

Luxury Society and Digital Luxury Group are pleased to launch the World Luxury Index, an international ranking and analysis of the most searched-for brands within the luxury industry.

Created as a way to provide luxury brands with a standardised way of measuring brand interest at an international level, Digital Luxury Group, in partnership with Luxury Society, is pleased to announce the launch of The World Luxury Index, an on-going international ranking and analysis of the most searched-for brands within the luxury industry.

Covering over 400 brands within six key segments (fashion, beauty, jewellery, cars, watches, and hospitality) in ten key luxury markets, the World Luxury Index provides insights on the unbiased search inputs coming from global luxury consumers in the world’s top search engines (Google, Bing, Baidu, Yandex). The result is a one-of-a-kind benchmark of the luxury brands capturing the attention of luxury-minded consumers around the world.


“ The World Luxury Index provides insights on the unbiased search inputs coming from global luxury consumers in the world’s top search engines ”


“This is actually the first time that such powerful, yet seemingly basic, information is being made available,” explains Philippe Barnet, Managing Director, Luxury Society. “But we are excited about the prospect of regularly informing luxury brand executives about the desirability of their brands online, across various categories, geographical markets and even by specific product.”

“For the World Luxury Index China, we’ve looked at over 150 million consumer searches performed in China’s leading search engines, Baidu and Google, and analysed the findings to identify the most-searched luxury brands. In the process we uncovered some fascinating insights,” confirms David Sadigh, CEO and founder of Digital Luxury Group.

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Conducting the report…

With new statistics on the luxury industry in China being shared each day, the time is right for a uniform benchmark. Using DLG’s proprietary technology, DemandTracker™, the World Luxury Index has been created to provide luxury brands with a standardised solution to measure brand interest at an international level.

Our key findings include…

Eighteen out of the top fifty most-searched for luxury brands (36%) in China are automobile brands. Audi is the most-searched, followed by BMW and Mercedes Benz. Audi has long held a privileged spot in China, it’s the official car of the Chinese government.

Chinese brand Chow Tai Fook is the most searched jewellery brand in China, far surpassing 2nd and 3rd ranked brands, Cartier and Swarovski. With a distribution network of over 1,500 locations across 320 cities in China, Hong Kong, and Macau, it’s no surprise that they lead. Cartier can be found in approximately 300 stores.

The top 3 most-searched fashion brands in the ranking, Louis Vuitton (#3), Chanel (#5), and Dior (#8) each lead through different segments. Interest for Dior is specifically related to beauty (and more specifically fragrance) over 80% of the time. For Chanel, beauty represents just fewer than 50%, and fashion and accessories at 40%, while it was noted 94% of searches are fashion/accessory-related for Louis Vuitton

“ Unlike the other parts of the world, Western brands in China often find that the public calls the brand something other than the official name ”

Unlike the other parts of the world, Western brands in China often find that the public calls the brand something other than the official name. This is illustrated by looking at the names used when Chinese search for Burberry:

– 76% by unofficial Chinese name
– 15% by official Chinese name
– 9% by English name

Some brands are more recognized for shortened versions of their official names, where 63% of searches for Louis Vuitton were made using “LV” instead of “Louis Vuitton”.

Other brands have adapted their names to paraphrases instead of using a literal translation of their brand name, to resonate more closely with Chinese consumers. For example, Hermès in Chinese [爱马仕] means “an elegant man who loves horsing” and Land Rover [路虎] means “a tiger on the road.”

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Most surprisingly we found…

The World Luxury Index China revealed several luxury brand success stories. Take Moncler for example, the French fashion brand has been generating a surprisingly high level of interest in China thanks to its sponsorship of a widely watched television program in which the main characters all wore Moncler. This shows how important and influential TV in China can be.

Another really interesting example is Borghese, a beauty brand not particularly well known in the US and Europe is fascinatingly strong in China. Ranked #43, Borghese surpasses other notable beauty brands Benefit and Guerlain. Thanks to its highly regarded facemasks, Borghese, has been the talk of beauty forums and blogs even long before the brand’s official entry into the Chinese market. Here the impact of cult products and beauty forums and blogs is at work.


The full report is available online at: http://www.dlgr.com/chinarank. More detailed data and analysis on a particular segment or brand is available upon request.

For any further enquiries regarding the index or research, please contact Tamar Koifman of Digital Luxury Group, tkoifman@digital-luxury.com.


Digital Luxury Group
is the first international company dedicated exclusively to the design and implementation of digital communication strategies for luxury brands, with offices in New York, Geneva and Shanghai.

Luxury Society is the world’s most influential online community of top luxury executives. Based in Paris, with members in more than 150 countries, Luxury Society informs and connects CEOs, managers, journalists, consultants, designers and analysts from across the luxury industry.


© Luxury Society, The Top 50 Most-Searched for Luxury Brands in China, 25 April 2012, by Sophie Duran.


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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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LUXURY, FULLY CUSTOMISABLE IN 2012

 

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Coach’s Year of the Dragon collection, developed in collaboration with Chinese artist Zhang Lan.

As luxury consumers become more diverse and discerning, we investigate how brands are approaching an increasingly fragmented international market.

I would be happy to argue that luxury has become one of the most globalised industries in the world. Rapid and aggressive expansion by super brands like Louis Vuitton, Rolls Royce, Rolex and Four Seasons, backed by powerful super conglomerates like LVMH, Richemont and PPR, has seen luxury permeate areas of the earth once better known for human rights conflicts than seven-star hotels.

At the risk of oversimplifying the situation, luxury has never been bigger – nor has it ever had larger levels of retailers, consumers, publicity and services. As the game moves at a breakneck pace, success in this industry has become driven by Darwinian thinking, where brands must quite literally, adapt or die.

Whether it be conforming to the consumer driven digital revolution, selling goods on the internet or responding to the need for personalisation of iconic products, it has been those brands quickest to embrace change that have remained the most agile and best positioned to absorb the effects of economic instability.


“ For me bespoke is exactly what luxury should be. Old-fashioned luxury is about having something especially made for you – Anya Hindmarch ”


Difficult when you consider that luxury is unique, in that the customer and the Maison are always right. Keeping a brand “luxury” is just as much about dictating what that brand is and what it stands for, as much as it is about bending over backwards to give a client what they want. But in saying this, in 2012 it feels like the pendulum of favour may be swinging toward consumers. Brands seem to have conceded the need to deliver outside their traditional value charter – whether that is a Facebook page or Hermès Sari.

The fruits of such logic are ever apparent when one looks at the products luxury brands will be taking with them into 2012 – products that are not only regionally and culturally thoughtful, but often made-to-order and sometimes designed entirely by the customer. Whilst 2011 was an active year for the launch of bespoke initiatives for brands, I can’t help but think it was just a taste of what’s to come. Vanessa Friedman often muses that three times makes a trend – if that is the case, expect to see a veritable avalanche of bespoke
options in the coming twelve months.

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Anya Hindmarch and an example of a made-to-order product from her Bespoke boutique.

Mass Customisation

Customisation is nothing new – it is if anything, a founding principle of luxury – but it certainly is something incredibly popular in fashion and accessories. And in an era where luxury has penetrated the mass market and something afforded by the middle class, what could be more appropriate? The only thing more luxurious than a signature Burberry trench, is a signature Burberry trench made entirely to your specifications, which technology has now made a reality on a global scale.

Burberry’s Bespoke service allows clients to choose fabrics, patterns, designs, cuts and even colours. In addition, they can to scroll through various options in collar styles, cuff straps and mink linings, among others. The completed product is be delivered within four to eight weeks.


“ In an era where luxury has penetrated the mass market and become a status symbol of the middle class, what could be more appropriate? ”


UK accessories brand Anya Hindmarch, established a dedicated bespoke retail space in London over two years ago, most recently launching online. Speaking with The Telegraph, the designer mused that “old-fashioned luxury is about having something especially made for you. It’s something that has a story.” Her Knightsbridge boutique has an on-site craftsman, developing an array of leather goods as diverse as £75 bookmarks, through made-to-measure wallets, to Hindmarch’s £15,000 crocodile-leather Ebury bags.

And as luxury menswear becomes more and more important to the landscape, it is unsurprising to learn that Louis Vuitton and Bally now both offer made-to-order shoes – and in the case of Vuitton, made-to-order handbags for women. Prada launched customisable eyewear and accessories options last year, Gucci moved into made-to-measure suits and shoes. Brioni recently revealed that 40% of its sales are derived from its bespoke products, stitched by hand in the Southern Italian town of Penne.

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Blancpain’s “Chinese Dragon” Caruso, limited to a run of only 50 units worldwide, retailing for approximately $220,000.

Regional Customisation

Regional influence has extended well beyond local inventory management and appropriate
communications strategies. Today geography not only exudes overt influence on product design but seeks to compliment – or should I say capitalise – on local culture and religion. 2012 will make an example out of China, with the significant number of products designed by luxury brands, celebrating the Year of the Dragon.

Just this week, Vertu has launched a luxury dragon-themed mobile phone based on its Signature collection, with prices hovering above $20,000. Coach has collaborated with Chinese artist Zhang Lan on an accessories collection, adorning the brand’s signature designs and mahogany colour scheme with golden dragons rendered in a style reminiscent of traditional Chinese ink painting (Jing Daily).


“ How far can brands travel in their quest to please consumers before they lose their own specific defining values and cultural heritage? ”


Piaget threw an elaborate gala in Beijing to launch its Dragon and Phoenix collections, Shanghai Tang collaborated with Nespresso for its Dragon collection and Rolls Royce has released a limited edition Phantom for the occasion – unsurprising when they now claim to sell more cars in China than they do in the West.

Swarovski lauded the event with a jewellery and timepiece collection whilst Versace designed a collection of flashy accessories starting at $5000, for distribution exclusively in the Asia Pacific region. Blancpain debuted its “Chinese Dragon” Caruso, priced at 1.4 million Yuan (approximately $220,000), limited to a run of only 50 units worldwide.

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Louis Vuitton’s 2010 celebration of Diwali, which included a collaboration with Indian artist Rajeev Sethi, whose window concepts were installed from Beirut to Shanghai and from Johannesburg to Oslo.

Many of these sentiments were evident in India 2011, when Hermès produced a range of Saris and Bottega Veneta its ‘Knot India’ collection, coinciding with its exhibition in Mumbai. Louis Vuitton was characteristically ahead of the curve back in 2010, when they feted Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, on a global scale.

Whilst pursuing these types of strategies is neither a surprising move nor a new one – particularly when you consider the fanfare that is Christmas – an increasingly diverse customer base is forcing brands into new territories and cultures that are not there own, as we have seen with the Year of the Dragon. But to remain successful, history suggests they must also stay true to their luxury positioning, the specialities and strengths of their own native soil and essentially, retain tight control their of brand image – easily achieved
by controlling the products on the market.

The question remains, how far can brands travel in their quest to please consumers before they lose their own specific defining values and cultural heritage? Does a Sari made in France by Hermès, hold real significance to an Indian consumer? How will products change again with the emerging strength of Brazil and continued prosperity in Russia?

With any luck 2012 will answer some of these questions, but as always, we invite our members to join the discussion below.

For more in our Bulletin series, please see our most recent editions as follows:


© Luxury Society, Luxury, Fully Customisable in 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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