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 LATESTS BOUTIQUES: SOTHEBY’S, SHANGHAI TANG & SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

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IWC’s first U.S. flagship on Madison Avenue, New York City

The Latest openings from Armani Casa, Vacheron Constantin, Roger Vivier, IWC and Jimmy Choo, in Miami, Beijing, Costa Mesta, Milan, New York & Hong Kong

Cautious whispers of a slowdown in China have rippled through the luxury industry, despite the stellar performance of luxury goods in 2012. Ledbury Research recently confirmed the increasingly wary attitudes of luxury brand CEO’s, and pointed out that while sales have increased, in many cases market share has declined.

CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets explicitly disagrees, saying Chinese consumers will continue to purchase watches, handbags, jewellery and expensive clothes. “Wealthy individuals won’t slow down their spending,” remarked CLSA analyst Aaron Fischer to the Wall Street Journal. Barring a terrorist attack, pandemic or corruption crackdown, China will continue to lead the boom in luxury goods for years to come, according to the firm’s research.

And if brick-and-mortar store openings are anything to go buy, the luxury industry still believes in the promise of China. Vacheron Constantin this month opened its third boutique in Beijing alone, as Michael Kors launched in the city’s Shin Kong Place shopping mall and Roberto Cavalli in the Peninsula Hotel. Zegna moved into tier-2 city Shenyang, as Lancel launched a new concept store in Shanghai.

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Armani Casa, Miami

Armani Casa has moved into Miami’s new design district, with a 340sqm space at 10 NE 39th Street. It is the first Armani Casa store in Miami and the third in the United States. The store will house a range of furniture decor, tableware, decorative accessories, fabrics, ornaments, lighting and bathroom and kitchen products, as well as offering the brands “made to measure” interior design service.

Website: armanicasa.com
Source: WWD

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Dior Homme, New York

Dior Homme has launched a pop-up space in New York’s SoHo, whilst its 57th Street undergoes renovation. The Greene Street location features ready-to-wear, footwear, eyewear, leather goods, watches, jewellery and fragrance. Creative Director Kris Van Assche has selected a piece by Robert Montgomery to display in the boutique.

Website: dior.com/homme
Source: Fashion Windows

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Jimmy Choo, Hong Kong

Jimmy Choo has unveiled its first dual gender store, after expanding and renovating its boutique in Hong Kong’s Elements mall. The storefront features side-by-side entrances for women and men’s, each with its own dedicated shopping environment. The reimagined store is the first retail opening managed wholly by Jimmy Choo Hong Kong Limited, the venture created following the acquisition of the shareholding from joint venture partner Bluebell.

Website: jimmychoo.com
Source: Choo Connection

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IWC, New York

IWC Schaffhausen has opened its first US flagship in New York City at 535 Madison Avenue. The NYC store is the first of its kind, presenting the company’s watch families – Aquatimer, Pilot’s Watches, Portofino, Ingenieur, Da Vinci, and Portuguese – in themed settings that reflect their individual character.

Website & Source: iwc.com

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Lancel, Shanghai

Lancel has launched a concept store in Shanghai, designed by Christopher Pillot, who dressed the Champs-Elysees maison. The boutique features a handcrafted Murano glass chandelier and stained-glass panels, hand-painted by French artist Caroline Pregermain. Elsewhere oak flooring, brushed metals, LED lighting and vegetal furniture leathers house the brand’s accessories.

Website: lancel.com
Source: Luxury Insider

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Lamborghini, Moscow

Lamborghini has contracted with the Burevestnik Group, a luxury automobile and yacht retailer located in Moscow, to become Lamborghini’s first official dealership. A temporary sales operation has been launched in the Crocus City Mall whilst the group finalises construction of a Moscow showroom. The completed dealership will house sales, service and accessory sales for the complete Lamborghini product line-up. (Newport Beach dealership pictured)

Website: lamborghini.com
Source: Motor Authority

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Max Mara, Bucharest

Max Mara has launched a flagship store in Bucharest, which houses the Max Mara line alongside SportMax. The brand formerly operated a small store on Calea Victoriei in partnership with Alsa Group, but this new launch makes its presence in Romania one of its largest in Eastern Europe. (Paris boutique pictured)

Website: maxmara.com
Source: CPP Luxury

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Michael Kors, Beijing

Michael Kors has opened his first store in Beijing and its largest in China, located in the Shin Kong Place shopping mall. The 225sqm store retails accessories and ready-to-wear from both the main and diffusion lines and features a large format video screen showing the designer’s runway shows.

Website: michaelkors.com
Source: WWD

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Odin, New York

Niche perfume brand Odin New York has opened its first pop-up shop in collaboration with Snarkitecture. The pop up shop will remain open for six weeks, and will include all six of Odin’s unisex and home fragrances. The aim of the boutique is to showcase the product design by inverting the darkness of the packaging resulting in a bright, clean space.

Website: odinedt.com
Source: Bois de Jasmine

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Prada, Porto Cervo

Opening its second store in the Italian holiday destination of Porto Cervo, Prada has inaugurated a 95sqm space dedicated to menswear and accessories on La Passeggiata, the town’s luxury shopping street.

Website: prada.com
Source: CPP Luxury

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Roberto Cavalli, Beijing

Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli has opened the first phase of his debut store in China, within the arcade of the Peninsula Hotel, Beijing. The 300sqm space houses women and men’s ready-to-wear, as well as accessories, eyewear, perfumes, timewear and kidswear collections.

Website: robertocavalli.com
Source: Fashion United

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Roger Vivier, Costa Mesa

Roger Vivier has opened its third U.S. boutique, and its first in California, within the South Coast Plaza luxury mall in Costa Mesa. The 92sqm space features the brand’s seasonal footwear and accessories collections, as well as the limited-edition Rendez-Vous line for traveling.

Website: rogervivier.com
Source: WWD

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Salvatore Ferragamo, New York City

Salvatore Ferragamo’s largest boutique – its Fifth Avenue flagship – has reopened following 13th weeks of renovation. The 1,900sqm space features womenswear, menswear, accessories, shoes, and also the recently launched fine jewellery collection. The brand also used the occasion to debut the Travel Luggage Collection, set to launch this summer.

Website: ferragamo.com
Source: Style Rumor

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Shanghai Tang, Hong Kong

Shanghai Tang has launched a three-storey Mansion in Hong Kong, celebrating modern elegance and fashion through colours, exquisite fabrics, unique designs and prints. Womenswear occupies space on the ground and first floors, featuring a curved ceiling, a peony brass-inlay on the wooden flooring, fan-patterned screens and semi-circular seating.

Evoking a discreet gentleman’s club in warm hues, the calm, masculine Men’s wear floor offers ample leather seating, as well as an embossed dragon, a Chinese symbol of power.

Website & Source: shanghaitang.com

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Sotheby’s, Hong Kong

Sotheby’s is soon to open a 1,400sqm permanent exhibition space in Hong Kong, and will celebrate with a string of exhibitions running through the end of May. The gallery will occupy the entire fifth floor of One Pacific Place, the massive space will become a sort of HQ for the global auction house to expand its presence in Asia beyond its current biannual auction series in April and October.

Website: sothebys.com
Source: Jing Daily

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Vacheron Constantin, Beijing

Vacheron Constatin has unveiled its third flagship Beijing, on the ground floor of Beijing Macau Center, bringing the total number of stores worldwide to 30. The opening also coincided with the arrival of three special edition watches in Beijing and at the store, including the newly launched Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon, Métiers d’Art Kalla Haute Couture à Pampilles and the Patrimony Traditionnelle Calibre 2253.

Website: vacheron-constantin.com
Source: Luxury Insider

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Zegna, Shenyang

Ermenegildo Zegna recently celebrated the opening of its fourth China flagship, in the north-eastern luxury hotspot Shenyang. The 505sqm space within Shenyang’s MixC mall has been designed by architect Peter Marino, divided into three sections for each of Zegna’s brands: Ermenegildo Zegna suits and accessories, Z Zegna, and Z Sport.

Website: zegna.com
Source: Jing Daily

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

The Latest Boutiques: Chanel, Tom Ford & Valentino
The Latest Boutiques: Céline, Chaumet & Elie Saab
The Latest Boutiques, Burberry, Bally & Boucheron


© Luxury Society, The Latest Boutiques: Sotheby’s, Shanghai Tang & Salvatore Ferragamo, 09 May 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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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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