Elizabeth Paton

Elizabeth Paton is the FT's US luxury correspondent

I’ve written in the past about how language barriers can have a significant impact on a luxury brand’s resonance with consumers and their spending power.

As labels continue their charge into frontier emerging and digital markets, this remains a critical conundrum at the forefront of their growth strategies. The logo can only go so far after all, and values and brand equity can often get lost in translation.

Increasingly it is clear that service in particular must be as accessible as possible to the evermore demanding customer. Many brands report a direct correlation to the increasing number of items bought – and the overall value of a sale – to clients if they are served in their native language.***

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Kering clearly believes in the power of three. Tuesday held no less than three high profile CEO announcements from the French luxury giant regarding a trio of its big name brands.

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There has been a recent slew of big-name brand entrants to the $90bn beauty sector, all keen to capitalize on designer star power in order to score soaring sales via the most accessibly priced luxury products on the market.

It makes commercial sense – a pyramid-style business model where a luxury collection at the “pinnacle” rests on a base of less expensive diffusion lines and offerings that provide the bulk of a company’s profits. Lipsticks, mascaras and fragrances are the lucrative entry point upon which to target the aspirational consumer, building up an appreciation of a brand and its heritage that increases over time – and possibly alongside a budding bank balance. Read more

Jean Paul Gaultier, the revered French designer and one-time enfant terrible of the 1980s fashion scene, has announced that his September 27 ready-to-wear collection, set to show during Paris Fashion Week, will be his last.

Mr Gaultier said that he will be shuttering his accessories, mens and womenswear lines later this year in order to focus on his couture collection and fragrances business, adding:

“Commercial constraints, as well as the frenetic pace of collections don’t leave any freedom, nor the necessary time to find fresh ideas and to innovate. This is a new beginning, I will be able to express again my creativity fully and without constraints.”

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Proof that Apple was pitching its new Watch as its first official foray into style accessories was made evident during New York Fashion Week by the absence of several famous industry faces from the front rows.

The seasons may change, but this line-up does not. So the Silicon Valley tech giant scored a major coup by luring dozens of top fashion media power players and bloggers to its launch gala on Tuesday, including Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue (below).

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The luxury M&A rumour mill has gone into overdrive yet again amid reports that LVMH is looking to acquire a minority stake in bright young New York fashion brand Proenza Schouler.

Although the terms of any potential deal have not been disclosed, people familiar with the situation said that LVMH was looking to take as much as 40 per cent in the label, which was founded in 2002 by designer duo Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez.

Proenza Schouler’s current group of investors is spearheaded by Theory supremo Andrew Rosen and John Howard of Irving Place Capital, also the powerhouses behind cult contemporary label Rag & Bone. Read more

In recent weeks, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds the world over have been awash with videos of triumphant participants taking part in the “Ice Bucket Challenge”, a stunt in which an individual has – you guessed it – a bucket of icy water dumped over their heads, all in the name of charity.

The hook that’s taken this viral is the subsequent nomination of others to take on the challenge within 24 hours, or to donate $100 to the ALS Association, raising both awareness and cash for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known Lou Gehrig’s disease. Read more

An unexpected treat from Lyst, the Shoreditch-based fashion e-commerce platform that creates individualized shopping sites for every user based on a potent algorithmic cocktail of big dataRead more

Luxe leathers, tribal printed t-dresses meet corrugated, wooden changing cubicles and Japanese minimalism at the brand new Louis Vuitton temporary store in London’s Dover Street Market, writes Eve SimmonsRead more

In October The Met will open its doors in New York on a showstopping new exhibition of works which, when given to the museum last April by cosmetics billionaire Leonard Lauder, set the record for the largest single art donation in history.

The 78-strong collection of Cubist masterpieces – which includes 33 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Légers and 14 works by Gris – is widely considered the most eminent of its kind in the world. And the price tag? A cool $1.1bn. Read more