MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Monday, November 25, 2013

INYT "S.E.A. of Luxury" Conference Report: Day 2

Get the 2013 INYT Luxury Conference Agenda here.

The second day of the S.E.A. of Luxury Conference began with a focus on the rise of e-commerce. Can the emotion of luxury be conveyed online? How are retailers adapting to the South East Asian markets? Where do the greatest online retail opportunities lie?
Suzy Meknes: “We don't need more things- but we want them. That's the power of emotion in luxury.”

Suzy Meknes: “Emotion can make us cry, but it can also make us buy.”
The discussion began with Princess Marie-Chantal on the extension of the luxury market into children’s clothing. The conversation then focused on the opportunities and challenges of luxury e-commerce in Asia. Andrew Keith, President of Lane Crawford, detailed the company’s successful expansion into online retailing in Asia, highlighting triple digit growth in online business and how connected commerce and online stores give brands greater coverage through a first-mover advantage. Federico Marchetti, Founder and CEO, YOOX Group, detailed the demographic data of online shoppers in Asia and stressed the importance of customer service online.
Andrew Keith: “Our strategy is based on customer feedback. We can't open 60 stores in China but we can connect online.”

Federico Marchetti: “It's not only about impeccable service, it's about giving the customer an entertaining experience."
The conversation then turned to how the excitement, passion and feeling of luxury can be translated through a screen. One of the most important methods is leveraging social media by listening, telling stories, and living in the digital social ecosystem, explained Thomas Crampton, Director of Social Media, Asia Pacific, Ogilvy & Mather.
James Lima, Director, Art+Commerce: “There's no difference between Prada and Warner Brothers. They both make entertainment and need to engage the consumer.”

James Lima, Director, Art+Commerce: “Luxury brands need to balance Show and Business. Too much of one is no good.”
Pierre Rainero, Director of Image, Heritage and Strategy, Cartier concluded the discussion on emotion in luxury by discussing L’Odyssée de Cartier panther films. He agreed with James Lima that luxury brands are “becoming content creators.”

Pierre Rainero, Director of Image, Heritage and Strategy, Cartier, discusses using digital to connect emotions with luxury.
The second half of the day began with a focus on jewelry in South East Asia. Speakers stressed both the emotional and financial investment that jewelry represents, as well as the specificities of the South East Asian market.
Stephen Webster, Creative Director, Stephen Webster & Garrard: “Jewelers make things that are so bound by emotions - it's all about emotional ties.”

Vanessa Herrera, Business Director, Asia, Sotheby's: “Great collectors in SE Asia are driven by decoration, enjoyment, provenance, social engagement & investment.”
Singapore is the hub of jewelry sales in South East Asia; Sotheby’s reported that the average value per lot in wristwatch auctions in Singapore was $173K and that Singapore made up 68% of their jewelry sales in South East Asia.
David Lamb, Managing Director, Jewellery, World Gold Council: “Chinese women could eat through every bar of gold in Fort Knox in 6 years if gold demand carries on increasing.”

David Lamb, Managing Director, Jewellery, World Gold Council: “Gold represents indulgence, but also safety.”
The final presentation by Ian Harebottle, CEO, Gemfields, on Gemfields’ ethical gemstone mine in Zambia transitioned the discussion to the conference’s concluding topic: socially responsible luxury. It is standard for luxury consumers to demand goods that do not harm the environment or the worker who made them. Speakers highlighted new initiatives to further ethical and responsible luxury.
Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs, Kering: “Sustainability is not a way to drive sales. It's a way to ensure you can keep doing business long term.”

Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs, Kering: “CEOs of our brands are bonused on whether they hit sustainability targets.”

Livia Firth, Creative Director, Eco Age, on the green carpet challenge: “Ethics and sustainability should be glamorous because that appeals to consumers."

Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, President, International, International New York Times: “Consumption is important, but sustainable business is essential and it's good business too.”

Thursday, November 21, 2013

INYT "S.E.A. of Luxury" Conference Report: Day 1

The 2013 International New York Times “S.E.A. of Luxury” Conference kicked off today at the Capella in Singapore.  You can read the program here.

Suzy Menkes opened the conference by addressing its key theme:  When will South East Asia become a provider rather than a consumer of luxury?  Throughout the conference, speakers shared their insights into South East Asia and its importance for the luxury industry.

Suzy Menkes opens the conference.
Ermenegildo Zegna, CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna Group: "Luxury in all of Asia is being driven by the Chinese consumer, whether at home or overseas."
Jing Ulrich, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Asia Pacific, JPMorgan Chase Bank: "China is the holy grail of the luxury industry."
The morning began with a financial overview of the luxury industry in Asia and of Asia’s luxury consumers. Jiang Qiong Er (CEO & Artistic Director, Shang Xia) then focused on the importance of incorporating heritage and traditions when building a new Asian luxury brand.
 Jiang Qiong Er: "Shang Xia is about traditional craft, beauty and culture - the art of living.”
The next sessions focused on ultra high net worth men, a crucial demographic driving luxury sales growth in South East Asia.  Asian male UHNW consumers have a median net worth of US$77 million and a median age of 59; Singapore is the leading UHNW market in the world.  These sessions from Cartier, Caruso & Fosun, and Tom Ford International focused on appealing to the specificities of this market.
Gregoire Blanche, Regional Director South East Asia and Australia, Cartier: "Status, Investment, Gifting & Narrative are the key factors behind luxury watch purchases in Singapore."
Domenico De Sole, Chairman, Tom Ford International: "You cannot be a great luxury brand unless you're successful in Asia."
Pierre Denis, ESSEC MiM alum '87
CEO of Jimmy Choo

The afternoon sessions began with accessories and beauty, including speakers from Valextra and Jimmy Choo, as well as Anya Hindmarch and Ethan Koh.  They emphasized the the importance of personalization of luxury accessories, which keeps the brand close to its customers, and tailoring the products to the local market.
Anya Hindmarch, on local nuances: "Asian women tend to be smaller than European women, so they like smaller bags."
Ethan Koh, CEO and Creative Director, Ethan K: "High profile clients want bespoke products that are special and unique to them."
Finally, the discussion turned to whether Asia can shift from being a consumer to a producer of luxury goods. A wide variety of participants weighed in:
Angelica Cheung, Editor in Chief, Vogue China, on the idea of Asian creativity: "We don't have to put an "Asian" tag on it. We are Asian, but we are everywhere."

Anna Sui: "It's only a matter of time before a huge great fashion design talent emerges from the South East Asian region."

Suzy Menkes: "Is there an opportunity for imaginative designers to create clothes which are appropriate to Muslim women?"

Biyan Wanaatmadja: "When I started out I realized I had to produce something uniquely Indonesian - that's the DNA of what I do."

Frank Cintamani, Chairman, FIDé Fashion Weeks; President, Asian Couture Federation: "The lack of marketing ability is a problem for many Asian designers."
The day closed with Suzy Menkes in conversation with fashion blogger Bryanboy discussing the impact of social media on the luxury fashion industry.
Suzy Menkes: There's something sad that social media, which started out innocent, is now controlled by the big brands and houses.

Bryanboy: I don't think it's bad for bloggers to work with brands- there are synergies and they will always share a personal view.

Bryanboy: There can't be another me, but there's space for everyone in the digital space.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Where are they now? An interview with alumnus Stella King ‘05

Where does an MBA in International Luxury Brand Management from ESSEC take you? In honor of ESSEC’s sponsorship of the INYT Luxury Conference, whose 2013 theme is luxury in South East Asia, we followed up with an alumnus who has built her career in the region.

Stella King ’05, President of Moncler Asia Pacific, shares her experience:

Describe your career path after your graduation from ESSEC. What is your current role and its responsibilities?

After Essec, I joined Gucci Group (now named "Kering Group") as a brand manager for Sergio Rossi. One year later, I was promoted to Brand Director. Then in 2008 I became the president of Sergio Rossi for Asia Pacific business.

In late 2011, I joined Moncler as Asia Pacific President. This is my current role and I take care of Moncler business in Asia, except Japan.

Was there anything particular about the Luxury MBA that helped prepare you for your career path or qualify you for your current position?

My biggest achievement at ESSEC was acquiring a deeper understanding of decision-making in different cultures and based on different perceptions. I also started to really understand how to work in a team and how qualified team work should be.

Why is South East Asia an important region for the luxury industry? What does the region offer in terms of luxury producers and consumers?

South East Asia has a diversified culture, a welcoming attitude/system, and a rich base. Singapore is the most important international port in South East Asia and it has a well-planned system. The key thing for brands developing their South Asian business is to maximize their logistical advantage and to capitalize on the financial environment.

How are luxury retailers adapting to the South East Asian market?

One example is colors. Most brands’ products are more colorful in South East Asia.

What advice would you give for current students and recent graduates who want to work in South East Asia?

Understand the local culture/customers/weather. South East Asia is made up of many different countries. Understanding a particular environment and targeting those customers is the only way to access that market.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Luxury in Asia-Pacific at ESSEC

As a worldwide leader in luxury brand management education with an active engagement in the Asia-Pacific region, ESSEC Business School is proud to be a sponsor of the 2013 International New York Times “S.E.A. of Luxury Conference”, which takes place in Singapore on 21-22 November, 2013. This special event will bring together the most influential actors of the luxury sector to analyze the economic potential of the Asia-Pacific market for both the production and the consumption of luxury goods and services.

From now till the conference, ESSEC is committed to sharing its expertise in the field of luxury in Asia-Pacific through a series of publications, research articles, and interviews with alumni, leading up to live coverage during the conference.

Stay up to date with Luxury in Asia-Pacific at ESSEC by following us on:

Luxury at ESSEC

For over 20 years, ESSEC has offered several specialized educational and research programs in luxury brand management.

The LVMH Chair, created in 1991 with LVMH, was the first research chair at a French business school dedicated to the luxury industry. Each year, the program accepts 20 students from the Grande Ecole who have chosen to pursue a career in the luxury industry.

ESSEC’s MBA in International Luxury Brand Management, launched in 1995 in partnership with LVMH and L’Oréal Luxe, was the first program of its kind and is one of the top-ranked programs in luxury brand management worldwide. It has since produced over 500 executives of 55 nationalities from 45 different countries working in the luxury industry. This MBA provides a unique opportunity to access high-level posts in the industry thanks to its academic excellence and the participation of major industry actors (LVMH, L’Oréal Luxe, Estée Lauder Companies, PPR Luxury, Richemont) and the most influential independent houses (Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Hermès, Polo Ralph Lauren and Zegna).

ESSEC Asia-Pacific

In an increasingly global higher education market, and in recognition of the significant increase in the number of students coming from Asia between 2000 and 2015, ESSEC made the strategic choice to establish itself in Asia-Pacific. ESSEC opened its Asia-Pacific Campus in Singapore in 2005 and is expanding its presence in the region with the construction of a new campus for 2015. Since 2005, the Asia-Pacific Campus has offered academic and executive programs to over 3,000 students and managers, while over 1,000 ESSEC graduates currently work in the region.

ESSEC Asia-Pacific regularly offers Executive Workshops in luxury brand management for industry professionals who to develop their expertise and skills.

Over 700 ESSEC alumni currently work in the luxury industry, including 150 in the Asia-Pacific region.