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Über dieses Buch

Written by experts in Luxury and Fashion Management at SKEMA Business School this exciting new book offers a new perspective that challenges the established rules of the luxury and fashion industry. The authors and contributors examine the evolution of luxury strategy and how the luxury industry is being redefined in the twenty-first century.




What exactly do we mean by ‘luxury’? Most of us are able to recognize a luxury product, but we are unable to define the specific characteristics that contribute to the concept of luxury. This is because our perception of luxury is individual; it depends on our individual real-life experiences. We each value a different aspect of what we call luxury. It may be to do with rarity, class, quality or comfort. Luxury could be something tailor-made, something special to do, or to own, a privilege, or simply the time to do what we want with our money.

1. The Evolution of the Luxury Market: Stairway to Heaven?

Luxury is the art of fools, said Henri Duvernois.
In the space of 20 years, the luxury market has changed, almost beyond recognition. The narrow range of customer-targeted and the exclusive-distribution channels have been replaced by a stretching of the brand to appeal to and be affordable by a wider range of consumers.

2. Luxury Business: Multinational Organizations and Global Specializations

The purpose of this chapter is to show how diversified and complex the luxury business is and to give non-luxury goods practitioners an insight into the typical areas of expertise within this sector, and the main front and back-office issues to analyze and solve.

3. Finance Survival Guide: Value Creation and Piña Coladas

I hear you sigh, dear reader, as you read the title of this chapter ‘Phew, finance, this is boring. Let’s quickly skim over these pages and move to marketing, brands and the glitzy lights of the catwalk.’

4. The Pier Framework of Luxury Innovation

Luxury can be described as something exquisite, unique and rare; it is a combination of pleasure and aspiration. Be it a Richard Mille RM 032 Chronograph Diver’s Watch, a Montblanc Meisterstück pen, a Hermès Birkin bag or a Ferrari 458 Italia, it is a product that integrates craftsmanship, precious and rare materials, it has roots and it has a soul. It is an object of desire that is refined and positively pleasing. Above all, it represents a dream and gives you prestige. Innovation and creation are the heart of this process. Luxury innovation involves the capacity of someone at a certain moment to integrate unique skills and to sense lair du temps to create something new, unique, an extra-ordinary product or experience.

5. Retailing in the Luxury Industry

The word retail derives from the Old French retaillier, which literally means, in tailoring, ‘to cut off by hand, clip, and divide’. Although often associated with the sale of goods or merchandize from a fixed location, the etymology explains how retailing refers more to the act of selling goods in individual quantities than the location from which it is sold.

6. Internet, Social Media and Luxury Strategy

Over the past decade, a brand new mass medium has made a dramatic appearance in the form of the Internet – with its major application, the World Wide Web, commonly known as the web. The Internet has drastically changed all traditional business models. In the luxury industry, there has been fierce questioning about how to approach this growing phenomenon, and how to preserve a unique brand image in the open world offered by the Internet. Luxury brands have long debated how to integrate this powerful and intrusive channel of mass communication into the intimacy of an exclusive luxury brand’s strategy.

7. Branding Principles in the Luxury Industry

Over the years, the notion of luxury has changed. In the classical luxury of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the focus was on the product; during the 1920s this focus shifted to the product’s creator. In the 1970s, luxury became dominated by the media – images and luxury became the brand. Changing consumer behavior and competition in the luxury market explain the shifting notion of luxury.

8. Brand Extensions in the Luxury Industry

Brand extensions are an interesting brand strategy alternative, as they may attract new segments of customers who, for various reasons, may have not considered the luxury brand before. The luxury brand extensions have gained such momentum that today a fan of a luxury fashion house is able not only to dress herself from head to toe in a beloved designer’s clothes, but also serve dinner in the same designer’s porcelain dinnerware or simply dine in the restaurant under the same designer’s name (Ralph Lauren, for example). The American luxury jewelry brand Tiffany & Co., long known for fulfilling every woman’s dreams by offering high-end jewelry and high-quality silver accessories in the iconic blue box, decided to try gaining more business by extending the brand into watches, hand-bags and briefcases. Some luxury fashion brands, like Gucci and Stella McCartney, have joined many others, like Burberry and Ralph Lauren, in targeting children (or their fashion-conscious mothers) by offering children’s wear lines – a popular luxury fashion brand extension.

9. Sustainable Development in the Luxury Industry: Beyond the Apparent Oxymoron

Everything seems to oppose the concepts of luxury and sustainable development. French consumers, for example, evaluate the degree of association between luxury and sustainable development at the same level as they do for sustainable development and oil companies or banks. This comes as no surprise if luxury is considered inessential, superfluous, exclusive and ostentatious, as these are the exact opposite of the values conveyed by sustainable development. So, is that the end of the story? Not if we add that luxury is also about craftsmanship and sense of savoir-faire, an example-setting industry associated with authenticity, high quality, durability and timelessness of models. By paraphrasing the philosopher Dominique Bourg, sustainable development is a question of rediscovering a lifestyle based on quality at the expense of quantity. This suggests that there is a clear bridge between luxury and sustainable development, especially when luxury brands have the power to influence consumer aspiration and behaviors.


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