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 BOUTIQUES: HUBLOT, AUDI & CHANEL

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Dior Homme’s latest store in Miami

Burberry debuts retail as theatre in Chicago, Marni launches in three Chinese Mainland cities, as Hublot takes to the Philippines, United States, China & UAE.

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Audi, Ahmedabad, Dubai

Audi in partnership with Nixynova Motoren Pvt. Ltd have moved into a bigger showroom in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, which will now display entire range of Audi cars that is on offer in the country.

The luxury brand has also opened its largest dealership in Dubai with local dealer Al Nabooda Automobiles, which will be display up to 57 new vehicles over three levels. The Audi Terminal Dubai features floor-to-ceiling screens displaying the complete Audi model range including all equipment options, features and technical details on a 1:1 scale.

Source: Rush Lane, Motor Authority

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Boucheron, Hong Kong

Boucheron has debuted a new retail design concept in Hong Kong, a model that will be replicated across all the brand’s stores starting with an overhaul in Paris. The 80sqm space has been designed with luminosity in mind, harking back to the first atelier on Paris’ Place Vendome, where the workshop was flooded with light that highlighted the brilliance of the stones.

Source: FashionMag

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Breguet, Abu Dhabi

Breguet has unveiled its latest boutique in Abu Dhabi, located in the high standing commercial building “Etihad Towers”. The 32nd monobrand boutique worldwide showcases a mix of timepieces and gem-set Haute Joaillerie creations across 60sqm, in keeping with its global retail design concept launched in 2012.

Source: Breguet
Burberry, Chicago

Burberry has launched its second largest store in North America in Chicago, meshing digital, entertainment and fashion in one seamless experience across five-floors. The store houses the first beauty consultation counter in North America and will carry an exclusive, limited edition collection of outerwear and non-apparel for both men and women, created to celebrate Burberry in Chicago.

Source: Brand Channel

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Chanel Timepieces, Paris

Chanel has opened its first dedicated watch store in Europe on the first floor of Paris department store Galeries Lafayette, to house its Première and J12 lines in addition to the new Mademoiselle Privé collection. The 25sqm concession is decorated in the brand’s signature black, beige and gold.

Source: WWD

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Chopard, Abu Dhabi

Chopard has launched its latest boutique at Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall, in partnership with Abu Dhabi distributor Al Manara International Jewellery. Created by architect Thierry Despont, the décor reflects that of a welcoming living room boasting fine woods for the floors and leather for the wall panels, store fixtures and furniture fronts and luscious velvet for curtains and upholstery.

Source: Luxos

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Christian Louboutin, London

Christian Louboutin has unveiled its first store dedicated to men in the United Kingdom, to carry a range of shoes, sneakers, bags and accessories. The 170sqm Dover Street flagship has been realised by New York architects 212box, the same architects responsible for Christian Louboutin stores worldwide.

Source: FashionMag

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Dior Homme, Miami

Dior Homme is the latest brand to launch in Miami’s new Design District, showcasing sleek architecture, minimalist decor, and luxe materials. To highlight the opening, Dior Homme collaborated with artist and photographer, Bruce Weber, to curate an exclusive film titled, “Can I Make the Music Fly,” that can be viewed here.

Source: The Fashionisto

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Elie Saab, Geneva

Elie Saab has opened a new 155sqm boutique overlooking Lake Leman in Geneva, Switzerland. Saab himself, in collaboration with architect Chakib Richani, has designed the dual-level space. The store will showcase the designer’s accessories and ready-to-wear items from both the autumn and winter 2012-2013 and pre-fall 2012 collections.

Source: VMSD

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Eterniti, London

London-based boutique luxury carmaker, Eterniti Motors, has officially launched its first showroom with a 930sqm facility in Park Royal, northwest London. Eterniti-owned showrooms will open in Asia in 2013, beginning with Hong Kong, which will serve as the company’s Asia-Pacific hub.

Source: Eterniti

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Georg Jensen, London

Danish luxury lifestyle brand Georg Jensen, has unveiled its newest concession in Selfridges, London, designed by British architects Mark Pinney Associates. The 20sqm space is housed within the store’s designer jewellery room, showcasing fine jewellery, luxury fashion jewellery as well as the heritage range and contemporary silver pieces.

Source: Retail Jeweller

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Gucci, Gurgaon

Gucci has opened its fifth and largest store in India at The Oberoi in Gurgaon, New Delhi, in keeping with the new design concept by Creative Director Frida Giannini. The near-400sqm space has been realised in ribbed glass, warm polished gold, smoked mirror and smoked bronze glass, recalling the elegance and richness of the Art Deco era.

Source: Daily Mail

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Hublot, Atlanta, Abu Dhabi, Dalian, Manila

Hublot has unveiled the first of five North American boutiques to open in the coming three years, with a 92sqm space in Atlanta, operated in partnership with Ares Distributors. The brand has also opened a second boutique in Abu Dhabi, and a second boutique in Dalian, in partnership with Jinhua Watch & Jewellery.

Finally, the very first Hublot boutique in the Philippines has debuted at the newly opened Bonifacio High Street Central mall, Manila. The boutique design concept creatively reflects Hublot’s DNA of luxury and innovative design, bringing to life its vision of fusion.

Source: Hublot

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Ittierre, Milan

Ittierre Group – producer of contemporary lines such as Pierre Balmain, C’N’C, Aquascutum, GF Ferré, Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld Paris – has debuted its first temporary department store in Milan. Housed over 1000sqm in Palazzo Gallarati Scotti, IT’S 30 MANZONI will offer principal collections of the group’s licensed brands.

Source: Vogue Italia

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IWC, Beijing, Miami, Sao Paulo

IWC has unveiled flagship boutiques in Beijing, Miami & Sao Paulo. The Beijing store features a 300sqm bi-level glass cube facade, a brainchild of in-house designers and architects. Each boutique is fitted out with sumptuous dark woods and exquisite materials, inviting customers to explore the six fascinating watch families along with boutique-exclusive editions.

Source: IWC

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Jaguar Land Rover, Beijing

Jaguar Land Rover has inaugurated its100th retail space in China, with the Beijing Changjiushida 4S Center in the heart of the city. The state-of-the-art repair centre and showroom, operated in partnership with the Changjiu Group, will have a workforce of around 110 people.

Source: Luxuo

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Jitrois, Beijing

In partnership with Keyijili Ltd, Jean-Claude Jitrois has opened a flagship store in Beijing, marking the brands first boutique in Asia. The 250sqm space has been designed by Christophe Pillet, the architect responsible for all of the brands stores, in a luxury shopping centre in the Chaoyang district of the Chinese capital.

Source: FashionMag

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Marni, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenyang

Marni has unveiled three Chinese flagship boutiques, in Shanghai’s REEL shopping centre, Nanjing’s Deji Plaza and a store in Shenyang, brining its presence to nine locations in the country. Marni creative director Consuelo Castiglioni worked closely with architecture firm Sybarite, the creators of the brand’s Beijing store, to create the spaces.

Source: Luxuo

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Montblanc, Abu Dhabi

Montblanc has opened its latest boutique in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, offering the exclusive Bespoke Nib Service, which is currently available in just four Montblanc boutiques worldwide. The store will house luxury watches, jewellery and leather goods, as well as writing instruments and its customisation service. Curacao boutique pictured

Source: Luxos

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Pucci, New York City

Pucci creative director Peter Dundas has unveiled the world’s largest Pucci store in New York, designed in collaboration with French architect Joseph Dirand, modelled after the Palazzo Pucci in Florence. The 250sqm store will form the design basis for future retail locations and feature the entire collection of Pucci ready-to-wear and accessories.

Source: Bloginity

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TAG Heuer, Geneva

TAG Heuer has opened its first boutique in Geneva, with a 100sqm space located on Rue Robert-Céard. The store will house the brand’s Lifestyle collection of accessories, as well as a range of sunglasses and luxury communication devices, Meridiist, Link and Racer, specially conceived by TAG Heuer.

Source: FHH

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Vacheron Constantin, Lucerne

Vacheron Constantin has chosen Lucerne, in German-speaking Switzerland, for its latest boutique at 10 Kapellplatz. This warm and intimate setting is designed to offer a full immersion into the world of a company combining tradition with dynamic creativity.

Source: FHH

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

The Latest Boutiques: Chloé, Brioni & Shang Xia
The Latest Boutiques: Berluti, Dior & Saint Laurent Paris
The Latest Boutiques: Hublot, Breguet & Assouline


© Luxury Society, The Latest Boutiques: Hublot, Audi & Chanel, 10 December 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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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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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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MEN: THE NEW LUXURY BIG SPENDERS?

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James Lawson, director of Ledbury Research, highlights the promise of luxury for men, but feels that Chinese trends may mask a global shift

Accounting for 40% of global sales, men’s spending on luxury also grew almost twice as fast as women’s in 2011, 14% compared with 8% respectively (Bain). This segment therefore remains heavily in focus by those in the luxury sector, with the likes of Burberry and Coach flagging it as an area of expansion and aiming to join the ranks of menswear veterans Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss and Dunhill.

At Burberry, where menswear and men’s accessories currently represent 27% of sales, the brand is looking to “double sales over time”. Coach has developed a dedicated men’s space at its flagship on Madison Avenue, subsequently leading to a doubling of its men’s sales to 20%.

Luxury giants have also jumped onto the bandwagon: LVMH’s Berluti expanded its niche from luxury footwear to debut its first men’s ready-to-wear collection at Paris Fashion Week in January, while PPR bought Italian suitmaker Brioni in November last year and signalled its faith in the segment’s prospects by announcing an expanded offering as well as new flagship plans for Europe, America, China and the Middle East.


“ Accounting for 40% of global sales, men’s spending on luxury also grew almost twice as fast as women’s in 2011 ”


Alexander McQueen is another brand investing in menswear. The PPR owned house will open a 185sqm dedicated space on London’s Savile Row in September, showcasing both the ready-to-wear collection and Alexander McQueen by Huntsman, a bespoke service announced in January. Prices for the bespoke service will range from £4,500 – £5,000 and the pieces will take about 12 weeks to make.

Creative director, Sarah Burton, said bespoke was a natural progression for the brands menswear offering. “We already offer couture for women, and wanted to add it for men. And our clients were asking for it. With this service we want to give them beautiful, handcrafted clothes, and emphasize artisanal work,” she told WWD.

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Net-a-Porter’s menswear counterpart, Mr Porter, launched in February 2011.

 

Many attribute this growth to China, where men account for over two-thirds (70%) of all luxury sales. This is in part due to the popular gift-giving culture amongst businessmen and government officials. The question, however, is whether this has been overhyped, and if Chinese male appetites for luxury are sustainable in the long term.

Because while China may currently still be dominated by male spending, this appears to be changing: we are seeing Chinese women play an increasing role in wealth creation (see High Net Worth December 2011). The rise of self-purchasing women may soon come to overshadow male demand in China, and cause a shift in the balance of luxury demand between the genders (see Ledbury’s Modern Matriarch Chinese Wealth Segment).


“ Many attribute this growth to China, where men account for over two-thirds (70%) of all luxury sales ”


Despite this, brands are still targeting men, the new big luxury spenders. This is partly due to the globally shifting attitudes. Traditionally male spend has been impacted faster and harder by the downturn, but men are now becoming more discerning.

Net -a-Porter’s Mr. Porter (since February 2011), Gilt Groupe’s GiltMAN (October 2009) and the latter’s full-price men’s site Park & Bond (August 2011) have not only tapped into the relatively underpenetrated online space in menswear, they have also recognized the change in the shopping habits of today’s men and have invested heavily in their editorial content.

Park & Bond, a partnership with GQ magazine, offers advice and how-tos, buying guides, and even free personal shopper assistance on their website to “find your own personal style”. As a further sign of male demand, Gilt has invested in a full-price men’s site before that for women, indicating the large potential in online male luxury spend.


The above is based on a collection of insights taken from Ledbury Research’s flagship publication High Net Worth. For more information please visit this link.


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.


© Luxury Society, Men: The New Luxury Big Spenders?, 10 April 2012, by James Lawson.


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