Gianni Versace Retrospective – an extraordinary celebration of success

Are you planning a trip to Berlin? If so, you should keep on reading. The city is putting on a major Gianni Versace retrospective until April 14. If you haven’t planned anything yet, why not take this into consideration?

Who?

Gianni Versace was one of the most respected and admired designers of all times. He was born in 1947 in Reggio Calabria, founded the house Versace in 1978 and shaped and transformed his generation like no other fashion designer.

What?

Gianni Versace – Retrospective.

Where?

In Berlin, at Kronprinzenpalais; 3000 square meters with hundreds of original Gianni Versace works.

When?

From January 30th 2018 to April 14th 2018.

Why?

The exhibition serves as a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the brand.

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Versace in the 90s – Stephanie Seymour, Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Nadège, Helena Christensen

Gianni Versace loved Berlin: in 1978, Germany was the location of the very first Versace fashion show. In 1994, he had his first exhibition “Signature” in Berlin and was so fascinated that he planned to come back. Unluckily, three years later he was murdered at his home in Miami.

The Retrospective seeks to fulfill his wish. Spanning a vast number of personal belongings and interior objects, including fashion, accessories, home-decor and photographs, the exhibition is said to be the largest public display of Gianni Versace’s original craft ever seen.
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Within the showcase, people can find items brought to Berlin by private collectors from Italy and around the world, including many fashion highlights and pieces worn by celebrities like Prince, Madonna, Anna Wintour and models like Naomi Campbell or Linda Evangelista. All this is supplemented by impressive multimedia installations and outstanding rare videos of past fashion shows.

Fashion lovers can take a deep dive into the colorful world of Gianni Versace’s heritage, admiring works of art such as the patchwork dress from FW 1991, which was worn by Linda Evangelista.

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Linda Evangelista on the cover of Versace’s “Vanitas Design”.

For big brands with a story to tell like Versace, the exhibition serves as a way to open up the brand’s world in a very democratic way to a wider target of hungry and educated people. Indeed, in this way the brand can not only communicate its story, but also showcase the signatures and trademarks that signify authenticity.

“I’m not interested in the past, except as the road to the future”, said once Gianni Versace. Undeniably, most of his pieces of the past are still considered to be iconic today.

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Don’t forget to put this exhibition on your visiting schedule. You cannot miss it!

Gianni Versace Retrospective

Sara Saladino

Celebrity chef Cracco conquers Milan’s Galleria

After the opening of his Garage Italia eatery in November 2017, celebrity chef Carlo Cracco opened his new restaurant in the heart of Milano on February 21.

The restaurant is allocated in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and uses all the 5 floors of the building. Each floor has a specific use: the basement is the space dedicated to the wine cellar, an elegant and spacious room characterized by warm colors and wooden furniture. Alex Bartoli, previously based at Enoteca Pinchiorri, is the wine house manager.

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The ground floor is dedicated to the café and the pastry lab, managed by the pastry chef Marco Pedron.

The idea behind the café and pastry shop is to open the “Cracco world” to everyone, without unveiling all his secrets.

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The haute cuisine restaurant is located at the first floor. The dominant features are elegance and privacy. The twentieth-century interior design, along with the floral walls contribute to the intimate environment, and the Richard Ginori set of dishes gives the final hint of elegance and sumptuousness.

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The menu will not be far removed from the one in the previous location, the “Milanese” touch will be present thanks to the Risotto allo zafferano and a selection of different Pasta and Ravioli dishes. Of course we can’t leave out the trademark Uovo alla Cracco, a fried egg yolk, this time served with  taleggio cheese and a sauce of red porto and beef consommé.

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For the Chef, this restaurant was an enormous investment (1.2 million euros each year only for renting the space!!), but it should open his cuisine to a more international clientele. “This is my very first reaturant that is totally mine, and I wanted to do things properly. Nothing is left to chance” said Carlo.

In April the restaurant will host the project Galleria Cracco, where the location will become a contemporary art gallery for emerging Italian artists.

We will wait impatiently the vernissage to have a chance in glancing inside this fabulous world.

 

Charlotte Cassanelli

Villa Althea, a Relais de Charme in the heart of Piedmont/Villa Althea may be Italy’s most charming small hotel

Tucked away in the Piedmontese Langhe is one of the most fascinating Relais de Charme in Italy: Villa Althea. Let’s discover the beauty of this unique location, in a journey through time that makes this place magical.

Gabriella Fogliati is a kind and elegant woman, descendant of a noble Piedmontese family. Some years ago she decided to restore an old 19th century house belonging to her ancestors: Villa Althea, a unique and fascinating relais de charme in Mango, a little village in the province of Cuneo (the heart of Langhe).

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Villa Althea (www.villaalthea.it)

 

 

The Villa is composed of six splendid suites, located in the central part of the house on the third floor, and another one next to the terrace. All rooms are an authentic celebration of luxury, designed and defined with different styles and authentic family furniture. Some of them have four-poster beds and all have fireplaces, antique parquet floors and colorful carpets. The main room is the “Le Mille e una notte”, created for unforgettable nights with your soul mate: luxurious, with a majestic window overlooking the vineyards.

 

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Le Mille e una notte (www.villaalthea.it)

But the real standout is in the bathroom, decorated with splendid marble and beams, it has a jacuzzi with an outstanding view and a Turkish bath.

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La sala da bagno, Le Mille e una notte

“La mansarda anni ’70” is a very special suite. It is not located in the heart of the villa but rather in the part next to the “Salone delle feste” (the party hall). A room conceived as a celebration of Italian design of the early ’70s, with a soft, circolar bed in the middle of it. Breakfast is served in the floor under the bedrooms, in an elegant and charming atmosphere.

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The interior (www.villaalthea.it)

In the external part of the Villa we find the garden, with a splendid gazebo, specifically designed for the celebration of parties, weddings or other events.

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The garden (www.villaalthea.it)

A small tower with a private balcony stands on the patio and on two large terraces, an ideal place for relaxation. From here you can enjoy the view on the Langhe, the castles of the Roero (Castellinaldo, Guarene and Govone), the hills of Monferrato and the Alps.

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The terrace (www.villaalthea.it)

The swimming pool, embellished with some frescoes on the ceiling and the bottom, is 60 square meters and is surrounded by large and bright windows that overlook the garden and the valley. During the winter the pool is closed and heated. Here you can relax with poolside readings, take aqua aerobics session or simply enjoy the excellent home-made herbal teas.

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The swimming pool (www.villaalthea.it)

The house has also a gym and a massage center, as well as a party room for events such as weddings or confirmations.

After this quick presentation there is nothing left to do but to go to Mango and enjoy this wonderful experience, in one of the most magical and enchanting Relais de Charme in Italy: Villa Althea!

Marco Neckels

 

 

 

 

 

Is Shiki-Shima the most luxurious train in the world?

In a country that really loves its trains, the latest sensation is about more than just a fancy trip: basically a luxury hotel on rails. For most Japanese, trains are part of their daily lives. “The majority of people feel a connection to them, especially because they use local trains to commute—to both school and work,” says Anthony Robins, member of the Japanese Railway Society.

The Shiki-Shima, which means “Island of Four Seasons,” is an update of Japan’s first luxury cruise train launched in 2013 by the Kyushu Railway Company. Its basic three-night/two-day “summer tour” starts from Ueno station in Tokyo. Lunch and dinner are served as the train rolls north to the mountain resort of Yuzawa and passengers can relax and enjoy the facilities on board. Katsuhiro Nakamura, Japan’s first Michelin-starred chef, created the menus that include dishes which reflect specific locations along the journey and are served accordingly in a glamorous, chandelier-festooned dining room.

Five of the 10 coaches are taken up by the standard suites — three to a carriage, offering comfortable beds and a bathroom with shower and toilet. Another has just two “deluxe suites”, each with an aromatic cypress wood bath. There is also an observation car at either end where travellers can watch the scenery roll past, a lounge and a dining car with Michelin accreditation. Service on board is by uniformed butlers.

Even by the standards of luxury trains, it is expensive: between $3,000 to $10,000 for a round-trip ticket. Even at those prices, the train is sold out until March 2018. Demand was so high, at 76 times the availability, that the company conducted a lottery to allocate tickets.

The train’s top speed is just 70mph, barely one-third of that achieved in normal service by some bullet trains in Japan. After immersion in the “hot springs village”, passengers retire to their luxury suites. The train slows to a crawl for the short overnight journey to Ichinoseki. Passengers will be taken by bus to neighbouring Hiraizumi, home to a Unesco-listed temple complex.  Back on the train, one more lunch is served as the train returns to Tokyo.

Ready to ride in style?

Francesco Oppo

Want to be a Superstar?

What is it that really makes luxury brands break through the noise? Surfing the wave of individualism, brands now have to be able to make every consumer feel unique while satisfying their increasing customer base.

Is there a magic formula that allows a brand to minimize the risk while globally increasing both awareness and turnover?

The answer to the question comes naturally after analyzing some of the luxury superstars that over the past few years have managed to massively increase both image and revenues: Valentino and Moncler, for example. It goes without saying that the two of them could count on both great Brand Equity and strong financial capabilities.

 

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MONCLER GENIUS – Pierpaolo Piccioli

 

Acquired by the Mayhoola Qatari investment fund in 2012 for €858 million, Valentino witnessed an incredible increase in sales and financial wealth since the acquisition. The Maison’s revenues, which were around €370 million in 2012, topped over €1 bn in 2016 and are expected to keep on rising in the coming years (with an EBIT increasing steadily of 16% yearly, yielding a margin of approximately 18% of total sales). Is this outstanding performance the result from an increased financial capability? Actually, Valentino had another key change: in 2016 Pierpaolo Piccioli was appointed as the sole creative director.

If you got bored with the financials, you can stop dozing now! Here’s the magic formula for success stated in a clear and simple way by Mr. Piccioli “Here I understood that there can be no innovation without a deep knowledge of the past”.

If this sounds banal to you, perhaps you did not grasp the deep meaning behind it.

The perfect harmony with which Valentino is able to blend its Heritage with innovation is the spice that adds the flavor to the perfect dish: the perfect balance between a Brand’s roots and the related vision and mission create the ultimate combination for luxury rock stars.

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What about Moncler? With more than €1 bn revenues in 2016 and 191 DOS, the company has been experiencing an exponential growth in both financial capabilities and brand image and awareness. What is the strategy behind Moncler’s outstanding performance? Moncler’s success is based on a unique and consistent brand strategy, which also depends on the ability to develop innovative products that are strongly “anchored” to the history of the brand.

Heritage, uniqueness, quality, and innovation are the terms used in Moncler to define the concept of “luxury”. (Moncler)

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Could it be possible that Pierpaolo and Mr. Ruffini are the only professionals thinking that blending heritage and vision is the key to success and the perfect translation into modernity? Not really. Here there is what other industry leader personalities think on the subject:

Tod’s Group on interpreting the Made in Italy tradition: “The craftsmanship of Tod’s artisans meets the most modern design and creates the new icons for Tod’s, unique details for a timeless style”.

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Again we see how the features of heritage (made in Italy and craftsmanship), modernity and vision (to create a timeless style) blend together with the perfect product: a modern design.

Not only fashion brands have to find the perfect Mix & Match between where they started and where they want to go. Here’s an example of THE design brand which is the symbol of elegance and Made in Italy perfection: Poltrona Frau (since 1912).

 Brand Identity: Artigianality (uniqueness), design sign (heritage), quality of the leather (heritage), innovation (vision).

Again, it seems logical for any brand that aims to be successful, to blend perfectly both historical value and innovative vision. Stay tuned for more updates!

 

C.S

 

Luciano Beltrame: The designer of the invisible

grid-2-550x513_0Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the owners of Beltrame Luciano S.r.l., a shoe specialist manufacturer based in Sant’Angelo di Piove, near Padova, founded in 1969 by Luciano Beltrame and his wife. Nowadays the business is managed by three generations, Mr. Beltrame (pictured), his two daughters Gigliola and Lorella, and his grandchildren. So we are talking about a family business, with more than 40 workers, and nearly 50 years of  experience!

Until 1998 they worked just for clients from the Riviera del Brenta, where most of Italy’s top-level shoe producers are located, but then they decided to expand their business and find new clients. To do this Beltrame hired salespeople to develop the Brand awareness.

In 2003, the company also considered moving production in Romania, because of the high costs of Italian craftsmanship. After a careful analysis the company decided to stay in the Italian shoe district to keep the know-how in the country and to concentrate the business in the creation of high quality products.

This decision was also driven by the fact that their factory is near to one of Italy’s most famous prototyping schools, the Politecnico Calzaturiero.

Luciano Beltrame S.r.l. is increasingly well known thanks to word of mouth, and now works with 250 clients per year, and side by side with the greatest names in international luxury, such as Louboutin and Louis Vuitton, offering support to design and beauty.

Schermata 2018-02-17 alle 14.32.26Nowadays the company has two core businesses: production of counter and toe (which are pieces of the structure of the shoe) and planning/design, which helps shoe designers turn their ideas into a finished product.  The perfectly audited system for procedures enables them to manage different processes, distributing the autonomy of each department and dialogue inside the company: this is the winning mix!

The direct collaboration with designers allows the company to work on material innovation, to solve the issues of every single shoe design. Their technician explained me that they discover the combination of two materials (tissue and leather tag) that, with heat, perfectly covers every shape, hiding imperfections and irregularity of the surface.

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Every time, the clients can meet Beltrame’s technical team, which, with its skills, offer a consultancy service to profoundly enhance the lines and shapes of the shoes.

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In fact, one of the point of strength of Beltrame is the technical assistance they offer to clients, in order to reach the higher quality level for each product.

Beltrame is investing a lot in slimming the production process with computerized  communication between the different production phases. In the last 10 years, clients increasingly request the “human touch” in the product, so just few operations are made by machines, even if Beltrame was the first in using the numerical control machines.

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Beltrame guarantees their clients a close attention to details and a artisanal production.

The aim of Luciano Beltrame S.r.l. is to give life to the architecture of the shoes, to give to the final consumers a luxurious, impeccable, and Italian product.

“The toes and counters we design and produce define the invisible structure of the shoe, ensuring a “fit like a brush” and giving excellent shape and comfort.”

Luciano Beltrame – The designer of the invisible

Valentina Verza

 

It’s fashion week, get off your ass and let’s dance!

From the 20th to the 26th of February Milan will host the most awaited event of the year: the fashion week. During these days the city will be full of tourists and industry professionals from all over the world and also will be an opportunity to experience the true Milanese nightlife.
Let’s see day by day what are the most important clubs and lounge bars not to be missed, to experience a crazy week to the full between fashion shows and parties!

  • Tuesday, 20th February 2018

The first day of fashion week will be an opportunity to approach the Milanese nightlife: probably after a full day and long journey to reach the city of Milan we will not be at full strength, so why not to relax with a good glass of wine after dinner? The perfect place is the Ceresio 7 Pools and Restaurants: an elegant location, enhanced by the two outdoor pools. A spectacular view of the city make this lounge a magical and perfect place for a stimulating after-dinner.

Ceresio 7
Ceresio 7, Via Ceresio, 7 (www.ceresio7.com)
  • Wednesday, 21st February 2018

Wednesday means party and party means Armani / Privè! After a dinner with a view of the Arco della Pace and an excellent cocktail at the Living Liqueurs and Delights (in Piazza Sempione, 2), in one of the landmarks of Milan nightlife, we find a trendy club, very well attended, in an elegant and charming atmosphere. In the heart of the week, located in the real city center (Via Gaston Pisoni) let us be led by the house sound of this amazing party!

Armani Privè
Armani / Privè, Via Gaston Pisoni, 1 (www.armanipriveclub.com)
  • Thursday, 22nd February 2018

On Thursday evening, after a day of events and fashion shows, do not miss the chance for an excellent aperitif with one of the most beautiful city’s skyline.
Radio Rooftop Milan is a unique space in a dynamic and selected environment, where you can taste international tapas while admiring the splendid view of the Milan skyline.
It is divided into two areas: one inside and one outside, overlooking Piazza Della Repubblica and Porta Nuova.

Radio Rooftop Milano
Radio Rooftop Bar, Via Marco Polo, 1103 (www.radiorooftop.com)

After this amazing aperitif let’s move to one of the most famous urban club in town for Hip Hop music: if you love Hip Hop, you will love VibeRoom! A young club (opened in 2015), located close to Corso Como, that represents the point of reference for Hip Hop music lovers. On Thursday Evening it is “Genesis”, a fashion oriented night in unique atmosphere, which recalls a heterogeneous public from athletes from the world of sports to those who works in fashion and university students.

Vibe Room
VibeRoom, Viale Monte Grappa, 14 (www.vibemilano.it)
  • Friday, 23rd February 2018

The weekend has started and Milan is now at the top of the fashion week! Let us be carried away by the Brazilian melodies of the Japanese – Brazilian restaurant Temakinho Magenta, in the city center near Piazzale Cadorna. In one of the most cheerful places in the city, in a fun and joyful location, we will taste delicious rolls and temaki taken from Japanese cuisine and, at the same time, drink a Caipirinha with passion fruit, just like a normal aperitif.

Temakinho
Temakinho Magenta, Via Giovanni Boccaccio, 4 (www.temakinho.com)
  • Saturday, 24th February 2018

Guys, it’s Saturday! Tonight in Milan you have a huge choice for clubs and bars. After an excellent cocktail at the Apollo Club, a particular disco lounge with special atmospheres (with people working in fashion, in creative agencies, characters from the musical and television world), let’s move to Volt Milano, a brand new club near Colonne di San Lorenzo. This club represents the clubber international venue that mixes with models, wearers and young students. The reference music genre here is techno.

Volt Milano

Volt Club, Via Molino delle Armi, 16 (www.voltclub.it)

Sunday, 25th February 2018

Tired of the Milanese night life of this fashion week? Let’s go for a ride out of town! In a small village in the province of Milan (Pogliano Milanese) there is a disco that is famous for its aperitif on Sunday evening: the Discoteca Ristorante Fellini. Wrapped in a magical atmosphere, we can taste one of the best aperitif in the city. And later the dinner we can stop for the party until the morning after!

Fellini Pogliano

Discoteca Ristorante Fellini, Via Roma, 26, Pogliano Milanese (www.discotecafellini.it)
  • Monday, 26th February 2018

Here we are at the end! The fashion week is about to conclude, but our desire for a party is not over: and the best night to end this event is definitely the “Full Monday” party at the Old Fashion Cafè. An elegant disco, with a very high target, house and commercial music and a magic, full of history location.

Old Fashion

Old Fashion Club, Via Alemagna, 6 (www.oldfashion.it)

ENJOY THE FASHION WEEK, ENJOY THE PARTIES!

MN

When Lamborghini goes SUV

Five years after the presentation of the concept car with the same name at the 2012 Beijing show, the Lamborghini Urus is now in showroooms, the “high-end” SUV bringing the Casa del Toro’s number of models of its range to three and with which it intends to significantly increase its production volumes. In fact, the house’s program envisages reaching over 7,000 cars produced for 2019, compared to 3,500 in 2016 (and with the prospect of touching 10,000 units within a very few years).

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According to the Lamborghini tradition, the name Urus also comes from the world of bulls. The Urus breed of cattle, also known as Aurochs, are among the great wild ancestors of today’s breeds. The Spanish bullfight bull, bred over the last 500 years, still looks very similar to that of the Urus breed.The Urus Lamborghini is a luxury SUV but it is also the most powerful, with a supersporting dynamism.

 

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Its coupe style with reduced lines, its imposing on the road, a perfect combine with great driving comfort, greater ground clearance and luxurious interiors equipped with all the latest technologies. The Urus ensures easy driving in the city, maximum comfort during long journeys, sensational dynamics from supersports on the road and on the track and off-road capabilities in different environments. This new Lamborghini has a double personality. Depending on the owner’s wishes, he can give priority to sportsmanship or elegance and become a luxury car to drive every day or a super sports car capable of guaranteeing an exhilarating driving experience.

 

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The Urus reveals quite immediately that it is a Lamborghini. The line, on the other hand, has a 100% sporting personality, with the pavilion that in the rear part goes downwards with a sporty style, mixing the traditional style of the SUVs with those of the coupé. But this alone would not be enough to fulfill the Lamborghini identity. This is the job of  solutions adopted for the front, the sides and the back. In fact, the aerodynamic elements and the air intakes abound in the body of the Urus, things that obviously have their precise functional purpose, but which bring great stylistic value. The overall result is a very aggressive image, even if the cockpit then offers everything that makes a passenger compartment comfortable.

There may be discordant ideas about the existence of an SUV within the Lamborghini range but I think that the magnificence and the power of a car can be created with various lines and in this case the Urus is certainly a concrete example of an intelligent bull that it adapts to everyone’s needs. But we must show our respect because it is always a creation of a large car company that creates true works of art with a restless soul.

Moschino’s strong design is showing up in the bottom line

Sexuality and its obsessions are the main themes of Moschino 2018/2019 pre-fall winter collection. The pre-collection preview anticipates the mood of the main collection to be unveiled during the womenswear shows at the Milan Fashion Week starting tomorrow February the 20th.

The collection for sure will be as amazingly shocking as the preview!

High leather boots, dark masks covering the whole face, bustiers, garters and total latex looks are the year’s big news that captures the attention on the catwalk. The atmosphere that Jeremy Scott conveys is made of darkness, mystery and perversion: every piece of the collection becomes able to express its nature by itself, men and women swap their identities not only because of masks and big hats, but they exchange clothing and lingerie with an extreme confidence. At the end of the catwalk we have an additional proof of the mix of the two sexes:  a man and a women wear a “tandem white tie”: two white ties connected together that may suggest that both sexes fight for the elimination of discriminations due to sexual orientation.

Moschino perfectly understood the  equation for success in the fashion industry: being unique and combining creativity with a business mind. The brand occupies an important position on the international fashion stage, it’s one of the most talked about in Europe and Asia.

From 2013 the new creative director Jeremy Scott has literally catapaulted Moschino into the spotlight. Moschino is now a label for customers who love to shock: it is constantly finding new and modern inspirations like McDonald’s, Barbie, Looney Tunes and comics.

The brand’s success is a fact: the parent company Aeffe’s EBITDA was 30.4 million euro in the first 9 months of 2017, 25.2 million euro in 2016 and 19.3 million in 2015.

Sales of the group are going up year after year: from 268.825 million of 2015 to 280.691 million of 2016 and 234.973 million in 2017 (but only the first 9 months). Moschino is the largest selling brand of the group since the 67% of net profits come from this label. 

Looking at these numbers, Moschino’s success could very well continue in the future, but what the designer is going to unveil is still a surprise.

Credits to: http://www.vogue.it (image), www.aeffe.com (financial data)

Ekaterina Okoulik

Burberry: a role model in customer experience

What brand stands out in terms of customer experience today? Which company excels in integrating its online and offline experience? The brand that comes immediately to mind is the British luxury fashion house Burberry.

According to the complex and competitive environment that surrounds us nowadays, brands have to focus their attention on creating an engaging and appealing customer experience.

And as Burberry demonstrates, investing in product customization and digital are two ways to build a successful and brilliant customer experience.

Burberry achieved a seven-year transformation: from an underperforming and licensed brand to one of the most beloved and valuable luxury brands in the world.  It went from a beige trench coat company to one of the leading fashion companies improving the overall customer experience.

Burberry did a very good job launching a customized line of scarfs in 2016. The personalization gives the customer the possibility of choosing from over 30 different colors and combinations of prints with the option of adding a three-letter monogram. The monogramming service is offered even on the iconic Heritage trench coat. Any client can see the preview of his or her desired coat personalized with its own initials and chosen color both in-store and online.

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Customization is really significant to today’s luxury consumers, which are increasingly  demanding in their requests. Through personalization, companies try to satisfy customers’ desire to experience a brand in new and innovative ways.

Digital is another key point in terms of customer experience and Burberry is really good in managing it as well. Creating rich experiences by leveraging all the potential of digital platforms is a recipe for Burberry’s success.

Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google have a strong importance within the company. It was one of the first luxury brands to open its Facebook page in 2009, and it also allowed  customers to buy a selection of nail polish colors worn by the models directly from a tweet.

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Burberry also launched a made-to-order catwalk and ‘smart personalization’ service. Any waiting is completely removed from the shopping process since customers can place their bespoke orders as soon as looks hit the catwalk. A quick and easy touch and our favorite items find place in our wardrobes.

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Burberry realized before its competitors did that today’s luxury customers want to select their items before all the others,  and found a very clever way of letting them do it.

One year before Instagram, Burberry introduced an online forum called ‘Art of the trench’ where people could post photos of themselves and others wearing the company’s iconic Trench coats. Not to mention ‘Burberry kisses’, the collaboration the company created with Google in allowing customers to kiss the screens of their mobile phones and send their lip prints to their lovers.

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All these experiences have a strong impact on the clients’ perception of the brand and ensure the brand a continuous and strong success . According to Burberry’s annual report in fact the company has assisted to an increase of its sales in the last few years. Since 2013 the company has almost doubled its revenues. From £ 1.999 million in 2013 to £ 2.766 million on the 31st March 2017. Burberry is doing really well and it has to be considered a model to follow and to draw inspiration from.

Francesca Perego

Do watches have emotions?

Do watches have their own emotions? The first immediate answer is “No”. But watches give us emotions – joy, anger, surprise, desire, rejection and hundreds of other states of mind. But is this fair that we can have all these emotions while watches always keep the same “face” even though they live every single minute, second? And their heart – balance – is always beating. For me it is not fair… and not for Konstantin Chaikin either.

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Konstantin Chaikin

Konstantin Chaikin wanted to let watches show their feelings. That’s why he put an end to this injustice. His new watch “Joker” is able not only to give, but also express emotions. Moreover, at every single minute of time, the Joker looks at the world in a different way.

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Let’s follow the mood of Joker. It is changing every minute and in 24 hours he manages to make thousands of different grimaces. Such a unique ability was given to him by an anthropomorphic dial with indicators which remind us of eyes and mouths. Two disk pointers demonstrate hours and minutes. Also you can find on the dial indicator of the lunar phases.

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Konstantin Chaykin realized his idea on the basis of the mechanism ETA 2824-2. This mechanism is well-known and easy to recognize in any watch. Usually in models with this caliber on the dial you can see the following indicators: the hands which indicate the day of the week and the month (usually in the center) and below – moon phase indicator. The “Joker” looks the same. The only differences we need to mention are :

  • no date hand;
  • instead of days and weeks disks – hour and minute ones.

This special module of indication is development of the manufacture of Konstantin Chaykin. It consists of more than 60 parts.

KonstantinChaykin-Joker

The dial is decorated in a very special way – it is silver-plated, covered with ruthenium. It has two types of guilloche, frames are lacquered. The rim of the case is decorated with special engraving – we can see the luck symbol – an unbeatable poker combination “big five”.

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If we dive deep into the mechanism of this watch we will find the Caliber K07-0. This is automatic and can work autonomously for 38 hours. From behind you can not see it (doesn’t have sapphire glass). The case is in steel, diameter – 42 mm. The second crown is fixed and used to correct the lunar disk.

Unfortunately, I should admit that all the watches are already sold out. It is limited to 99 copies. But if you still want to buy one do not worry! You have a chance.  There is another version of this charismatic model. It’s called the Clown.

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From a technical point of view, Joker and Clown are identical, the difference between them is only in appearance and in the idea behind them. Konstantin dedicated them to the character of the movie “It”. He wanted to make a reminder of the main theme of Stephen King’s novel in which the writer doesn’t talk just about this nightmarish creature, but more about the adults’ indifference to children’s fears and problems. That’s why some of the money earned from the sale of the Clowns will be spent on children’s charities.

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His “Clown” was deliberately made not toothy and angry, but as an image of victory over this fear.

Do watches have the own emotions? Now I guess the reply would be changed from “No” to “Yes”

@Paul Poiret 2.0: save March 4 2018 in your calendar

 Good news from Paris – the maison created in 1903 by the “King of Fashion” Paul Poiret is relaunching

In the upcoming Paris Fashion Week Paul Poiret will take Céline’s time slot

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The innovative influence of Paul Poiret goes without saying: he transformed the fashion industry of the 20th century beyond recognition. In Paris and across the world world Poiret is known as “Le Magnifique”, as being one of the most extravagant and innovative designers of his time. The King made fearless use of bright colors, exotic fabrics and motifs inspired by Asian cultures and Russian folklore. Moreover, he has been credited with freeing women from corsets, which was a real achievement of the times.

Oriental style by Paul Poiret 

Poiret is lauded for the dresses and outfits created not only for the upper crust, but also for luxurious fur coats designed for actresses (among them the French stage star Réjane) and his scandalous jupe-culotte, which have become famous all over the world. Poiret personally developed a bottle and set up an advertising campaign for the perfumes, being the first couturier to do it commercially. However, in 1927 he was forced to close the atelier, as the era of more democratic and comfortable apparel came and Coco Chanel become its representative.

Réjane; Paul Poiret with the model

Paul Poiret is poised for an outstanding comeback, it is high time for renovations, said Anne Chapelle, the owner of the Belgian brands Ann Demeulemeester and Haider Ackermann, who two years ago became the CEO of the fashion house Paul Poiret.

In the interview for the British edition of Business of Fashion, Ann said that the first show of the renewed brand will be held on March 4 at Paris Fashion Week. The main emphasis of the collection will be on the generation of young girls and their dressing preferences, taking into account the heritage and the DNA of the House.

“Ann was my first journey. Haider was the second journey and Poiret is my third. It’s like reading a book to the new generation. You read a book and you try to transmit information to a new generation, which is actually the only thing we’re trying to do. We’re not magicians, we’re just trying to tell a beautiful story and make it relevant today,” – Anne Chapelle

Paul Poiret; Women wearing Paul Poiret

A high-end premier will take place two years after the company was acquired by the Korean group Shinsegae International from Luvanis in 2015. Financing Paul Poiret will Chung Yoo-Kyung, – the granddaughter of the founder of Samsung. Chung Yoo-Kyung has already helped Dries Van Noten, Céline and Moncler to open boutiques in South Korea. The group’s portfolio also houses Shinsegae department stores and the distribution of 30 luxury brands in South Korea. One of the most successful examples of the company’s activity is the restart of the famous Vionnet brand.

The creative director of the revived Paul Poiret house will be the Chinese designer Yiqing Yin, the winner of the Paris Grand Prize of Creation and Andam Prize competitions. Apart from the diploma of the Ensad National High School of Decorative Arts, Yiqing Yin has worked with Maison Léonard, Cartier, Guerlain, Hermès, Swarovski and Lancôme, as well as her own brand Yiqing Yin. As far as the designer’s qualifications are concerned, her draped designs were highly appreciated in recent years. However, in certain circles it is said that Yin stands in the shadow of the couturier and introducing light and relevance to the Paul Poiret Brand will require esprit de corps. Nevertheless,this young designer deserves applause at least for being brave enough to try.

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Yiqing Yin and Anne Chapelle

Currently Yiqing Yin together with Anne Chapelle are facing a challenging and ambitious task – to pull Paul Poiret Fashion House out from the museums and auctions, and making it popular and trendy not only among the collectors, but also among the buyers and customers.

“Starting a third time with a youngster, I don’t know if I would do that today with my own risk, because that is what I did with Ann and Haider. Here, it is a big corporate entity — and one with big values and wonderful ideology on creativity — that I wanted to do it for,”- Anne Chapelle

The first ready-to-wear collection will include clothes, shoes, bags and accessories made of leather. The brand considers the idea of launching a perfume line and its own cosmetics. Although, in recent years we have witnessed some stories of success, sometimes parent companies are too preoccupied about immediate sales from the heritage lines without any real data on what the brand history really means for clients. Luckily, the first collection of Poiret after the restart will be seen on March 4 at the Fashion Week in Paris and we will not be waiting too long to see what goes down with Poiret 2.0.

So, please, save the date. March 4, 2018.

Daria Antonova.

Renzo Rosso, what a genius…

“HANDBAG, handbag, watches, watches, real Diesel jeans, only the logos are fake!” These are the words that are constantly repeated every minute in New York’s Canal Street.

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it’s been a scourge for fashion brands.

But that is, until now…

Diesel on Thursday February 8, revealed it has secretly opened an “authentic knock-off” store called Deisel on New York’s Canal Street, far from tony Madison Avenue, the Shops at Columbus Circle and SoHo, where the brand’s three Manhattan stores are located.

For a knock-off store, Diesel fittingly chose Canal Street, known for its jumble of crowded shops selling counterfeit and fake knock offs of luxury labels such as Gucci and Prada, designer fragrances and Rolex watches.

Here’s where it gets pretty interesting. “The unsuspecting shoppers probably did not realize then, but the items they bought at the Deisel store were actually one-of-a kind pieces specially crafted by the Diesel design team disguised with fake Deisel branding,” the company said. Operating in the same style as its Canal Street neighbors, the store’s interiors and selling experience played out authentically, Diesel said, adding that the brand filmed the experiment for posterity and to prove that  “those who are brave enough to venture off the beaten path to find their own unique style are rewarded.”

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“If someone copies you it means that your brand is worthy and top of mind with consumers, but at the same time we make every effort to protect our brand from counterfeit activity. We will keep fighting to protect our brand by implementing state-of-the-art technologies, we cannot have any tolerance for fraudsters – on and offline. We wanted to bring out our self-irony… and also to slightly mock the current logomania trend, in a Diesel way. We never want to take ourselves too seriously.” R. Rosso – OTB

The Diesel capsule collection features a playful – some might say perverse – version of Diesel’s red box logo printed on T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. A limited edition collection of the brand’s denim and lifestyle products will also be available at the Canal Street location.

For the coming days, Diesel’s (or Deisel) store at 419 Broadway, at the corner of Canal Street will be selling any remaining stock.

 

Check out the hilarious video of Deisel NY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=3pqRgD5Dg4c 

Francesca Borroni

Lefay Resort&Spa: when perception doubles expectation/Lefay Resort&Spa eyes new openings in Italy and abroad

New Luxury: space, nature, silence and quiet service, but attentive to every detail

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This is the first thing you see when you open Lefay Resort&Spa’s website (Lefay Resort&Spa) and with few words it sums up the concept of this successful company. This article won’t talk about the high numbers of treatments, massages and experiences you can live at Lefay, but it will have a more strategic and management overview of the company.

The first Lefay was born in 2008 at Gargnano, on Lake Garda and its objective is to become the Italy’s reference point for spas. It’s on its way because Lefay has received more than 50 awards in ten years. One of the most important, in 2016, as the best world destination Spa (World Luxury Spa Awards), opened the doors to the international market. Besides this, Lefay already has a diversified customer portfolio: foreign clientele makes up 70% of the business. A large number come from Russia and North America, but the majority are European customers from Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Austria.

So, why not start a new business abroad, maintaining the same winning Italian offer? Lefay’s growth strategy takes into account the high demand from abroad, but as a first step the company prefers to enlarge the business in Italy.

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Sure enough the second Lefay is going to open (Summer 2019) in the beautiful landscape of

Madonna di Campiglio. Lefay moves from the relaxing view of the lake to an amazing view experience of the Dolomiti di Brenta. Probably another Spa will open later in the Tuscany area.

 

Once it completes its business plan in Italy, Lefay will focus on the international market. It knows very well where to make next steps: the R&D department works in advance and makes forecasts and projections for the future. Probably we will see a Lefay resort in Switzerland and Austria.

What is the secret of this success? It seems easy to say: to sell emotions and create places for our dreams. Right message, but how to make it concrete? Like for all luxury companies, the answer is to keep on investing. To invest in facilities and in the research of wonderful places. Using local products as much as possible, in order to make customers discover the real lifestyle of that area. At Gargnano, Lefay is located in the middle of olive trees, at the top of hills with the view of the Garda lake and there you can smell the unique scent of Garda area and its lemons.

 

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Nevertheless to describe an emotion is never as live it. The only way to experience the Lefay offer is to go there. For the moment in the area of Garda Lake, but soon also at the foot of Dolomiti.

 

Interview – l’azienda Italia

The Circle of Fashion

No, you didn’t get it wrong ! The title of this article is actually a “Lion King” reference. But what does a Disney movie about animals in Africa have to do with the crazy fashion world ? Read on to find out. 

The “The Lion King”, one of the most successful Disney pictures of all times, is centered on The Circle of Life. The Collins Dictionary defines The Circle of Life as “Nature’s way of taking and giving back life to Earth. It symbolizes the universe being sacred and divine. It represents the infinite nature of energy, meaning if something dies it gives new life to another”. It refers to how events tend to repeat themselves. In the film, we see it in Simba’s life: he grows, learns about manhood and becomes king; when he has a son, his son will grow up, learn and become the king. But an interesting thing is that we can use this analogy in the fashion business as well.

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In the early 1920s women were crazy about fringe and heavy embroidery, every woman needed to have a fringe and an embroidery dress in order to be cool and trendy. After the boom, fringe started to be considered tacky, or only cool for the country, But today, as we can see in several collections, fringe and heavy embroidery is back. The biggest example of this is Balmain, after the hire of Oliver Rousteing, when he started using these trends in many pieces of the collections, which we can still witness even on the last Balmain Collection.

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In 2016, the big trend was the “Hippie Chic”, a mix of the Coachella experience with the hippie community. Everybody was wearing relaxed fit clothes, with a lot of patterns, head jewelry, felt hats and other elements linked to the seventies.

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But now a days the easier way to confirm this cycle is with the Nineties comeback. A lot of fashion brands are investing in bringing old school trends, accessories and looks to the modern and tech world. The first example that come to our head are the belt bags: an essential item in the nineties that afterwards became a synonym of unstylish people, but since the end of 2017, they are definitely back. It is easy to spot someone wearing one of those in the streets of the big metropoles all over the world. One of the companies that we can blame for this comeback is Gucci, because last year they started promoting belt bags again, so all their stores in the world started carrying stylish versions of that item, changing the mentality and the taste of the people and making the item, before hated, the new most-loved piece.

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Another example of this Nineties comeback is track pants, an item that was once forgotten and now, with the help of many influencers like Dua Lipa, is definitely back, with new and fun shapes. Even Valentino surrendered to the trend, adding track pants to it’s 2018 men collection and also using the young singer, Troye Sivan, to promote it.

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We can see this trend becoming stronger every day in the modern world, when we see Louis Vuitton producing Goth-Inspired Slip-dresses, Balenciaga with neon accents boots, Prada with the platform shoes and a lot of brands producing cuffed high-waist jeans, elements that come from last century’s fashion.

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Analyzing this makes it easy to prove that comebacks are present throughout fashion history and this is something that is not changing, at least for now. Experts are making projections that in some years the Sixties will be back, in the same way the Nineties are today.  So, when in “The Lion King” the Circle of Life means that events tend to repeat themselves, in fashion we can make an analogy with the trends that keep coming back, creating the Circle of Fashion.

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Fernando Lucas Ferreira

 

Sources:

 

Pitti Uomo 93 Special Project: M1992

Pitti Uomo 93 hosted a special project this last season: the presentation of the new life of  M1992.

This project was promoted by the Fondazione Pitti Discovery, as a result of a collaboration between Pitti Immagine and Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana.

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The brand, originally called Malibu 1992, was created by the Italian DJ, designer and influencer Dorian Stefano Tarantini. It was born as a special video-art project and it developed in a fashion brand. It immediately achieved resounding success for the expression and union of different sectors, such as art, music, fashion and lifestyle.

This special project, Première, represent the new era of the brand, marked by the pursuit of a path of a bigger experimentation and versatility. The aim is to demonstrate how fashion can be the expression of very different world connected together, gathering them in what is defined as the universal culture.

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The transition from Malibu 1992 to M1992 represents the progress of the brand into a more mature and conscious period.

In a interview with Pitti Immagine Dorian defines M1992 as “the non–place where radical changes take place and where the past re-emerges to mercilessly interfere with daily life by projecting it into a performative dimension with a wealth of different languages and methods: music production, branding, fashion design, video clips, marketing, luxury items”.

Also in his own words, the brand can be described as a “digital degeneration of luxury”.

Credits: all images comes from Pitti Immagine website.

 

Charlotte Cassanelli

How luxury brands use social media to engage with their customers

Digital innovation, and, in particular, social media, are clearly reshaping the way companies communicate and engage with customers across all industries. In general, in recent years there has been a dramatic shift from top-down communication, dictated by the company itself, to peer-to-peer, where the community of customers – or potential ones – seems to be the new Holy Grail.

They want to discover, know, compare, ask about anything.

They want to be constantly amused and inspired by brands.

This epic shift represents a big challenge for the luxury world, where, until some time ago, the only way to create desire among customers was to show amazing pictures of models looking like goddesses on Vogue. As luxury brands clearly cannot ignore this social phenomenon, they must invest time, money and resources to come up with and to implement new marketing and communication strategies. On the one hand, this represents a challenge, but, on the other, a great opportunity to be creative on social media, for instance.

According to a recent study by PMX Agency, among the four major social platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube — the number of luxury social media followers “grew by over 27 percent in the past year, fueled primarily by growth in Instagram followers.” In addition, “followers took 936 million-plus engagement actions with luxury brands in the last 12 months”, Instagram being “the most popular luxury social platform in terms of engagement”.

The visual impact is strong, “#Solocosebelle” could be the general Instagram motto, which goes along very much with luxury. The limitation is that the target audience is very young: the largest percentage of visitors come from younger members of Generation X (22.7 %) and older Millennials (22.4 %), as confirmed by PMX Agency. The same study also revealed that social media users check luxury brands’ Facebook accounts just in 3.5% of the cases, followed only by YouTube (2.1%).

Other findings suggested that, for the third year in a row, “Chanel added the most Instagram followers  gaining 9.5 million in 2016-2017”, thanks to the right mix of content, such as fashion shows videos and star-studded photos.

Let’s now look at other examples of companies adopting the right digital communication strategy to engage with its customers:

Valentino seems to be the most efficient brand on Instagram according to the research conducted by Engagement Labs, mainly thanks to its frequent publication of content (40 per week), together with the high level of interaction with the community.

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Valentino on Instagram – Gigi Hadid on the SS 2018 Collection

Moschino, the rule-breaking brand,  has a knack for viral posts readapting its content in unconventional funny ways, with videos and GIFs that can easily be shared on different social media.

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Moschino GIFs are unconventional and pop, as the brand itself

YOOX is the winner for Whatsapp. Whatsapp for business, launched in January, is the new platform to interact with customers, allowing to send news on promotions, images on new products and so forth. In contrast with all the other social media, it allows to have a direct and targeted communication for every single customer.

YOOX has been able to sell a significant proportion of its online sales via Whatsapp after it started sharing its number with customers. Sounds weird? Mr. Federico Marchetti, CEO of the e-commerce giant, declared that about 40% of their higher-margin in-season revenue comes from just 2% of their clients, labelled as EIPs, or Extremely Important People. He also stated: “[…]We’ve made some of our biggest sales to EIPs by chatting to them through WhatsApp”. He, however, did not disclose any information on how the payments via Whatsapp work.

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Yoox is already selling via Whatsapp

 

Maybe Whatsapp is slowly trying to adopt the business model of WeChat? Born in 2011, this is the most popular social media in China: More than 700 million users, many of whom have their bank accounts linked directly to the service. Calling it social media is quite reductive, then: chat platform, marketing tool, global marketplace.

Among the luxury brands better exploiting the power of WeChat in China is Dior. The day it started to be present on WeChat (in August 2016), it launched a flash sale on the Lady Dior bags. The results were amazing: all the items sold out the same day.

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Dior was one of the first brands selling through WeChat

So, social media represents a great opportunity for luxury brands to communicate, engage and better understand their customers.

However, it must also be taken into account that fashion magazines and billboards continue to be a big deal for luxury brands, as suggested by Dante D’Angelo, chief digital marketing officer of Valentino: «[…] In the communication, print advertising still plays an important role».

 

Gaia Villatora Milic

 

 

Enchanted, surreal and totally unexpected: Mari&CO.

Among Milan’s most evocative and undisclosed locations, in Via Ampolo 18, is a hidden gem: Mari&CO. Enchanted, surreal, magical and totally unexpected; designed and created by Marinella Rossi, through her extensive knowledge of culinary art. A family run, unique and humbling catering space.

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Credits to: Instagram.com/_marienco

The Concept

A key principle of modern event design: guests must be dazzled both when they arrive and when they leave an event.

Mari&CO have perfected this concept off to a fine art through creating unique and innovative dining experiences in numerous ways through art, spectacular, visual impressions and extravagant decor, while creating a setting to coincide with their audience; often brands, high profile exhibitions and fashion shows. The presentation of Missoni Fall/Winter 2018 for Men was followed by a dinner party at Mari&CO.

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Credits to: Instagram.com/manuelbogliolo
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Credits to: Instagram.com/memmomemmo
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Credits to: Instagram.com/julianhargreaves

This magical place of industrial architecture seeks to engage guests in an experience which aims to dazzle their senses, touches their hearts and stimulates their minds. Reaction amongst guests is created through exceeding expectations and building elements of surprise into the experience.

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Credits to: Instagram.com/patricknigro

Aesthetic stimulation is used to lead conversation and encourage intellectual appreciation through the creation of an interesting but obscure setting, transforming an unexpected venue into a spectacular space. The more effectively the experience engages with the senses, the more engaging the experience will be, suggesting why many brands are attracted to this space as a tool for meetings, showcasing art and products.

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Credits to: Instagram.com/thefashionablelampoon •

The Space

Collective and cultural memory stems from participation in a shared story (experience.)  

The owner takes guests on a journey, beginning with a small door, opening up to a path of discovery leading to unexpected large rooms with high ceilings and charm. The mystery environment draws guests into the setting with the interest to learn more. Spaces contain soft lighting with amazing installations of intertwined wood as chandeliers.

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Credits to: Instagram.com/olivierlanghendries

Tools of work which the owner has selected throughout her travels are displayed on long wooden shelves. It becomes apparent that she takes pride in her experiences through these objects, all well cataloged and perfectly maintained; glasses, ceramics, silver and baskets.

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The garden is cosy, beautiful and full of plants, but this is where the magic is created: Enrico’s nest. Here the owner creates a research kitchen, supporting ideas and engaging guests into projects. The space has been described as a “home laboratory where you can immerse and discover yourself.”

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Credits to: Instagram.com/luciaparlato

What makes these events luxury?

The personalised design of this space creates events which are real time; guests share the unique experience, at the same time, moment and place, creating a deeper emotional connection amongst the group. The events are enriched through including elements of meaningful experiences in order to enhance memorabilia. Mari&CO’s events become more meaningful due to them being shared and communicated with others. They go beyond the individual’s lived experience, guests will not only consume the place, setting and experience at that moment in time but will produce and reproduce it through storytelling and Instagram posts.

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Credits to: Instagram.com/_marienco

The uniqueness of these events maintain exclusivity through each and every event being personalised to the brand/client. The authenticity and memorability of the experience enhances satisfaction levels and creates a unique selling point for Mari&CO, suggesting why this concept is a preferred choice for luxury and fashion brands. 

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Credits to: Instagram.com/grazia_it

 

Lucy Bunting

http://www.linkedin.com/in/lucy-bunting

Digital or Die: The Choice of Luxury Brands

DigitalLuxIt may not be widely recognized as such yet, but digital technology will be the game-changing innovation for luxury brands in our era.

The #DigitalRevolution came fast and forcefully, everywhere, to each business, whether they were ready for or not.

After it was initially met with uncertainty and scepticism, digital soon proved it was able to open up countless opportunities to create tailored offers and provide bespoke services to many more customers than ever before.

Its distribution channels widen the playing field for every sort business, luxury brands included, allowing to reach out to consumers impossible to get before, and engage online with them in markets where a brand has no (physical) stores.

According to a study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG Focus, January 2014) in the US market alone, consumers anticipate spending between 20% and 30% of their total outlays online in the next few years.

But not all brands are there yet.

Indeed, luxury lags other consumer sectors when it comes to understanding and applying digital technologies.

For more than a few luxury brands, then, the issue really is embrace Digital or Die: the speed of technological development is endangering their current business models faster than they predicted.

The Hard Reality of Digital Everything

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Luxury brands are up against tough growth challenges.

If we look at the previous decade, their growth was all about consumer spending and new store openings in emerging markets—notably in China.

But the evident result is that today China has more luxury stores than its consumers demand, and consumer spending has cooled progressively.

So, one after the other, even the more reticent luxury brands had to admit that digital could make a transformative difference in their ability to reach and retain customers.

Nowadays, luxury goods and services are sought, sampled, and purchased in very different ways than they were in the past. Consumers expect efficient e-commerce, engaging and exciting interactions on social media, and multiple channels through which to interact with brands.

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Moreover, brands cannot delay the move toward more virtualized interactions with consumers. Although consumers will still want to interact physically with luxury products, they see virtual experiences as a path to more immediate gratification.

So now, brands value digital technologies as a way to create new products, novel business models and new channels, while exceeding and individualizing their services far beyond the store.

The simple fact is: digital is an inevitable, inescapable business shift.

New research from BCG indicates that currently, almost six out of ten luxury sales are digitally influenced.

The research (carried out on approximately 10,000 consumers in ten countries plus interviews with industry leaders) also found that online commerce, which now accounts for 7% of the global personal-luxury market, will grow further to make up 12% of that market by 2020.

“For every action there’s an equal (and opposite) reaction”

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Riding the new trends successfully is not a matter of setting up an appealing website or catching as many followers as possible on social networks.

Evident signs of change are also detected when disruptive novelties occur in the top management structure.

When Ralph Lauren CEO Patrice Louvet announced that the former Burberry’s director of digital marketing had been hired as the brand’s first chief digital officer, the underlying message was clear: finally, the American luxury brand was getting serious about enacting change.

“We are moving urgently to expand our digital presence all over the world. We have to meet consumers where they are, which is increasingly online, and digital expansion is one critical way we will drive new growth for our business and brand.”, stated Louvet.

Ralph Lauren’s action is striking: it demonstrates it is a different, open-minded luxury brand and, more importantly, to have understood the essential of getting up to speed in digital across all fronts — increase digital wholesale and direct retail sales, increase digital marketing spend, drive e-commerce platform management, and improve their presence on social platforms.

They signal to the world that time to invest on digital advancements came, and that progress is on the horizon.

The champions & the secret formula of “digital” success

Ralph Lauren was not the exception, but the rule.

Burberry, Marc Jacobs, Bentley, even historical luxury brands such as Hermes or Chanel, have  demonstrated they are ready to welcome this transformation.                                    First move, by creating engaging website and well-fed social media accounts, with the purpose of adding dimension that draws more potential customers to a brand.

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Chanel’s website, for example, features video clips from its runway shows, celebrities and legendary designers. More online customers mean more data can be collected, which can help hone a marketing strategy.

Chanel has been able to master YouTube by extending its global reach to half a million subscribers and more than 100 million viewers.

The Apple Watch Hermès represents a good example of new partnerships between an old-school luxury brand and the American technology giant brought by digital.

Net-a-Porter, in creating a global online luxury retailer and fashion magazine, illustrates how digital is reshaping distribution channels.

Michael Kors’ products were offered online through retailer Niemann Marcus. Embracing the concept of a dedicated eCommerce platform, MK ramped up their digital efforts and established their flagship online store, reporting a 73% growth in online sales.

Bentley’s website allows customers to take a virtual world tour in the cockpit of one of their luxury models — the next best thing to a real test drive.

They’ve also developed the Bentley ‘Inspirator’ — a personalization app that analyses customers’ facial and emotional reactions, then recommends the perfect personalized car, colour, and interior.

Key takeaways:

understanding when to expand into new markets is paramount to ensuring a healthy spike in growth, revenue, and profitability!

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How Luxury brands are embracing

the Internet revolution

Internet is the new China: it silently conquered us all. The immaculate Luxury world too. No exception.

The whole industry has a new challenge: appeal to #millennials.

#millennials are customers who are very knowledgeable about the real value of the product.

They are deeply influencing other generations towards how they are approaching luxury.

They tend to want to spend more on experiences rather than material things, and who now have more options to rent luxury items, for instance designer outfits, rather than own them.

With the ubiquity of personal technology – AKA mobile phone ownership – and consumer hunger for experiences beyond the sterile “add-to-bag & pay” e-commerce option, luxury brands had to heavily re-evaluate their engagement and retailing strategies.

Luxury is about #exclusivity. The Internet is about mass.                                                        And when reducing those boundaries, it’s the beginning of a real conflict no holds barred.                                                                                                                                                      So now, who do you think is holding all the aces in this battle?

If your answer is the customer, you’re damn right!

“Companies struggle with digital transformation because the scope of change is massive and often very disruptive” said study lead and Gartner analyst Mark Raskino.       “However, CEOs are under pressure from boards and external stakeholders to drive the digital future.”

So the conclusion is that as long as people are shopping online, luxury is going to have to go in that direction. 

A Generational Shift

In a study conducted for Fondazione Altagamma, Bain & Co. estimated the personal luxury goods market in 2016 was “essentially flat”, at about $264 billion, the third straight year of “modest growth” when excluding currency impact. However, sales dropped 3% each in the Americas and Asia (excluding Japan), two major luxury markets.

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According to another study carried out  by Deloitte, for the luxury industry “leadership will need to break free from nostalgia. Luxury is different, but not that different. Luxury is special, but not that special. For some luxury brands, there will be different pressures which come from heritage or private/family ownership—resulting in a risk of inertia, over-control, caution and a lack of agility.”

In a nutshell, luxury brands that have been reluctant to follow their peers into the digital arena they have no other choice but becoming more flexible and move with the times or they risk to become increasingly irrelevant and go meet a bleak end.

A New Battlefield

The challenges to a sector steeped in tradition are pretty clear:

  • Avoiding ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’ and ensuring any engagement strategy maintains all the good things associated with luxury— #quality, attention to detail, and #personalized service —while presenting them in a digitally enabled, agile context.
  • Recognizing the importance of providing cross-channel and social experiences, even if the brand has been built on a traditional in-store sales model.
  • Committing to investment in the best, most audience-appropriate digital services available to make sure there is continuity and #trust across all customer and sales journeys.

As Deloitte made clear, luxury brands that are unable or unwilling to keep pace with the ever-evolving digital experiences favoured by consumers are likely to find themselves on a dead end.

And there’s nothing worse – particularly in this sector – than being viewed as old fashioned, irrelevant and unable to take advantage of the most attractive elements:

Quality, superior service & experiences!

Stay tuned!

Cheers!

Virginia

 

Gucci Garden: a “conventional museum” between art, history and food

A new project, strongly desired by the creative director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele, is inaugurated inside the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence: a revolutionary space, which will host artistic exhibitions, the historical collections of the brand, a restaurant of the starred chef Massimo Bottura and some shops.

Gucci Palace
The Gucci Garden

Gucci takes up the concept of “conventional museum” and reinvents it as a living, collaborative and creative space, in which to express the aesthetic in perennial evolution and the philosophy of the maison. The Gucci Garden is not just a museum aimed at celebrating a rich historical archive, but represents an interactive space, in which the evolutionary character of the brand is expressed. Composed of several themed rooms, the Gucci Garden Gallery embodies the new vision of the Maison paying homage to the Gucci archive with historical advertising campaigns, a focus on craftsmanship and vintage objects.

Gucci Boutique
The Boutique

Divided into three rooms, the ground floor houses a boutique where you can buy unique items or limited edition, created only for the Gucci Garden and inspired by the collections of the label born in 1921, boxes with iconic graphics of the house, recent objects, mannequins covered satin, memorabilia, Gucci Decor, bags with new designs of bats and eyes, contemporary art objects.

Gucci Osteria
The Osteria by Massimo Bottura

On the left side of the entrance you can access another commercial area that introduces to the two small rooms of the Osteria curated by Massimo Bottura, a Michelin-starred chef, known for his Osteria Francescana in Modena.

In the rooms, entitled Guccification, Paraphernalia, Cosmorama, Chamber Cinema, De rerum natura, Ephemera it’s easy to be seen the story of Gucci as it was formed from 1921, the year of its foundation, until today. Clothes and accessories that constitute a narrative path, deliberately abandoning the chronological system.

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Guccification

The exhibition and historical area, distributed over two floors, opens with the Guccification room, dedicated to the double G of the Maison: in this room the double G and its interpretations are highlighted through leaders of yesterday and today, but also with the recent collaboration with GucciGhost, the work of designers such as Simon Foxton.

Paraphernalia
Paraphernalia

The route continues in the Paraphernalia halls, dedicated to the Maison’s codes: this room is dedicated to other icons of the brand, the moccasins, the clamp, the red-green striped ribbon. Cosmorama houses the suitcases and bags that are part of the birth of Gucci and tells the historical Gucci clientele of the international jet-set and the evolution of the heraldic element in the crest of the Maison.

In the rooms entitled De Rerum Natura we can see Gucci’s passion for flora and fauna expressed through vintage and contemporary clothing, silver animal statuettes produced by the Maison in the 50s, and original graphic material by Vittorio Accornero, at the which had been entrusted with the task of creating the printed Gucci Flora in 1966. But Gucci Garden is also botique. In addition to the bookshop on the ground floor, next to it, there is a unique boutique in the world. Offering only garments, inventions and branded Garden items. A collection that can only be found here.

Cinema da camera
Cinema da Camera

Among the red velvet curtains of the Gucci Garden there is a chamber cinema, an auditorium with experimental film projections like the preview of Zeus Machine Phoenix, a short film created by Zapruder filmmakersgroup. In Ephemera there are documents, videos and objects from the history of Gucci.

The Gucci Garden will donate half the cost of the 8 euro ticket to restoration works for Florence, it will be free for the residents in Florence (on Mondays), the disabled, people over 65s and children under 12, and for the employees of the Maison.

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Pic by Gucci.com

Pitti – perfect timing for a boutique opening? Ask Moncler

Another year has come and gone and with it the timeless 93rd edition of Pitti Uomo, hosted in the austere yet relaxed Fortezza da Basso in Florence. Preserving the status of being the most exclusive and avant-guard platform for the launch of new projects for menswear since 1972, Pitti has once again met and overcome expectations. This year the event has delivered a long-lusted dose of extravagance and modernism, combined with an extraordinary organization that positively impressed both fashion houses and buyers.

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The flow of creativity has, in fact, spread outside the walls of the Fortress as well as within. Not only the main fashion houses have staged impeccable representations of their visions and missions through innovative and unique products, this year it seems some of them have even moved beyond the “simple” showing off of their goods.

One of the most successful Italian brands decided to ride the wave of Pitti’s exhibitionism to the next level. On January 10 2018, Moncler opened a new boutique in the very heart of Florence, between Via degli Strozzi and Piazza della Repubblica.

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Via degli Strozzi n 3. The interiors display a high-end grey marble for floors and wood for the wide ceilings. Sophisticated elements melt with the modern metal furniture and glass installations, all communicating the high attention to details the Maison has always been fond of.

For the globophonic brand, this has been an important step for its retail development strategy, strengthening their position within the Italian market. Within the just-opened two-floor boutique (more than 300 square meters), consumers can dive into the complete offer range of the brand’s products, from menswear to womenswear and children, including the high-end lines Gamme Rouge and Gamme Bleu, inspired by Italian and French Haute Couture. It goes without saying that a wide range of accessories is available as well.

Being able to always stick to its core values, Moncler has opened a new impressive boutique indeed, innovative yet faithful to its traditions. The new opening, classic yet playful, welcomed the guests with an exclusive cocktail party, displaying a huge snowman dressed in a ski goggle. The brand has moved beyond the classic marketing and promotion strategy, discovering new frontiers of customer engagement, reinforcing the direct relationship with its clients through the continuous refurbishment of the boutiques and a proactive customer relationship management (CRM). Once again the “From the mountain to the city” superstar has been able to be innovative not only in the products but also in the communication and CRM fields.

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From the thrill of this boutique opening, we can only start dreaming about fashion and luxury houses future developments, so stay linked! The reality we live in is moving so fast that Pitti seems already in the prehistory. Don’t miss out on the most exquisite events in the luxury world, the future is at the door!

 

C.S.