Monthly Archives: June 2011

Blame it on the skinny model controversy and just wanting to avoid the issue entirely. Or maybe just boredom. But summer, it seems, has spawned some lateral thinking in the fashion world about where a brand should put its clothes.

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The rest of its economy may not be in the best shape, but apparently the Spanish luxury industry is an exception to the rule.  Read more

Jean-Claude Biver, the chief executive of Hublot, has some significant things to say about the watch industry, all of which can be summarised as: show them the money.

Admittedly, he’s a watch guy, so he should think that, but he’s put his own money where his mouth is (besides being CEO of Hublot, he’s one of the top 10 watch collectors in the world). Read more

Poor PPR comms team: they walked into our FT Business of Luxury conference this morning and were immediately accosted by gazillions of delegates (ok, that’s an exaggeration, but there were lots) as well as yours truly, wondering whether there was any truth to the rumours being mooted by La Tribune that PPR was getting ready to buy another luxury behemoth like Polo Ralph Lauren, Burberry, or Prada. Read more

They are quick to note they aren’t anthropologists, but nevertheless, charge card giant American Express claims to have discovered an entirely new species of luxury consumer, and they have the data to back it up. Who is this mysterious new breed? Slackers!

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Speaking at the Business of Luxury summit in Lausanne, Gavyn Davies, chairman of Fulcrum Asset Management and an FT blogger, and Jim O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, had some interesting things to say about two of the biggest luxury consumers: the Chinese and the American, what’s happening to them, and what it means for the future.

Specifically, they painted an “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” scenario, where the two groups change places in the next year or so. Read more

Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, the wife-and-husband team behind Italian luxury goods group Prada, will next week throw a party in Hong Kong they have been a decade in organising.

The occasion is to mark the launch of the fifth attempt in 10 years by Prada, the group behind Prada, MiuMiu and Church’s brands, to list a minority stake. The guests are top investors in the region; the entertainment will be a private catwalk show. Read more

In all the hoo-ha about the Groupon listing, I can’t quite escape the idea that social shopping is about to become the next big thing in social media. It is, after all, the simplest way to monetize the phenomenon.
If in doubt, simply consider the latest entrants to the field: Henry Kim and Harish Abbott, founders of Sneakpeeq, one of the most interesting new entrants I’ve encountered.
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The Jones Group, the American contemporary megalith that owns such brands as Nine West, Stuart Weitzman, and Dockers (plus 32 others), has just announced they have acquired Kurt Geiger from private equity group Graphite Capital for gBP 215 million. This is a big deal.

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Burberry has now read the L2 report I posted about this morning, and have some things they wanted to point out in response.  Read more

Well, this is a shocker: today a digital think tank called L2 is publishing a study, “L2 Prestige 100®: Facebook IQ,” which ranks the high-end brands as “Genius, gifted, average, challenged, and feeble” according to who uses Facebook best, and out of brands that span the auto, watch & jewellery, fashion, beauty, and spirits & champagne sectors, Burberry, normally held up as THE most web-savvy, digi-forward company in the luxury industry, ranks…average. Actually, it’s number 49.
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There’s a highly amusing and perfectly-timed, given the current DSK scandal and the subject’s own pecccadillos, profile of Silvio Berlusconi by Ariel Levy in this week’s New Yorker. Among all the gossip, political and personal, and exploration of his myth-making, however, one fact stood out for me: Levy’s observation of Berlusconi’s makeup techniques.

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