Memoirs of an Amnesiac - Antonio Paraiso -

Style and Substance: Going the Distance with Sustainable Luxury – Part II

Fashion, Full-Circle

In an age where “veganism is fashionable; electric cars are the new supercars; and every major fashion brand is suddenly talking about sustainability”, more upmarket brands are calling themselves “cruelty-free” or “sustainable”. But beyond speaking the lingo, how many are actually walking the talk and steering impactful change in the industry?  Designer Stella McCartney is an exemplary trailblazer in this regard. Her namesake fashion label has been fully committed to the sustainability cause since its birth in 2001—a time when the “triple-bottom-line” was still only an emerging concept. Today, the support for ethical and responsible brands has grown considerably, but McCartney is already well ahead of the sustainability curve with a comprehensive strategy

Like her famous parents Sir Paul and Linda McCartney, the designer is also an outspoken vegetarian and animal rights activist, and her views are reflected in … please read more

Style and Substance: Going the Distance with Sustainable Luxury – Part I

While luxury consumption is traditionally associated with ostentation and extravagance, the rise of eco-consciousness is reshaping the expectations of today’s luxury consumer, and indeed redefining the luxury market as a whole. According to the Sustainable Fashion Blueprint 2018 report, about 57 per cent of consumers cited sustainability—along with fit, price and style—as one of their key considerations when buying fashion items. Similarly, while “luxury” is typically understood to mean “something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary, the same customer with access to life’s greater refinements is also mindful of environmental impact, and in favour of a more evolved and sustainable brand of luxury.

Sustainable luxury—which also goes by honest luxury, smart luxury, new luxury, or green luxury—embodies the eco-friendly and socially responsible business behaviours that the … please read more

How would you define excellence?

In 1983, I’ve read ‘A Passion for Excellence’, by Tom Peters and Nancy Austin, and gained a totally new way of understanding excellence.

Then, over a 30-year career in business, I got used to hearing that excellence is synonymous with extreme quality, perfection, or something that goes beyond normality. Dictionaries define it as something exceptional or extremely good.

But having studied Luxury Brand Management and read a lot about this world of fascination, I began to understand excellence differently. I read many experts, investigate the … please read more

The Evolution of Luxury

The Evolution of Luxury

The word ‘luxury’ stems from the Latin concept of light and – since the very beginning – it also was strongly related to excess, abundance, exaggeration, opulence, eccentricity, squandering, absence of measure. It is something above and beyond the ordinary and clearly not for everyone.

With this in mind, it may be said that luxury, as a sociological phenomenon of consumption, probably originated in the Roman Empire, around the year 27 BC. There is documented evidence of the Emperors’ abnormal behaviours of ostentation and wastefulness.

_Roman-Emperors

Luxury is about exclusivity and that is probably due to the phenomenon of the … please read more

Creative Liaisons in Luxury

Consumers showing abundant purchasing power do always have very high expectations, enjoy surprises that make life a lot more vibrant and when taken by pleasant surprise, seldom argue about price. Hence, permanent creativity is one of the essential ingredients in any luxury product or service. Quo vadis, Luxus?

The creative ability is fascinating.  I admire talented minds that create, inspire, provoke and surprise, whether in arts or business.

“Memoirs of an Amnesiac”, the book by French pianist and composer Erik Satie is an example of fascinating

erik-satie-tgp

and provocative creativity. A delight for the intellect. Satie was  … please read more

Charm is of the essence

In recent years, luxury has been too democratized, very much due to globalization, hypermodernity and trade up phenomena. Consequently, brands increase sales, but slowly and over time luxury products and services become more similar to one another and lose value. The new antidote against the democratization of luxury brands seems to be a clear investment in employees that convey genuine warmth and charm as a way of providing pleasure and happiness to customers. Quo vadis, Luxus?

lux101_bulter

Thomas L. Friedman in his book The World is Flat, analyzes the phenomenon of globalization and the increasing leveling of the different regions of the world, regarding the development of societies and their access to goods and services in general.

Gilles Lipovetsky, contemporary French philosopher, who was my teacher and with whom I have talked a lot about the sociological evolution of luxury and the ideas in his book The Eternal Luxury, was the first to realize that the hyper-modern society of  … please read more

Online and Offline as one Luxury Universe

According to the December 2010 edition of LuxuryDaily.com, consumers of luxury and premium goods and services, worldwide, are increasingly using mobile web devices – smartphones and tablets – to search for information about everything they want to buy. Quo vadis, Luxus?

Luxury smartphone

The use of mobile Web is experiencing impressive growth. It is estimated that there are about 5 billion mobile phones in the world and about 30% of users have regular Web access in this way. And although this percentage is not the same in all regions of the world – in Europe it is still relatively low – it surely is an indicator of the predictable evolution in the near future. And this evolution will be particularly fast in the premium market, because nowadays the luxury consumer belongs to the best educated generation ever, achieves wealth at younger age than previous generations, is very technology-savyy and knowledgeable of new ways of communication, using them both … please read more

Luxury is Going Green

The global recession has also affected the financial situation of those who consume luxury regularly. It has somewhat led them to reassess their lifestyles and rethink the values upon which they live their lives. Among others, they feel growing concern for the environment and favour brands that also feel that way. Quo vadis, Luxus?

Pamela Danzinger

Pamela Danzinger is one of the most respected researchers in consumer behaviour in the luxury universe. Her market research The Luxury Market Is Going Green and Luxury Brands Can Not Afford to Ignore It, confirms that … please read more

“Thou shalt not flaunt it”

There is a recent phenomenon, somewhat paradoxical, that begins to gain momentum in the luxury market. It is called Secret Shopping. This trend invites premium and luxury brand executives to think about and eventually adapt to some good practices. Quo vadis, Luxus?

Sometime ago, I have read an interesting article about this phenomenon written by my good friend Susana Costa e Silva, PhD, university professor and marketing researcher, arguing that the economic crisis is driving luxury consumers to be more socially responsible and more discreet in the form of purchase and consumption. The article also quoted Milton Pedraza, President of the Luxury Institute – whom I met in New York City to discuss ideas: “It is distasteful today, to adopt exuberant and flamboyant behaviours when buying luxury products and services“.

A friend of mine who lives in Spain and works as store manager for a very well known French luxury brand, recently told me over dinner that, in recent times the purchase by phone and internet of leather bags and purses has increased, because such customers still wish to enjoy their favorite luxury items, but do not want to be seen in the store buying in these times of recession.

Hermes-Orange-Canvas-Garden-Party-Small-Bag

An article published in the Universia Knowledge newsletter of Wharton Business School cites Roxanne Paschall, senior merchandising director of the Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta: “It’s a little bit gauche to be ostentatious with  … please read more

The Fascination of Luxury

The Fascination of Luxury

The luxury market, like any other sector, is experiencing considerable change and the brands that serve this segment need to know where it is heading so to adapt their offer. Quo vadis, Luxus?

The world of luxury has a fascinating appeal. It draws you in.

It draws your attention, curiosity and the desire to belong.

It draws you in by its prominence, its excellence but most of all because it is untouchable. It has mystery, elegance, innovation, history, tradition, exclusivity, sophistication and pleasure for all the senses, making it desired by many, yet accessible to few.

Luxury is essentially a state of mind. It is a way of life. It is much more than just high purchasing power. Mademoiselle Coco Chanel once said, “Some people think that luxury is the opposite of poverty. But it is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”

Coco Chanel, luxury

 

In fact, the high and insouciant purchasing power is not the only factor typical of the luxury markets. Usually, these are … please read more