Though much has been made of the fact that the luxury sector, which has been on a rocket to the moon, growth-wise, is finally slowing –Bain predicts 4-6% for the next two years – a new “UK Luxury Benchmark Study” from Walpole, the British luxury consortium, and Ledbury Research, begs to differ, at least when it comes to the UK. It’s full of surprises!
I had a very illuminating chat yesterday with Jimmy Choo chief executive Pierre Denis. He’s been in the job not quite a year now (previously he was ceo of John Galliano, so you can understand the job change), and has started to articulate the brand’s story going forward. Put simply: it’s history, people.
Just as luxury brands across the board, from Mulberry to Louis Vuitton to Zegna, start acknowledging the slowdown in sales in China, the erstwhile engine in luxury’s global growth, another emerging market has – well, emerged, to take its place. Enter India! According to a very interesting podcast from Euromonitor, the growing number of high net worth individuals on the subcontinent, combined with new government regulations and Bollywood, are creating perfect storm conditions for luxury. Yet I don’t really feel blown away.
There’s a really interesting study out today from the Digital Luxury Group. Based on data from over 31 million searches on Google, Bing, Yandex and Bai du, as conducted in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and US, it looked at which American luxury brands were the most popular globally (based on search, natch, not sales). The results would probably surprise you, especially when it comes to who’s on top, and emerging markets.
Those international Vogues are fast becoming the action heroes of the fashion world.
Only last week they banded together to declare war on underage models, and now Vogue India has now announced it is following in the footsteps of American Vogue, British Vogue, and Italian Vogue and creating its own Fashion Fund initiative to promote the businesses of young Indian designers. Go team!
Any regular reader of this blog knows that my opinion of fashion film shorts is not exactly sky-high; of all the ones produced by this industry recently as it discovered the joys of YouTube and its gazillion viewers, only one has really worked. That’s because it walked a perfect line between self-mockery and great fun, and was not obsessed with framing its products perfectly in the camera’s eye. (The film of which I speak features models wearing Lanvin and dancing to Pit Bull.)
So I admit: when Cartier called me to tell me about its new commercial, my first reaction was (and I’m not proud of this, but we are going for full disclosure here): oh, no. Not again. Ergghh. And so on. But I took myself off to the unveiling at the Mini Palais restaurant in Paris anyway, sat myself in the plush velvet seat and prepared to grit my teeth.
So news arrives that the Puig Group, the Spanish beauty/fashion conglomerate that owns the fragrances and fashion of Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne, as well as other super-lucrative scents, is relaunching Paco’s ready-to-wear under creative director Manish Arora. Mr Arora is the only Indian fashion designer who shows in Paris, and he’s known for his use of colour, and interesting (some might say challenging) materials.