MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Day 1 of the New York Times International Luxury Conference 2014

By Nicole Comeau, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2005-2006, USA

The New York Times International Luxury Conference 14th year was held in Miami, Florida. ESSEC proudly sponsored this luxury conference once again.

The conference kicked off on December 2nd, with the very fitting first guess speaker Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO and Chairman of Kering. Mr Pinault opening remarks where focused on how art, luxury and technology are merging in the luxury sector. The relation between fine art and luxury is not new. They occupy the same space in society and have influenced contemporary living. Technology is not at the core of the luxury industry but essential for its sustainability. From production, processes to distribution, technology has been built-in to improve quality in products.

Here are some topics that were discussed throughout the day:

Next Big thing: Susanne Lee, founder and CEO of Biocouture discussed how she has worked with nature to produce materials that are self-generating – a process called tissue engineering. Not long from now, materials will be able to be grown from DNA, leather and silk type materials and used to produce products in luxury without killing animals and remaining eco-friendly to nature.

The Collaborative Mind (Science and Creativity): Stephano Pilati, Head of Design Zegna and Fiorella Trenzi, PH.D. Professor of Physics and Astronomy spoke about how science can inform and ignite creativity in a way to elevate fashion to another level, merging areas and exploring new demography while collaborating across disciplines.

Next Big Thing (Battery Operated Textiles): Dan Steingart, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Battery operated textiles are becoming the future and are being refined to the extent where they will become usable in luxury products.

Social Media as Creation Tool: This panel discussed how social media has influenced creativity and design through internet images. They provide a platform for visual textiles and how fashion shows are being viewed by audiences. Social media drives growth and can provide authenticity with backstage all access. Fashion brands now own their audiences and can communicate with them.
Fashion and the Arts: Frida Giannini, Gucci and Michael Govan, CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, LACMA discussed how the film and fashion industry have collaborated on various projects and created beautiful collaborations. It is changing the definition of museums, and generated investments to help the development of film restoration.

Creative Osmosis: Will.I.Am. spoke about wearables as being the next wave of technical products. They have created a whole new playing field and are changing the competitive landscape. New categories are created with new competitors. This pushes brands to look outside the box and their comfort zone.

Overall it was a successful first day with a focus on technology and sustainability in luxury.