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The Economist explains: China's addiction to luxury goods ASK any luxury retailer where their most valuable customers are from and most will say China. The post-2008 years have not been the easiest for luxury brands, but China's apparently unquenchable thirst for all things bling has made up for the slowing down of European consumption. By some estimates, half of the world’s luxury spending will come from Chinese wallets by next year. The Chinese taxman, however, is missing out on the splurging: around two-thirds of luxury products bought by Chinese (and often made in China) are purchased outside the country. Why do the Chinese spend so much on luxury goods abroad? The Chinese only recently started making enough money to splurge. The main reason why they buy abroad is price. The slowing Chinese economy and an official crackdown on corruption and lavish gifting has tempered the luxury market after years of double-digit growth.

Transgender Models Strike A Pose In New Barneys Ads, Catalogs: PHOTOSNewNowNext by Eric Shorey 1/30/2014 Valentijn (on left) wears Giorgio Armani. Ryley (center) wears Armani Collezioni. Barneys has taken a progressive step forward with its new ad campaign and catalogs: Shot by legendary photographer Bruce Weber, “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters“ features some 17 trans men and women sporting high-end fashion available at the luxe retailer “I was exquisitely aware that in the last decade, the [lesbian, gay and bi] communities have made extraordinary advances, and the transgender community has not shared in that progress,” Barneys marketing exec Dennis Freedman, formerly the creative director of W magazine, told the New York Times. The models are depicted interacting with family members and loved ones (while still looking devastatingly gorgeous) and their personal stories are being shared on a Barney’s mini-site, The Window. One of the participants, Valentijn de Hingh, was impressed Barneys looked beyond the bottom line: h/t: New York Times @eric_shorey

Luxury faces tough quest for next big market The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own. With China demand slowing and a weaker yuan, luxury brands face less fashionable growth. China has gone from a blip on luxury’s radar 15 years ago to the source of a third of global sales. The conditions for a luxury growth story are pretty specific. India has many of the same conditions. Brazil has also lost appeal as its currency has fallen in value. The most promising market might not be emerging but re-emerging.

Is Luxury Branding Bad for Society? Surprise! Research shows exposure to luxury brands make us more selfish.New research, reported in The New York Times this week (and elsewhere earlier), corroborates what all of us driving Hondas have always told ourselves: that guy in the BMW actually is a jerk. Well, at least he (and males were significantly worse than females) and other drivers of Porsche, Mercedes, etcetera are more like to blow through a pedestrian-prioritized crosswalk than non-luxury car drivers, according to this survey, which is summarized in the video below. We May Be Inherently Selfish, but Luxury Brands Make Us More SoSo, is this just a facet of my-wallet-is-bigger-than-your-wallet male psychology, or do luxury brands exacerbate our less socially positive and more self-aggrandizing tendencies? Harvard Study Says The Devil May Actually Wear PradaA 2009 study out of Harvard Business School offers these bracing insights So What’s A Luxury Brand to Do?

Chanel vs. Chanel: Coco's Brand Steps Off the Runway and Into the Courtroom Chanel is ubiquitous—on the runway each fashion week, in its boutiques lining Fifth Avenue and Rodeo Drive, and now in the courtroom as it seeks to uphold its trademark rights against a little-known salon and spa in Indiana. Merrillville, Indiana, to be precise. According to papers filed in the US District Court in Hammond, Indiana, Chanel Inc. has filed a trademark infringement action against Chanel’s Salon, arguing that the salon is benefiting from an association with the chi-chi brand’s reputation. The LVMH-owned brand also claims it has sent cease and desist letters that have been ignored. The fame of the Chanel trademark is hardly disputable, a factor weighing in the luxury brand’s favor. The court will also consider that Chanel’s Salon is owned by Chanel Jones, and therefore, it would seem that her use is not intended to be adverse to the label started by designer Coco Chanel. Unfortunately for Ms. It might be hard for a Mrs.

How Not to Extend Your Luxury Brand In 1972, Diane von Furstenberg created the multifunctional wrap dress, which captured the imagination—and the pocketbooks—of a generation. By 1976, she had sold more than five million of her designs and was hailed by Newsweek as “the most marketable woman in fashion since Coco Chanel.” Von Furstenberg didn’t stop there: She developed a line of beauty products and fragrances and stamped her name on everything from luggage to eyewear to jeans to books. The strategy worked at first. Von Furstenberg’s premium name generated high margins for every product it adorned, regardless of the category. But a few years into this heady growth, the brand lost momentum. What happened? But our study of 150 luxury brands, involving interviews with more than 300 executives worldwide and analyses of approximately ten years’ worth of financial data for each brand, shows that this rule doesn’t always hold. Consider Louis Vuitton and Cartier, each of which has gross margins above 79%.

Market turmoil hitting luxury brands - Business Insider REUTERS/Hannibal HanschkeA member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) covered with artificial blood, stands on fur during a protest against the use of fur in front of a boutique of luxury goods company Burberry in Berlin April 12, 2007. Nothing is going quite right for the world's major luxury goods brands at the moment. The market tumult that began in China and ripped through Europe and the Americas is particularly bad for some companies, and there's no question that major producers of fashion items, watches and jewellery are among them. A HSBC note released on Wednesday gives the main reasons for that, explaining why stock prices for these major brands have been even weaker over the past month than other big listed companies. A chart from the research note shows that altogether, major luxury stocks are actually in a bear market — taken from their various highs over the course of 2015 so far they're down 22.4% today. Here's how it looks: Investing.com, Business Insider

Christian Louboutin: The World’s Most Fabulous Shoes, Channel 4 - TV review - Reviews - TV & Radio - The Independent These objects of desire are not designed with commerce or comfort in mind, but they are supposed to make the wearer happy. Louboutin revealed that a picture of Princess Diana looking sadly at her feet was the inspiration for the very first pair of shoes he designed under his own name. “It would be nice to have something to make her smile, when she looked at her feet.” Luckily, you didn’t have to be overawed by Louboutin’s creative process to find this year-in-the-life snapshot amusing. Not that Louboutin’s customers are complaining.

What does the rise of digital marketing mean for luxury brands? | Marketing luxury goods (Feb 15) The rise of digital marketing is changing the way luxury brands engage with customers, and traditional companies must embrace what is now possible in today’s connected and mobile world or be left behind. “The luxury industry is at a turning point,” said Chris Moody, creative director at brand consultant Wolff Olins, speaking at a seminar hosted by the Guardian and held in association with Harrods Media. An invited audience joined industry experts to debate the risks and creative opportunities for luxury brands enabled by digital technology. Digital interaction was a feature of the event itself, as audience members participated through an iPad app, submitting questions and voting on which ones should be addressed by the panel. The automotive industry is an example of the profound change wrought by digital, said Laura Schwab, marketing director at Jaguar Land Rover. “The amount of times people actually go to a car dealership has diminished. “We do no big bulk emails,” said Schwab.

Burberry’s CEO on Turning an Aging British Icon into a Global Luxury Brand Photography: Getty Images The Idea: Before Angela Ahrendts became Burberry’s CEO, licensing threatened to destroy the brand’s unique strengths. The answer? Centralize design and focus on innovating core heritage products. When I became the CEO of Burberry, in July 2006, luxury was one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. It was a sign of the challenges we faced. In luxury, ubiquity will kill you—it means you’re not really luxury anymore. One “Brand Czar” On the surface, I might have seemed an unlikely CEO for a company that was considered quintessentially British. I also clearly had one attribute that made me a good fit: I admire and respect great brands and helped to build some over the years. Unfortunately, Burberry didn’t have a lot of that. Then we went to America, where I was introduced to another design director and design team. Great global brands don’t have people all over the world designing and producing all kinds of stuff. Sticking to the Core The Ethos of the Trench

Luxury Brands, Social Networks and Building Communities «FMM Luxury Brands and their adoption of social media is the topic du jour. The conversations are noisy, speculative and highly theoretical. Every self-proclaimed social media expert seems to have the answer, but their strategies have massive disconnects. Why? Because they’re not working in luxury. Thankfully, as the fashion industry adopts new methods of marketing online, seasoned luxury marketers are speaking out and becoming voices of reason. At the heart of luxury branding conversations are questions related to community. No, not if implemented correctly. The words Exclusivity and Luxury have always been synonymous. A great example of a luxury brand building and developing its own community is Burberry. Burberry, in launching ArtOfTheTrench, wants to create an experience outside the environment of mass market social communities. “If Art of the Trench focuses on pictures of customers in Burberry coats, one might then ask, “What’s the sustaining attraction?” Articles Referenced:

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