Wine: Yesterday and Today

What comes to your mind when you think about wine?

To me wine means pleasure, knowledge, good company and history.

Since the days of the Roman Empire, wine has been a luxurious beverage capable of making people experience and enjoy fantastic flavours. It was the most important element in fine aristocratic gatherings and dinners, often referred to as symposium. It was also connected to voluptuous temptations and habits, and to Bacchus, the Roman god of fertility, pleasure, agriculture and, of course, wine.

In the domain of the luxury business, wine can be considered both an experience and a lifetime asset.

Nowadays, the luxury industry is undergoing a big change in terms of perception due to the Millennial generation. In fact, we can feel a strong shift from sheer ownership to quest for experience. The new generation prefers to experience something special that can be remembered for a lifetime over merely own a unique object. In these terms, wine can be one of the few goods to fulfil both the elements of experience and ownership. 

The experience starts even before the bottle is opened and involves all the senses. From the appeal of the bottle and the label, to the perfume and the final taste, wine tasting is a great voyage through our physical perceptions. Besides the tasting, in the last few years the harvest of grapes and the final production sparked the interest of the public. For this reason, vineyards have lately opened their doors to public wine making experiences, connected to high-end hospitality and culinary tastings.

Moreover, wine can be considered as a sort of asset. As a matter of fact, it is a product that increases its value in time so it could be seen as a proper investment as great collections are simply priceless.

So can we consider wine a worldwide luxury good? In my opinion, yes. In the future this sector will grow even more and penetrate new markets such as Asia. In particular, Italian wines have to follow the French model and maybe a cooperation will help to gain market share in the new markets.

 Francesco Baliva

Luxury, sports and ethics

Ethics: an endangered value that will never fall out of fashion.

In a capitalist society, driven by easy money, the values that for many years have established the luxury sector’s parameters are being lost. The task of keeping them alive is falling to people whom you would never expect.

The sports industry, over the years, is turning in a market that, at the highest level, could be ideally defined luxury: a lot of money for few people, superb quality of service, exclusive events and many others are the features that certify the landing into the luxury world of professional sports. And like every sector of luxury, sports are also learning to live with  excesses: millionaires awards, unbelievable salaries and aesthetic and moral paradoxes.

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The elite few who are allowed to take part in this rise to power are becoming more and more like a modern King Midas, able to transform in cash everything that they touch.

In a reality like this one is quite hard to maintain the ethical and moral values that helped to bring sports into the hearts of millions and millions of people. This is not intended as a criticism to the values movement in the luxury world, but a way to praise the presence of people who are, even today, able to separate easy money and ethics.

A clear demonstration of this was given to us by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who fought for four hours on the central court of the Australian Open, without thinking to the cash prize and in the total respect of formality.

 Ethics is a value hardly associable with the global and globalized luxury vision, but the world and the market require someone who always keep alive this essential value and if Brunello Cuccinelli is trying in fashion, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are succeeding all over the world.

Andrea Pedersoli

Image references:

http://www.atpworldtour.com

http://www.theguardian.com

Luxury in Ibiza

 

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As I explained in my last post, for me luxury is to see sunsets and sunrises, and I want to show you one of the best place in Spain to see the sunset: IBIZA

Situated on the Balearic islands, Ibiza is a world-known destination in summer, for the huge variety of clubs, hotels, and beaches.

Every summer people from all over the world arrive on the island. Kate Moss, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul McCartney and Justin Bieber are an example of celebrited who are addicts to the island.

Ibiza is not only fiesta, paella and people, has much more to offer and I am going to give you some of the best spots to a luxury fulfilled experience of the magic island.

Where to stay:

-Hacienda Na Xamena : This Spa 5-star hotel will transport you to absolute calm, situated on a magical cliff is the best place to relax and enjoy a luxury experience.

-Hotel Destino : New baby from the Pacha owners, this hotel has been named the new place to be, if you want party without going out, this is the perfect spot, some of the best djs perform every night.

 

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(Hotel Destino)

Where to eat :

-Can Pau: Discover the real essence of the island. The restaurant is one of the best place to feel the spirit of the island, the duck is unbeatable.

Heart : What can be go wrong in this place? A collaboration between Adriá Brothers (From El Bulli, one of the best restaurant in the world) mixed with El Cirque du Soleil

Cipriani: Situated in the Marina, you can dine with a panoramic view of the port in an  elegant and sophitsicated atmosphere .

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(Can Pau)

Where to have fun:

-El lío : An amazing show with dinner, after dinner the restaurant converts in a party where you must go to see and be seen.

-Pacha: Its a myth on the island, the first club in the island still rocks, do not miss the Flower power party every Tuesday.

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(Lío)

Where to see the sunset:

Blue Marlin: Take a mojito and enjoy one of the best sunsets of the island,

-Café del Mar : Well known for their Chillout sessions, the sunsets over Sant Antonio De Portmany are spectacular.

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A possible strategy for Alfa Romeo

(Hi Davide, as a headline I would put “Alfa Romeo should stop making mass market cars”)

Alfa Romeo has an astonishing heritage. They should remind all of us about it instead of producing a mass market car. The brand’s position in the automotive market is not so clear today because they produce mass market models (Mito,Giulietta) then premium luxury cars ( Giulia, Stelvio ) and a sports car (4c). They are trying to relaunch the brand but till now it’s not clear whether it’s a success. 

During its history, Alfa used to produce cars with particularity that you weren’t able to find in a German car for example.

In my opinion cars like Mito and Giulietta should not be sold by the company because they are targeted for a mass market customer looking for efficency and a cheap product, which are concepts completely different from a premium luxury car ( FCA can sell that product using the brand Fiat). Their struggle in the premium market is good but they should invest in a different way. I mean using designers that have made Alfa famous like Carrozzeria touring ( Alfa Romeo Disco Volante ) or Zagato and Pininfarina.

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The premium market knows very well these famous designers and is able to appreciate them so it could be a great strategy to relaunch the brand and its heritage projecting old design in the future. Alfa could be the car to stand out from the crowd again. The point is to stop producing mass market cars, and with the saving of that money invest more in product design in the premium market.

 

Reality is the New Black

An age of uncertainty. It is clear that times are changing in our world.

Brexit in June, the US presidential election, terrorism and climate changes are driving to an era of hesitation and worries. Even if you are not interested in politics, you can perceive it.

If fashion represents a mirror of our society, of course, we can see all these feelings through different catwalks all over the world during latest Menswear fashion weeks.

There was both a sense of anticipation and a streak of melancholy running through the proceedings, and not only because modesty and every day seemed the main preoccupation of designers old and new.

Every day” and no future. Nowdays, it is not important what it will be, but the present with all its changes and problems. There is an evident concern about fashion itself and designers such as Miuccia Prada prefer to “think basic”, deleting everything unnecessary: “At the edge of generic” she says, “celebrating the joys of simple human normalcy.

It’s not news that the Fashion system is living through a period of problems. Sales are not growing so fast and budget must be reviewed. For the first time, we have seen mixed gender shows like DSquared2, County of Milan and there will be many others during womenswear fashion week in February. At the same time, as we said, there has been a decrease in sales.

That’s why the main theme of fashion world now became Reality, with no excess, no provocation, just clothes ready for the end consumers: “No more clothes made for Instagram” (Angelo Flaccavento, Business of Fashion).

Therefore, Fashion is facing new and big challenges in order to represent a new society that is rising during a period of overturning all around the world. We have only to wait and to understand  what’s going on (during women’s fashion week in February as well), aware of the fact that as Bob Dylan said “The times, they are a changing” and fashion system as well.

Risthenewblack_image.jpgPrada, Missoni and Hermés fashion shows 2017 | Source: businessoffashion.com
Featured image: prada.com

 

Giammarco Stamera

The Most Over-the-Top Music Festivals around the Globe | Coachella

If you still think of music festivals as scruffy and unsophisticated raves, you are pretty wrong. They have now become havens of luxury, where you can spend $12,000 to enjoy a weekend of music. The festival season is upon us, and from April till the end of the summer we will have a wide range of choice. First up of the most over-the-top festival in the World is the Coachella.

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Coachella | April 14-16 and April 21-23 in Indio, California

The line-up has been announced: Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, The xx, Bon Iver and the very pregnant Beyoncé.

On April 14, 2017, one of the most famous festival opens its gates again. Thousands of music enthusiasts, fashionistas and celebrities will be en route to the Californian desert to celebrate music, art and life.

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Over the years this festival have become bigger and better. It is the place to be, but if you desire to try a certain lifestyle, to be surrounded by “the right” crowd and to enjoy yourself like a celebrity for a weekend, then you must be very well willing to pay a certain amount to ensure a memorable VIP experience.

According to Coachella.com, the officially purchased VIP wristbands offer access to two VIP areas. The first one is a large VIP area next to the main stage, with organic food trucks, tents and ATMs within a relaxed and uncrowded atmosphere, and from there you have a view of the main stage. The other VIP area, called “Rose Garden”, is smaller and is on the other side of the festival grounds where you can enjoy a $225 four-course meal cooked by celebrity chefs.

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If you want to live the festival in high style, you can choose to stay in the Safari, an exclusive area, away from all other on-site camping. It is a $7,500 air conditioned Shikar-style tent with free adjacent private parking lot.

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You will also have access to festival “guest” viewing areas, golf cart transportation to festival stages, dedicated security, outdoor chairs, shade tents, outdoor lighting, games and everything you need to enjoy luxurious weekend of music.

Unfortunately, for this year passes are no longer available, but we can expect plenty of tweets and Instagram stories from the Coachella ground. Two months to go, the countdown has begun.

Giulia Sala

References:                                          

“Harpers Bazaar” Web Site: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/art-books-music/g7131/best-music-festivals-in-the-world/

“Coachella” Web Site: https://www.coachella.com

“Time Out” Web Site: https://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/music/coachella

Photos:

https://coachella-2014-site.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/01235949/coa14_gallery_35.jpg

https://coachella-2014-site.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/01235427/coa15_gallery_13.jpg

https://theurbandaily.com/playlist/coachella-2015-instagram-photos/item/2999983 

https://userscontent2.emaze.com/images/e6726087-015b-4c46-ae49-c008bd00ff5d/765aafa3d471bd1935572c1e75e9a679.jpeg

https://www.coachella.com/guidebook/on-site-camping/#safari-tents

Will “La La Land” dance all over the competition?

Let’s talk about movies!

Whether you are into movies or not, when film awards season rolls around every year, there is usually something that catches everyone’s attention.

Everybody loves to go to the cinema and discover what Hollywood is proposing!

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This year is the year of “La La Land”, a film by Damien Chazelle, that won seven prizes out of seven nominations at the Golden Globes, including best director.

If the Academy Awards are Hollywood telling the rest of the world what they think of themselves, think of the Golden Globes as the rest of the world pre-emptively sticking its oar in. 

The 74th Golden Globe Awards were handed out at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, January 8th.

On January 24th, just 16 days later, the nominations for the 89th Academy Awards were announced, with the ceremony that will take place on February 26th.

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But what’s the difference between the Golden Globes and the Oscars?

The main difference between the Globes and the Oscars is who decides the winner and what the awards are given for.

The Golden Globes are awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and the awards are given to films and television shows that are generally critically acclaimed.The HFPA is an organisation made up of around 90 members (both American and foreign) that cover the film and television industry of the United States. As of 2011 the Golden Globes awards a total of 25 awards: 14 for films and 11 for television.

The Oscars are voted by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and are given only for films.This is a group made up of film industry professionals and numbers around 6000.As of 2011 the Oscars award a total of 24 awards, all of them film related.

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But talking about this issue of the Globes, we can say that it unanimously crowned the movie “La La Land”, the musical with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone that won every prize there was to win. 

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This edition was presented by Jimmy Fallon, who relieved Ricky Gervais, which, like all editions, did not fail also to reward the best television series. It is among the TV series where we find a bit more variety in terms of honours with the victory of “Atlanta” as the Best Comedy series and “The Crown” for Best Drama Series. Both series have also brought good luck to its players: Donald Glover (Atlanta) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown) have trod the event stage to accept their award.

Among the most interesting highlights of the evening we also have to signal the return of Brad Pitt on the scene who presented the movie “Moonlight,” produced by himself, and the standing ovation of the onlookers.

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Finally, we also have to mention the award to the wonderful Meryl Streep that has trod the stage of 74th Golden Globes to pick up the “Lifetime Achievement Award,” also called “Cecile B. DeMille” and being protagonist of the best speech of that night.

Will be, therefore, these Awards a forecast of future Oscar? 

We just have to wait for the most famous red carpet in the world to find out if the dances will also continue that night.

Sofia Cozzi

References:

“Vogue” Website: http://www.vogue.it/news/appuntamenti-eventi/2017/01/09/golden-globes-2017-red-carpet-vincitori/

“Vox” Website: http://www.vox.com/culture/2017/1/9/14207138/do-golden-globes-predict-oscars-academy-awards

“Il Post” Website: http://www.ilpost.it/2017/01/09/golden-globe-premi-vincitori/

“Il Fatto Quotidiano” Website: http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2017/01/09/golden-globe-il-trionfo-di-la-la-land-sette-premi-meryl-streep-attacca-donald-trump/3303500/

Photos:

“Internazionale” Website: http://www.internazionale.it/opinione/piero-zardo/2017/01/26/la-la-land-e-gli-altri-film-del-weekend

“Il Giornale” Website: http://www.ilgiornale.it/news/life/land-mood-1365138.html

“Intrattenimento” Website: http://www.intrattenimento.eu/recensioni/oscar-2017-recensioni-film-nominati/

“Wired” Website: https://www.wired.it/play/televisione/2016/12/12/golden-globes-nomination-2017/

“Repubblica” Website: http://www.repubblica.it/spettacoli/cinema/2017/01/09/news/golden_globe_2017-155656401/

“Rollingstone” Website: http://www.rollingstone.it/recensioni/atlanta/

“Il post” Website: http://www.ilpost.it/2016/11/06/the-crown-netflix/

 

#Makelovenotwalls

The day after the executive order on the Immigration Ban has been signed at the end of January, many brands have chosen to distance themselves from the new American President’s direction.

From the Nike Ceo Mark Parker who affirmed that: “Nike believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity. Regardless of whether or how you worship, where you come from or who you love”. To Francois Henri Pinault, French Ceo of Kering Group, who claimed that: “Diversity of origin, opinion and belief is part of our identity and our success.” The corporate world spoke out against Trump’s politics and even Diesel, one of the Italian heavyweight of fashion, did not hesitate to take its position.

Choosing not to stay silent, the Denim Brand has just launched a new provocative campaign: #makelovenotwalls. Directed by the iconic artist David LaChapelle, the latest SS17 advertising, aims to break down barriers in a moment in which hostility and fear seem to prevail over every other emotion. An exuberant clip and a colourful series of images able to communicate a meaningful storytelling around this theme is exactly what the photographer has been able to create. The wall, symbol of physical and mental separation, is destroyed by the dancers that leave behind them a heart-shaped hole. People are finally reunited all together in a peaceful atmosphere in which colours and flowers are spread everywhere. The video, that ends with the fulfilment of love through the marriage of a gay couple, becomes in this way a clear symbol of tolerance and acceptance of others. Moreover, the androgynous queer Kariseveral, as well as transgender like Raja, Laith Ashley and Octavia Hamlett, have been selected by Diesel to underline the message of the campaign.

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LaChapelle, who in 1991 already produced another emblematic campaign showing two sailors kissing each other, has once again helped the Company to push itself over the edge. As the brand’s artistic director Nicola Formichetti affirmed: “Diesel has taken a strong position against hate and, more than even, we want that the world to know that.”

The colourful inflatable tank featured in the ad, has just begun to tour the world, starting from London, before coming to Milan this week and continuing to Shanghai, New York, Berlin and Tokyo in the next months. The typical symbol of war is therefore emptied from its original scope and revisited as a sign of hope, that travels the globe to share its message of love. What historically has always divided, with Diesel is nowadays used to connect. So, if being provocative is nothing new to the brand, what should we expect for the future?

Elena Bruni

Credits:

youtube.com/Dieselcampaign

ss17.diesel.com

racked.com/beauty-react-trump-immigration-ban

Visual Merchandising and Luxury Market

Conceptualizing luxury is a complex task, since this term is not an immutable concept but has a connotation that has been (and continues to be) stratified through the ages. The origin of the word “Luxury” is linked to excess and to ostentatiousness. But forget the terms of the past …

Now we live in a society that appeals to the senses. Luxury nowadays is much more connected to the questions of “being” instead of “having”.

Material objects lose their sense if they are coupled only with the desire of having. This scenario of constant transformation and appeal to the senses that visual merchandising becomes increasingly important.

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This is  especially important in luxury fashion, which needs to attract a customer not only for a quality and beauty of the object, but also to an atmosphere that a particular brand conveys.

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Making the consumer feel attracted to the brand environment as well as desiring to be part of a certain “club”is the work of visual merchandiser. The way a display such as shelves and macaws are laid out and tidied up, as well as the inner environment of a store, directly influences consumer buying behavior.

 

Champagnes, biscuits and other goodies, good music, a pleasant smell, soft fabrics and well-dressed staff are very strong tools to retain and attract new customers.

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Today, the fashion consumer practices this act in an increasingly conscious and less frivolous way. He no longer wants to consume an object by himself, but rather he understands himself as an intelligent and intellectualized person, consuming a fashion as art and as a way of expressing himself.

045899cf0922fd5e7cde617fd7205a5cLuxury brands nowadays sell a lot more of lifestyle than product, and so the visual merchandise is configured as a fundamental tool for greater and greater visibility in front of consumers.

 

Maria Júlia Cabianca

 

Rerefences:

http://www.thecoolhunter.net

An excellent dining experience

Hello everyone,

today I will talk about luxury dining in Sicily.

I would like to share with you my fantastic dining experience in Villa San Bartolo, a restaurant in a 4 stars’ hotel located in Vittoria, a city in the south-east of Sicily, the island where I grew up. Sicily is a very special place because of its culture, history and gastronomical tradition. For this reason, I will focus on it in my future posts.

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Let’s begin with the description of the design: modern, clear and well-planned. The modern art is prevalent and the garden is well-decorated, elegant with an amazing atmosphere. 

Now, let’s turn our attention into the restaurant and its service.

The service was perfect from the start, as waiters were very kind and professional with a pleasant ironic attitude of the owners, with a typical Sicilian mood. 

The king of the kitchen is Marco Failla, a young, creative and experienced chef. His style of cooking is essential with a plating well-decorated and colorful, as you can see in the photos below.

Now, after this little description of the design and service, let’s begin describing my dining experience.

First of all, you can choose from fish or meat tasting menu. I chose the first one. The wine list was very complete with a lot of Italian and French wines.

While I was waiting between a course and another one, there was always fresh homemade bread with walnuts, a variety of herbs and “capuliato”.

In details, the starter was a surprise of the chef, an “Amuse bouche”, made with Carpaccio of Tuna.

After that, I chose a tartar of shrimps, crustaceans, caviar and a gin jelly as on the menu. This was my favourite course thanks to its magical mixed tasting. (Please see the photo below)

The second starter was an “Arancino” stuffed with white fish on a bed of vegetable velvety.

Let’s move now with the main plates, the first one was a risotto with squid ink (photo below) and the second one, surprise of the chef, was spaghetti with clams and bottarga.

Finally, we came to dessert and I took an icing milk ice cream ball on a caramel bed, covered by a granular strawberry layer. (Preparation video).

To conclude, my luxury experience was excellent and I’m very satisfied for the quality of dishes and for the impeccable service.

Here there are my own rankings:

  • Location: 8
  • Service: 8
  • Food: 9
  • Bill: 9

I recommend it to you. So, go to Sicily and try it!

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Claudia Raniolo

My Idea of Luxury

I once randomly found this quote on Instagram by Leotyne Price, one of the first African Americans soprano to become a leading artist at the Metropolitan Opera, and it sums up perfectly my idea of luxury: “The ultimate of being successful is the luxury of giving yourself the time to do what you want to do.”

To me the idea of luxury can’t just be related to a pair of shoes, a car, a bag or a diamond ring. It is something that goes beyond the concrete. It is also a question of freedom and time, of giving rather than getting, of seeing rather than buying.

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It is taking my parents out for dinner,  visiting new countries, meeting new people and learning from them; it is buying a ticket to London to see my best friend whenever I want, doing a safari and drinking a cocktail surrounded by lions or taking my brother to his favourite concerts, swimming into the French Polinesian magical sea or taking a nap on a Mexican beach.

Giulia Sala

Photo: @champagnepapi 

Kan, the Louis Vuitton Don

“(…) when the red shoe hit the runway I was forced to change my name

to Martin Louis the King Jr., address me as such (…)”

Have you ever thought what is the fil rouge that perfectly links Jay Z, Fendi, Nike, Maison Margiela, Phillip Lim, Riccardo Tisci, Wes Lang, Adidas and Louis Vuitton?

Well, the answer is one and only.

Do you want any tips? Ok, he’s a man.

Now let’s go deeper.

Born in Atlanta (Georgia, US) in 1977, raised in Chicago (Illinois, US), he is probably one of the most known, appreciated and controversial people alive.

He is not the classic guy coming from nothing and always trying to find a way to get out of the mud. He has had a good childhood and good parents. He went to school, received a scholarship and attended the Chicago State University.

Everything seems easy.

By the way, there is something more than this. He had a passion: music.

He started producing music at the age of fifteen and after the success made working as producer, once left the university at the age of 20, reached the popularity as rapper with his debut-album “The College Dropout” in 2004.

You got it?

His name is Kanye West aka Mr. West, Yeezy, Yeezus and many more.

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I won’t write anything else about his music and his career in the music industry because I want to stay focused on his life as a fashion designer.

Since the release of his first album was very clear that the fashion world influenced a lot his lifestyle. He totally changed the landscape of the hip-hop world choosing colored rugby shirts, pink polos and Louis Vuitton backpacks instead of baggy jeans and XXXL tees.

In 2007 he made his appearance in the fashion market collaborating with the streetwear brand “A Bathing Ape” designing a special version of their Bapesta sneaker.

That year Kanye also announced that his own clothing brand, Pastelle, was ready to be launched. He was spotted wearing unique pieces of his clothing line but the brand was never released and the project was finally aborted in 2009.

2008 American Music Awards - Show

Once he got the proof of his failure in the fashion system he decided to step back and build up his experience gradually. He first took an internship at Gap, then he moved to Japan and then to Rome where he worked as “intern” at Fendi in which he had the chance to learn the job but he has never had the chance to test himself.

About this experience he recently he stated:

“…I brought the leather jogging pants six years ago to Fendi, and they said no. How many motherf*****s you done seen with a leather jogging pant?”

He was probably true and he has had one of the best intuition of the last years but the world wasn’t ready to receive what Kanye thinks when he said:

“…I have the opportunity to put my name on something and people will buy it, but I want to create something that has its own voice and other designers can look at it and be inspired by. I wasn’t put on this earth to make money; I was put on this earth to make magic.”

In 2009 at the Paris Fashion Week, Louis Vuitton launched a sneaker collaboration with Kanye lead by an all-red colorway known as the “Don”.

This is why he is called Kan, the Louis Vuitton Don.

After the show Kanye posted a video that went viral and I firmly suggest you watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c59ifR0PEkY

In this video you can get some information about Kanye’s way of life, let’s say just a “bit” ego-driven.

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In April of the same year Kanye invaded the market in collaboration with Nike. “The Nike Air Yeezy 1” was released in the shops in super limited quantity and retailed for $215.

Sold out in one day.

In July, Louis Vuitton released a capsule collection made in collaboration with Mr. West made up by three styles (the “Don”, the “Mr. Hudson”, the “Jasper”) priced between $800 and $1200.

Sold out in a bit more than one day.

In 2010 designer Phillip Lim designed the clothing line for “Runaway”, a short movie in which Kanye performed.

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In 2011 he has commissioned Riccardo Tisci, young designer of Givenchy, for the artwork of the album “Watch The Throne” featuring Jay Z.

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Riccardo Tisci is the one that influenced the most Kanye’s vision of fashion.

Due to this fact, his debut women’s collection called “DW Kanye West”, presented at a show in Paris, was a big failure even if the high-heeled shoe were made in collaboration with Giuseppe Zanotti (these shoes were the only piece from the collection that have been sold in shops, retail price of $5800) and the show was attended by people such as Azzedine Alaïa, Lindsay Lohan, Oliver Theyskens, Jeremy Scott and the Olsen twins.

A journalist of the Wall Street Journal has written in her review:

“Kanye West’s collection was so Givenchy-esque that it’s embarrassing that Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci was an expected guest.”

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March the 6th 2012 Kanye tried for the second time to hit the Paris Fashion Week with his new collection.

The press said it was better than the previous one but still too close to Riccardo Tisci’s designing.

Even though Kanye’s fashion collections were panned by critics, his shoes continued to be wildly successful. In fact in June Nike released “The Air Yeezy 2” in two colorways, “Platinum” and “Black Solar Red” and went to the stores priced $250 due to the limited quantity produced (someone says that has been produced only 1500 pieces).

Sold out immediately.

Do you want a pair?

They are sold via www.flightclub.com for $4750.

In order to get back properly into the fashion industry, Kanye released in July 2013 a capsule collection in collaboration with the brand “A.P.C.” made up by 9 items ranging in price from $120 to $250.

Again.

Immediate sold out and A.P.C.’s website in crash.

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On December the 3rd Adidas officially confirmed a new shoe collaboration deal with Mr. West for 10 million dollars and he confirmed the release of Adidas “Yeezy Boosts”.

Kanye stated that he left Nike because they were not giving him royalties on shoes because, due to a company’s policy, royalties were allowed only to athletes and also because they delayed the release of the “Air Yeezy 2”.

In fact, just a couple of months after the deal with Adidas, Nike released for the last time a collaboration with Kanye and the “Air Yeezy 2 Red Octobers” shoes were released and sold out in a moment.

If you are not one of the few lucky guys that bought them at the shops after long queues, you can purchase them via www.flightclub.com for $5500.

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On May 2014 Kanye got married to the famous Kim Kardashian and wore a customized suit.

Designed by who? Riccardo Tisci, of course.

At the reception, both Kanye and Kim have worn leather jackets featuring artworks of Wes Lang.

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In early 2015 he premiered in New York the “Yeezy Season 1” which marked his return on the catwalks. He appeared at the show with a secret weapon: Vanessa Beecroft, an Italian artist that gave to the collection show what was missing in the previous ones.

In September of the same year happened something totally new in the fashion world.

During the New York Fashion Week Kanye, revealing “Yeezy Season 2” did something totally unusual and not perfectly moral, ethical and correct, but it worked.

In this situation, we can see all his geniality and madness at the same time.

He decided to present his collection long before the show started and doing so he stole all the press and media attentions from the other designers who were awaiting the start of the show.

The presentation was live-streamed in cinemas across the United States and reached almost everyone in the country.

He staged a presentation, together with Vanessa Beecroft, in which they wanted to stress the importance of color even if the audience thought it was something linked to race.

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On February the 14th “Yeezy Boosts” were released in limited quantity (9000 pieces) and available only in New York via the Adidas smartphone app.

Sold out, obvious.

In 10 minutes, extraordinary.

On February 2016 Kanye premiered his “Yeezy Season 3” at “Madison Square Garden” in New York in conjunction with the previewing of his last album “The Life of Pablo”.

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In June 2016 Adidas announced that they have reached an agreement with Kanye for a long-term deal.

Now that I have given you a lot of information about Kanye West as a fashion designer I strongly recommend to get somewhere more details about his life and personality because he is the one that must be studied a lot for being understood. Even though he is not selling any luxurious products I can clearly say that the entire “movement” he has built up could be considered luxurious both for the music industry and the fashion one. I mean, this is not a proper movement. It’s a successful business.

Take a look at the numbers.

He has released 7 solo-album, 6 of them went platinum. The last one has been at the beginning released only on Tidal, a streaming platform owned by his friend Jay-Z: 250 million streams in the first 10 days, 400 million in the first 6 weeks, 500.000 illegal downloads. Among these years he has also won 21 Grammy Awards making him one of the most awarded persons in the music history.

Talking about the fashion system is quite hard to define the exact number of products that Kanye West has sold due to the infinite number of collaboration and also due to not confirmed amount of releases of his collections by both Nike and Adidas. But it’s a matter of fact that every release makes people wait in front of the store for hours screaming and shouting to get their own new pair of shoes. I am one of them.

Speechless, isn’t it?

I think that trying to add something would be very tough so I would like to close quoting the song “I Love Kanye” from his last album “The Life of Pablo” because it describes and explains perfectly his ego-driven personality that, at the end, makes me feel happy of being a fan of this guy both as rapper and as designer:

“I miss the old Kanye, straight from the ‘Go Kanye
Chop up the soul Kanye, set on his goals Kanye
I hate the new Kanye, the bad mood Kanye
The always rude Kanye, spaz in the news Kanye
I miss the sweet Kanye, chop up the beats Kanye
I gotta to say, at that time I’d like to meet Kanye
See I invented Kanye, it wasn’t any Kanyes
And now I look and look around and there’s so many Kanyes
I used to love Kanye, I used to love Kanye
I even had the pink Polo, I thought I was Kanye
What if Kanye made a song, about Kanye?
Called “I Miss The Old Kanye,” man that’d be so Kanye
That’s all it was Kanye, we still love Kanye
And I love you like Kanye loves Kanye.”

Francesco Filippi

Credits:

alexsandalis.com

complex.com/pastelle

dazeddigital.com

flightclub.com

flightclub.com/nikeairyeezy2nrg

flightclub.com/nikeairyeezy2redoctober

genius.com/kanyewest

gq.com

hollywoodreporter.com/yeezyseason3

hypebeast.com/pastelle

livincool.com/riccardotisci

nydailynews.com/kim

pinterest.com/marcjacobs

pinterest.com/philliplim

teenvogue.com

thefabulousreport.com/dw

the9elements.com/apc

youtube.com

SIHH 2017 – Ticking one off the list

It may be in the rear view mirror now, but it took me some time to process the outputs of such a huge event. History, style and incredible craftsmanship were reunited in Switzerland for few days to create one of the best luxury expositions in the world.

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At the end of January, Geneva hosted the first major exposition in the horology business: the ‘Salon International de la Haute Horologerie’. From the 17th to the 20th, the Swiss city became the beating (or should I say ticking?) heart of the business of watches, unveiling the finest novelties of the major brands in watchmaking and setting the trends for the year to come.

Attracted by the great display of fine craftsmanship and driven by the passion for watches, I decided to visit the Salon profiting by the public opening held on Friday the 20th.

Geneva presented a great display of luxury, from hotels to boutiques, from cars to (sigh) prices. After a quick (read: expensive) lunch and a visit to the shop (read: palace) of his majesty Patek Philippe, I eventually headed to the Salon.

Ah stereotypes! Everything was as sharp as a Swiss blade. From the shuttle that took me to the exposition to the collection of badges and the wardrobe, everything was quick and smooth.

And just like that, I was entering one of the major horology gatherings in the world.

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The atmosphere was really casual and relaxed, even if the amount of personalities and money involved were beyond saying.

Despite the fact watchmaking is quite an ancient art and often referred to as one of the most ‘classical’ fields in the luxury sector, it cannot be immune to modern lifestyle. Quite a few brands decided to cope with this aspect in different ways and a widespread effort was made towards a technological involvement of the client.

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For instance, the Roger Dubuis‘ stand featured some digital vision equipment that allowed the customer to live the experience of the assemblage of a watch through the eyes of a watchmaker. Also, Jaeger-LeCoultre provided a special elastic bracelet that could be read by a camera that projected on screen the featured watch on your wrist. (Sounds complicated but it really wasn’t: you had to wear the bracelet, place it under the screen and look at the watch on your wrist. Pretty cool right?)

Companies were also very attentive to the engagement of new generations, an aspect becoming more and more important in a market suffering for millennials’ quest for experiences over sheer ownership. 

In my opinion, the best example regarding this line of thought was provided by Baume & Mercier. In fact, their new ‘Clifton Club’ models are directly addressed to sportive and young gentlemen or, as they were arguably defined, gentlesportsman. Also, the stand presented the funniest feature of the whole Salon consisting in two surf simulators on which attenders could compete in a sort of interactive course. Simple and entertaining, it helped to lighten the mood and overall amuse the visitors for a while.

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All in all, many were the historical brands presenting their new models, mostly coming from the great ensemble of the Richemont group: Panerai, Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Montblanc, Van Cleef & Arples, Ulysse Nardin, Piaget and Iwc to name a few. There was also a wing of the salon fully dedicated to independent watchmakers such as Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, MB&F, Romain Jerome and others.

To conclude, here are my top choices for the SIHH 2017. They may not be the greatest and most complicated pieces but they certainly are the models that were talked about the most in the specialized watchmaking press.

Honorable mentions:
– Richard Mille RM 67-01 Extra Flat

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The model launched in 2016 still expresses all of Richard Mille’s attitude. Technology, materials and sleek design contribute in creating this extra flat model I fell in love with at first sight. (Love that quickly faded when I was told the entry price for this piece is 85.000$). Anyway, besides the classical rounded case, this is one of my personal favourite case shapes. It is called tonneau, which is the French equivalent for ton or barrel, meaning a barrel-shaped watch case.

If you want to know more about Richard Mille click here.

– Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronographsihh-img-4

One of the most interesting novelties at the Salon were the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control models with two tone dial. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Master Control collection JLC released three special edition watches: a Master Control Date, Chronograph and Geograhic, all vintage-inspired with blue hands and accents. I chose the Chronograph because of its vintage allure and its clean and balanced dial. In my opinion one of the best value-for-money pieces in the whole Salon. (Price for the Chronograph version: 8.200$).

If you want to know more about Jaeger-LeCoultre click here.

 

Top 3:
– A. Lange & Shöne Turbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite”sihh-img-5

Coming from the historical manufacturing house of A. Lange & Shöne this limited edition of 50 platinum pieces couldn’t be anything but great. It unites five grand complications: perpetual calendar, chronograph, rattrapante, fusée-and-chain transmission and tourbillon. Each of the 684 components is carefully brushed and finished. (Wait, just in case you are skimming through the article. Read again. Six-hundreds-and-eighty-four-components. In a 43mm case. Now that’s something!). The watch has 36 hours of power reserve and it also features a black alligator leather strap. (Price: 480.000$)

If you want to know something more about A. Lange & Shone click here.

– Richard Mille RM 50-03 (Tourbillon split secs chrono ultralight McLaren F1)

richard-mille-rm-50-03-mclaren-f1-1170x1170Simply the lightest split second chronograph ever made, in a limited edition of 75 pieces. The design strictly recalls the world of Formula 1 and McLaren. For instance, the crown and the pushers are respectively inspired by the wheel rims and the air vents of the F1 car. It is also the first wristwatch made in Graph TPT, a special material obtained by injecting a resin containing graphene into layers of carbon fibers. Undoubtedly the watch who raised the most different opinions in the specialized press, both for its great innovations and its crazy price range (980.000$).

– Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramic

Hands down the hottest watch of SIHH 2017. It may not be the most innovative or the most complicated but it surely is crazy good-looking. It is a classic Roap-blackyal Oak perpetual calendar from the worldwide known brand AP, with a great novelty: the case is not made in steel nor gold, but it is in matte black, brushed ceramic. Besides the movement inside, it is this very case and bracelet that made history for AP, both considered among the finest in the world of haute horology. Having them in ceramic this year is definitely something worth noting. The case took 600 hours to develop and it takes 30 hours just to polish, finish and assemble one ceramic bracelet for one Royal Oak. The dial is AP’s famous “Grande Tapisserie” in grey with black registers. (Price around 85.000$)

More information on Audemars Piguet here.

Future boutiques

While the fashion industry was quick to jump on board the e-commerce bandwagon, luxury brands have moved more slowly in relation to the growth of digital markets. In the luxury brand market creating the exclusivity, having the leadership, position and controlling your brand image is essential. Luxury brands fear that if they become approachable they will lose the charm and of course they are not to blame.

But big players are shifting and embracing the change and they are in to take all the advantage of this new market.

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source: mapmode.com

here are the most key factors for luxury goods when they are engaging with consumers online. 

Inspiration. The fact is if you create the right environment for your customers, they will engage and start to react to the concept created. It is not very far from what happens in the brand retail store. Most brand start their journey with their shop’s window that is the website homepage if you succeed and seduce your customer at the first step they would click on one of the offer on the menu and start searching. This is the moment that you have to be at your A game, it is all about creating the luxury shopping experience. Choosing the right language is essential.

Personalization. It is the brand DNA. Make it simple yet unique. The practicality of a website is important, otherwise it is tiresome and confusing. The uniqueness comes from the details you provide for each and every product. Paying attention to personalization and adding the perfect content.

Custumizition. Creating the right environment for the customer, women shop through their emotions, so promoting the must have accessories of the season is helpful;l on the other hand men don’t need too many descriptions and stories they respect heritage and they require quality.

Communication. luxury store’s personnel provide assistance for the customer. The website should not be so persuasive, just the right amount of content, useful and resourceful.

Here is a look at the brands that are  ruling this new market better than the Others:

screen-shot-2015-04-09-at-3-35-26-pm  source: digiday.com

Burberry

With Angela Ahrends as the CEO of the English fashion house, Burberry went fully digital in 2006 and became one of the first luxury brands to embrace the digital world as a passage of trust between them and their new generation of customers, the millennials. This is not the only time that Burberry puts its customer in the driver seat. For the Lunar new year the brand create a special addition line just available on the Chinese driven software WeChat so they can directly purchase gift for their loved ones.

With these strategies, soon Burberry became one of the most modern brands in terms of digital approach.

michael_kors_instagram_campaign_instakorssource: smartinsights.com

Michael Kors

Starting their online sale through Nieman Marcus and making a bold move with opening their online flagship store by choosing the right platform over a short period of time, they had 73% growth in online sales. Not so long after they opened 22 new online flagship store in Europe and expanding their already established e-commerce in North America.

Understanding the specific devices their customers use for their online shopping and developing their digital marketing with focusing on Mobile phones formats. 

03_net-a-porter_aw132  source: candidmagazine.com

Net-A-Porter

We cannot talk about luxury e-commerce and do not mention one the most important luxury multi-brand stores “Net-A-Porter”. With No heritage and background story just through creativity and innovation Net A porter made us believe that is a luxury store with a great selection of premium brands although we never step in it.

Net A porter and Mr.porter are great examples of luxury e-commerce successful stories. With the right approach, understanding the market need, studying customer behaviour and creating not just a place for shopping but experiencing, customizing and personalizing the products category.

Luxury brands are becoming more aware and involved of the importance of having a strong platform in digital and social channels and it certainly did not remain hidden from consumer’s eyes. By paying attention to right way of communication and building a circle of trust with the customer online luxury shopping could be as strong as any other market.

 

Shokoufeh Emadi

http://digiday.com

http://stylecaster.com

Animal rights activist PETA becomes a LVMH shareholder

Since 1980, People for Ethical Treatments of Animals, alias PETA, has been fighting for animals’ rights. Recently it has bought a stake in LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The non-profit company will have access to the shareholder meetings of LVMH, and its activists will put pressure from the inside on the French company to stop using exotic skins in its products.

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Last December, PETA incriminated the luxury giant – throughout a video shared on YouTube with more than 30 million views – for buying crocodile skin from a Vietnamese farm that mistreats reptiles confined to tiny pits and sometimes hacked into while they’re still alive and thrashing.

Moreover, PETA’s president – Ingrid Newkirk – stated that “From demonstrating on the street to speaking up in the boardroom, PETTA will push LVMH to stop selling any bag, watchband, or shoe made from a reptile’s skin.”

Although, the Maison replied that “since 2014, the LVMH group and its suppliers definitively ceased working with the farms mentioned by PETA. The practices referred to by PETA are totally contrary to the principles and rules of the LVMH group.”923b86c5-1d56-4161-a4b9-a1c127361de0-1568-00000195dc56b09c_tmp

This is not the first time PETA buys a stake of a big Group, indeed in the past years they used the same strategy with Prada Group and Hermès to fight for animal rights from the insight of the company. In each case, the non-profit association will keep going to pursue its main objective and maybe it will apply this strategy also to other companies… let’s see what happens!

Sara Russo

References:

Louis Vuitton 

The Independent 

Fashionista

Exite  

 

My idea of luxury

What is luxury to me?

Defining luxury is not an easy thing. This is why I would like to try to explain it starting from what luxury is not.

Luxury is not a material good. It is not only a high-quality product or service, this should be obvious, let’s say a pre-requisite.

Luxury is not something expensive. Could be or could not be like that.

If you can understand this, understanding what luxury is will come easier.

Ladies and gentlemen, here it is my definition of luxury.

Drum roll.

Luxury to me means experience, it doesn’t matter what kind of experience because it is all about feelings. Something might be luxury for me and the same thing might not be luxury for you. It is something highly linked to the perception of the things themselves.

Waking up in a hotel with a wonderful view of the sea might be luxury, but think about waking up in the same hotel with the person you love, that is luxury for sure, isn’t it?

Stay tuned.

Francesco Filippi

About me: Francesco Filippi

unadjustednonraw_thumb_4d81Hi there, I’m Francesco.

23 years old, born and raised in Padova, a beautiful city not far from Venice.

I have played football since I was a child and I am glad because it taught me how to behave in a group and it gave me the chance to be part of something bigger than myself.

By the way, I got bored of my city during high school and so I decided to move to Milano seeking new experiences.

Found them.

However, due to this decision, I lost few friends. But I made a bunch.

Even if almost nobody thought it was possible I graduated in Economics at Cattolica University in July 2016.

After that, I decided to jump into the luxury field and this is why I applied for this International Master in Luxury Management which I hope will give me a bit of competitive advantage during my job career.

In order to get the tools and the knowledge to attend this course, I worked for 2 months as an intern at James Lakeland, a UK fashion company based in London.

I got in, and here I am.

Stay tuned.

Francesco Filippi

If you want to be always updated:

My idea of luxury

Kan, the Louis Vuitton Don

“Bling Bling, everytime I go around yo city”

What’s after music? The Hip Hop case.

How hip-hop took over fashion: Supreme X Louis Vuitton

Since hip-hop arises in the 1970s, the relationship between it and the fashion industry has never existed as prolifically as it does today. In the realm of streetwear, fashion has officially merged and the trend climate is perpetually influenced by fashionable “Emcees” and by their ever-dynamic sartorial appetite.

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Karl Lagerfeld and Pharrell Williams

When artists cashed in on the world’s interest in the hip hop environment, they adopted a taste for brands with a clear aspirational standing.

Before hip-hop became the current look of the moment, the community was a pioneer of the high-low attitude to fashion. In fact, the earliest embodiment of hip-hop’s embracing an aspirational aesthetic was the interest in luxury labels such as Gucci and Versace.

Embracing aspirational fashion provided a sense of escape – much the same way making music, graffiti and break dance are doing. In this way, both hip-hop and fashion became a balm to the harsh reality of life.

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Tupac Shakur wearing Versace

While the hip-hop market remained outside big brands visible advertising campaigns, its influence was no doubt acknowledged. It was around this time that entrepreneurial minds like Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Jay-Z began venturing outside the boundaries of music and into the world of luxury. Hip-hop stars, their music and their way of life became the biggest vehicle to sell fashion luxury products. While these rappers were getting more and more acclaim and they were essentially discussing the brands they like in their songs, luxury brands saw a spike in revenues. All of that opened up a unique business opportunity for brands.

The merging of these two worlds reaches its crest in the latest collaboration of Louis Vuitton, offering clothes and accessories with the ordinary LV monogram plus the iconic red sign Supreme.

Louis Vuitton X Supreme from Louis Vuitton’s fall 2017 men’s runway show at Le Palais Royale in Paris by the blue-sky artist director and sneakers gatherer Kim Jones, confirm what we were talking about. This fashion line, that is clear, will be immediately sold out as the Supreme brand, emblem of lifestyle rather than fashion, is a habitué at the term “sold out” from its very beginning and, above all what has changed is the interest of Fashion Luxury Brand (with a capital B) for the streetwear. Now the mutual look at each other and the relationship is mutually interesting though, would be to believe, the genuineness that always characterized the streetwear risks to paying a price (You have two main concepts. One is the fashion show, which was or will be “sold out.” The other concept is the interest of fashion for streetwear. Does the success of the fashion show demonstrate the interest for streetwear? You must make it clear)

Starting with accessories, we see Louis Vuitton’s luxurious Epi leather, as well as a selection of pouches and waist bags. Small keychains, scarves, gloves, wallets and an iPhone case round out the collection of branded goods, which feature the signature LV monogram and Supreme hits. Naturally, the two brands also decided on a range of opulent trunks, which have traditionally been Vuitton’s most esteemed products.

The line is rumored to drop on July 17, 2017, at select Louis Vuitton stores, as well as from temporary retail locations.

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The Supreme x Louis Vuitton Trunk ($68,500)

What are the results? A luxury brand ready to reveal its underground iconic urban brand that manages to enter in the field of the most classic fashion brands. We will see the results and the evolution. So far the hype is real.

Michele Di Stefano

References

http://www.highsnobiety.com/2017/02/14/supreme-louis-vuitton-pricing-list-leak/

http://www.nssmag.com/it/fashion/9912/i-nostri-pezzi-preferiti-di-supreme-x-louis-vuitton

Luxury Rooster’s makeover

Nowadays China has become one of the leaders of the global luxury market. More luxury brands every year offer special zodiac-themed items to celebrate China’s Lunar New Year.

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Gucci’s Chinese New Year scarf 2017

2017 is the Year of the Rooster: high-end brands released their products celebrating this year’s zodiac sign. From Louis Vuitton to Gucci, Tod’s and Bottega Veneta, Dolce&Gabbana and Dior: luxury items, silk scarves, bags, jackets or shoes are decorated with roosters with a flaming crest and colorful feathersdior

Dior’s rooster charm  

Cosmetic companies like L’Oreal, Estee Lauder could not miss the chance to also create their limited edition sets.

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Estee Lauder limited edition Year of the Rooster powder compact

Signed by Piaget is the set of watches dedicated to men.

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Piaget Altiplano Year of the Rooster watch

This year, however, the representation of the animal is largely debated: in fact, it is too often confused in shape and lines with the phoenix; or, in general, it does not conform to the Chinese idea of the rooster.The web was bursting with comments like “It’s a fake” “Why should I spend so much money for an article that looks fake?”, referring to the rooster’s design of those brands that did not meet the animal’s iconography. Chinese customers don’t like it when designers misinterpret or misunderstand Chinese culture. Calvin Klein adorned briefs only with gold and red, without any references to the important traditional rooster plumage. Etrò unveiled a design similar to other animals and Longchamp instead presented a bare and distasteful cock.

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Longchamp’s bag for the Year of the Rooster

The era in which Chinese people would simply buy whatever luxury brands make has gone. Their tastes have evolved remarkably as the luxury market keeps maturing in China. Foreign brands must understand which is the proper target of their products, respecting Chinese consumers’ aesthetic sense, and especially their culture.

Chiara Bellettato

 

References

http://www.bottegaveneta.com/it/donna/chinese-new-year-2017_grd31771

https://www.gucci.com/it/it/

http://www.dior.com/home/it_it

https://www.esteelauder.it/

http://int.piaget.com/events/chinese-new-year

https://www.longchamp.com/

From riches to rags: Chronicles of long-lost brands

What comes to your mind if I say “Lancia”? Nowadays most of the people associate this brand with small cars and low market segmentation.

Would you believe me if I told you that in 1955 the Lancia Aurelia b24 would cost up to $5475 (equivalent of the current 52.104 euro)? It was the first model of the brand launched in the US market and it cost more than a Porsche or a Jaguar. For those years it was a huge amount of money.

And what if I told you that the same car was is now valued at  $1.400.000 (1.633.167 euro)? So, what happened? What caused the crisis that led non only Lancia, but many other luxury car brands into failure?

lancia-aurelia-19551955 Lancia Aurelia B24 S Spider America by Pinin Farina

The slow brand decay was mainly dictated by financial and administration problems. The pressure of foreign competitors and the lack of resources to invest in technology resulted into a crisis from which the brand couldn’t re-emerge. The recent attempt of branding Chrysler cars with the Lancia logo caused a breaking point with the Lancia heritage and DNA.

As Lancia partent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said: “Lancia will be a brand only for the Italian market. The brand is dead and it will hardly go back to its past image and glory. We will invest only in the Y model, focusing on sustainability. The brand has no appeal in the foreign countries. We have to abandon the idea of Lancia becoming great again.”

Production statistics show a decrease of production and sales during the ‘90s and the World Wars.

As for the ’90s, the reasons are wrong financial administration and the exit from the international racing world (causing disappointment and negative perception of the brand).

The World Wars have strongly compromised the automotive sector, with huge consequences not only for Lancia, but also for other brands such as Isotta Fraschini.

During those years, in order to survive, many car companies abandoned their core production and started creating trucks and aircraft engines. Also, several bombings destroyed factories and warehouses, making the recovery even harder.

If Lancia succeeded in relaunching its activity with new models that made history, Isotta Fraschini was not able to manage the many financial issues.

Even though the company was characterised by supreme quality, at the end of the WWII the requests for aircraft components were not many enough to support the project of a prestigious relaunch of the brand. Furthermore, after the war the potential clients for such expensive cars were really few.

After almost 50 years of glorious activity, Isotta Fraschini stopped production in 1949.

isotta-fraschini-19301930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8AS Bottail Cabriolet

In the mid ‘90s, thanks to investors and government funding, the brand tried to relaunch two models of cars (named T8 and T12) using respectively Audi and Ford engines.

The project was a total failure and was completely abandoned in 1999.

What remains of the brand is a new company, the Isotta Fraschini Milano. No other cars were produced and the main goal of the new company is to preserve the memory and to spread the allure of a glorious past.

Iso Rivolta is a brand founded in 1939. Someone of you may know the Isetta, the iconic egg shaped car that inspired the production of analogous microcar in Germany, France and Brazil (respectively under the brands BMW, VELAM and Romi).

Later on, Iso Rivolta changed its strategy and started the production of grand tourer cars.

The brand failed in 1974.

Why? For two main reasons: the 1973 oil crisis and stronger competitors.

An agreement with Philip Morris attempted to introduce Iso Rivolta to the Formula 1 competitions. Anyway, it was impossible for the brand to face the huge operating costs.

iso-grifo-19651965 Iso Grifo A3/C Stradale

These are just short analysis of what caused the decay of brands that used to be prestigious, luxurious and exclusive.

Isn’t it such a shame that pages of Italian automotive heritage are getting lost? Is it really that hard (or impossible) to invest in brands with great heritage, history, iconic and identitary features?

Foreign automotive groups recognise these values and are willing to spend millions for brands like these.

Going back to Lancia, in 2016 the Y model performed surprisingly well, selling +13.25%. With a quote of 13.8% it’s the most sold car of the B segment.

It’s too hard to predict what the future of the brand will be. A potential failure would destroy it for sure. However, strong and well planned investments could bring Lancia back to the old splendour.

Personally, I’d love to see the Blue Badge rock again.

Giulia Ferretti

 

Photo credits:

RM Sotheby’s

Automobile Magazine

Sources: 

Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti

RM Sotheby’s

Archivio quattroruote

Quattroruote 1955

Duemilaruote edizione 25 novembre 2016

FCA Group

Economia e Finanza larepubblica.it

My Idea of Luxury

When I think of luxury the first words that come to my mind are heritage, quality, creativity and genius. However, given my background I understood that at the same time great managerial skills are vital in the luxury sector because is not a matter of creating the best product available but is also a matter of showing to people that you are the best at doing it and managing the expectation of consumers. I strongly believe that Made in Italy is something unique and hard to replicate. However, time has shown us that we must continue to innovate and create to preserve our reputation.

Francesco Baliva