© The Financial Times Ltd 2014 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
OK, giant luxury conglomerates: time to think even more broadly about brand extensions. According to a new report from Boston Consulting Group, the luxury experiences market is now worth a whopping $980 billion (luxury experiences being defined as cars, art, home, tech, dining, hotels, travel, spas, yachting, etc.). Aka almost $1 trillion. By comparison, the personal luxury goods market is a piddling $390b. Now, where would YOU put your investment?
Just as the Chinese government cracks down further on luxury spending at home, and more company results demonstrate a flattening of the local market causing fear and trauma in heritage luxury brands with major capex in Asia, enter Antonio Tajani, EU Vice-president and commissioner for industry, to attempt to stem the pain. Their hero! Mr Tajani, aka luxury’s friend in Brussels, has “an action plan on the competitiveness of the European fashion and high-end industries”. Or a kind-of action plan. A beginning action plan? A small movement plan? You know what I mean. The point is: there’s a plan.
As any observer of the luxury industry knows, tourist spending is increasingly becoming the sales bread and butter of the world’s biggest brands. But it’s not just the flagship, department store and e-commerce channels that reap the multi-billion dollar rewards of cross-border luxury spending,
DFS – or Duty Free Shopping – the world’s leading premium travel retailer, now takes an increasingly hefty chunk of this seriously lucrative pie. Last year alone, they sold a staggering 70m products from 700 prestige labels in 420 locations across the globe.
But here’s a question – have you ever actually heard of them? Would you recognize their logo? The chances are probably not – unless you live or travel extensively in the Asia-Pacific, where the vast majority of DFS Gallerias and airport outlets are based.
Yes, it’s more Marc Jacobs news! The Jacobs show, aka the most-anticipated show of NY Fashion week due to the designer’s ability to turn on a dime season after season, has just emailed all of us fashion types to announce they are moving the show from Monday, the usual slot, to Thursday at 8pm due to “weather and production problems”.
Briefly in Milan for the furniture fair, I was chatting at a Poltrona Frau dinner to Luca di Montezemolo, whose private equity firm Charme owns Frau, when he announced happily that this weekend he and Diego Della Valle, chairman of Tod’s (along with Gianni Punzo, Bank Intesa Sanpaolo, Generali and the French rail company SNCF), will become the proud parents of yet another luxury item: Europe’s first fully privately-owned high speed luxury train
Harvey Weinstein is accessorising his production slate.
The Project Runway kingpin realised before everyone that fashion was both visual enough and competitive enough to make great reality employment TV. Now, according to Nikki Finke’s Deadline, he has created a spin-off series along the lines of Project Handbag (and shoes, and jewellery, and… hats?) that will feature accessory designers, and has sold it to Lifetime.
I can’t quite decide if what is officially, and super-creatively, titled Project Runway: Accessories, will work.
Certainly, no one can argue with the success of the parent show.
On the upside, accessories are famously easier to sell than ready-to-wear: they’re priced more accessibly; independent of sizing and thus simpler to manufacture and more broadly appealing; and widely touted, these days, as recession-friendly, the way to change an outfit without breaking your budget by buying, say, a whole new coat. Accessories are having a moment, and TV might as well exploit that.
The expansion of Jimmy Choo continues apace as its owner, the private equity firm TowerBrook (which bought the company 3.5 years ago), mulls over the options for recapitalisation with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Whether they decide an on IPO, a sale to another private equity firm, or to keep their investment for another 3-5 years, all options on the table according to an insider, is to be decided, but in the meantime the product side of the business under Chief Creative Officer Tamara Mellon has sprouted another extension: travel bags.