AKLC COMMENT(S): Interesting read
What if COVID-19 was about to create a more levelled playing field for independent brands? This question seems iconoclastic. But there are precedents of changing fortunes in other industries. Take beer and the way smaller brewers managed to challenge even the likes of AB Inbev because they were on the pulse with changing consumer tastes and able to boost quality.
There is a convincing argument that independent luxury brands are much more in tune with post COVID-19 trends than the bigger players. Could now be the time when the “magic” of independent brands also helps them rise above the heavyweights?
2. Luxury’s slow road to recovery
This spring, when then pandemic migrated to Europe and North America, all eyes were on Asia for signs of recovery and positive consumer sentiment. That recovery hasn’t fully happened.
“Covid-19 has forced luxury brands to postpone their fashion shows and cancel promotions events, and has disrupted supply chains,” GlobalData Retail Analyst Suresh Sunkara said. “However, since the start of the second quarter of this year, several countries in the region, including China, Japan and South Korea, have lifted most of their lockdown measures to bring normalcy in their economies, while countries such as India have begun phased relaxation of lockdown measures. This will bring some relief to luxury retailers, as they can now open their stores and resume operations.”
3. Pride Month Comes and Goes, but the Bond Between Gays and Luxury Is Forever
What is it with us gays and our designer everything? Why are we so infatuated with Louis Vuitton Bandoulières and Hermes Vide-Poches? Why do some of us see fit to blow the rent money on a Gucci or a Pucci or a Goyard? Why are we so luxury-obsessed?
In looking to answer this question I will begin with a snapshot of my own rags-to-bitches history: I grew up in the threadbare post-war austerity of 1950s England, watching my parents stuff cardboard inside their worn shoes in our two-roomed garret. Dismal was the mot-du-jour. Adding to the misery was the realization that I was one of them. A poof. At that time, the gay experience could be bleak. Expectations were dire. “They get blackmailed and beaten up,” said my dad as he earnestly attempted to redirect my life. “Many end up in insane asylums or prisons. Some kill themselves.” The terrible truth is that Pops was absolutely correct. He was accurately describing the lives of many gays of yore. We were truly marginalized.
4. Luxury brands roll out ‘distance selling’ model to woo customers
AKLC COMMENT(S): We are in this together 🙂
With most shoppers wary of visiting malls due to fears of covid-19, premium labels are making the last-mile effort. For instance, Reliance Brands Ltd (RBL), which sells the most number of foreign labels in the country such as Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Coach and Giorgio Armani, has rolled out “distance selling” for its regular shoppers that helped customers in 38 cities connect with store managers via video calls, e-catalogues and image sharing over WhatsApp and home-shopping between May and June.
5. Why Now Is The Right Time To Invest In Luxury
AKLC COMMENT(S): Very apt
Writing my weekly Future of Luxury column for Jing Daily allows me to reflect on some of the most critical and inspiring luxury topics of our time. Today, on my birthday, I’ve taken a moment to reflect on the lessons luxury brands must take away from the past calendar year, and what they might mean for them in the future.
In 2019, as we prepared to move into the last year into the 2020s, the need for luxury brands to make changes was already becoming urgent. Just a few months earlier, the Dolce & Gabbana China PR disaster sent shockwaves across the luxury brand community, and it became clear that “business as usual” wasn’t going to be possible anymore.
6. Hugo Boss to accelerate e-commerce growth over next two years
The German luxury brand said on Wednesday that the strategy will help it grow online sales to more than €400 million by 2022, up from €151 million last year.
The e-commerce drive comes on the back of three months of store closures across Europe as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
7. “We will continue to invest in the Indian market,” PB Venugopal, President, Lexus India
AKLC COMMENT(S): Good to read this 🙂
The Japanese carmaker Toyota’s premium leg Lexus has been making a lot of noise in India’s automobile market ever since it launched in the country in 2017. In January 2020, the company launched its first locally assembled car, the ES 300h, which received a good response from Indian consumers.
8. Practice yoga with elephants and take them for a stroll at this Thailand resort
AKLC COMMENT(S): Mentally dreaming of a holiday here ;;)
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort in Thailand is offering a luxurious stay in transparent domes located in the wild, named ‘Jungle bubbles’. A major highlight of this experience is that you’ll get to witness and interact with the elephants in their natural habitat. The bubbles are designed by Eye in the Sky, an adventure company, with high-tech polyester fabric using exclusive Precontraint Serge Ferrari technology. They offer protection from extreme weather.
9. Rahul Mishra launches e-commerce platform, creates couture film for Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode
AKLC COMMENT(S): Amazing 🙂 Big Applaud
Mishra’s intricately embellished womenswear and equally decorative menswear are now available to purchase online with worldwide shipping, the designer announced on his website. The new e-commerce store launched with Mishra’s latest collection, with most garments being ‘made-to-order’.
10. Pandora says consumers returning faster than expected
AKLC COMMENT(S): Good (y)
The world’s biggest jewellery maker was forced to close almost all its 2,746 shops worldwide in the first quarter due to the coronavirus lockdown, but that 86% of stores had reopened by the end of June.
The company now expects second-quarter earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) before restructuring costs to break even, compared with its previous guidance in May of negative EBIT for the period.
11. Digitize Or Die: Technology Makes Luxury Brands More Accessible
AKLC COMMENT(S): So apt! Very interesting read. Digitalisation is the future
The way people shop has changed. Technology has made it such that you can window-shop swiping through items on your devices and make a purchase from the comfort of your home.
According to statistics, global retail e-commerce sales will increase up to $4.13 trillion in 2020 and by 2040 about 95 percent of purchases will be done through e-commerce. This might be true for simple cheaper retail items, but luxury items seem to be a little far behind. It’s almost as if high-end products were exclusively meant to be sold in stores and not on a website. Until now.
12. A new luxury hotel is opening up in the Sedona desert next year, and it features 40 cube-shaped guest pods that appear to float above the ground. Take a look inside.
AKLC COMMENT(S): Waiting to go on our next vacay!
A luxury hotel consisting of 40 cube-shaped guest atriums in the Sedona desert is set to open in early 2021. Elevated above the ground on steel frames, the atriums look as if they’re floating in mid-air.
Article link: https://www.businessinsider.in/thelife/news/a-new-luxury-hotel-is-opening-up-in-the-sedona-desert-next-year-and-it-features-40-cube-shaped-guest-pods-that-appear-to-float-above-the-ground-take-a-look-inside-/slidelist/76882301.cms#slideid=76882409
13. Truffle farmer forced to give away luxury crop to locals for free with fancy restaurants closed
AKLC COMMENT(S): Sad 🙁
A wide variety of businesses felt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic that forced restaurants to close their dining rooms. The locals that live near one farmer, however, have been reaping the rewards.
Mike Collison, a truffle farmer in England, says that he has over $37,000 “rotting in the ground,” Southwest News Service (SWNS) reports. According to him, with no fancy restaurants to sell his crop to, he’s had to simply give the luxury crop away to locals for free.
14. How face masks are becoming fashion accessories
Face masks are not just the new ‘normal’ but they are also turning into fashion accessories. Apart from opening up business opportunities for home sewers, luxury brands have also been cashing in on its increasing demand by making pricey face masks. From varying prints to colours and designs, there is now a range of designer masks available to cater to one’s sartorial taste.
Some designers are also adding face masks to their runway collections. Collina Strada is selling printed masks, tied with bows, priced at USD 100 (Rs 7,498). Proenza Schouler, another women’s luxury brand, is producing masks in silk-viscose blend satin and nylon-cotton gingham print. Also, Prabal Gurung is selling masks made of floral jacquard fabric at USD 55 (Rs 4,124).
15. Mercedes-Benz’s New S-Class Will Have Screens—and Facial Recognition—for Every Passenger
AKLC COMMENT(S): This to tooo cool
Mercedes-Benz isn’t ready to unveil the new S-Class just yet, but that hasn’t stopped it from dishing out some tasty morsels of information about the exciting new features of its flagship over the last double of months. And while we’re still waiting to see how elegant it will look and how opulent the interior will be, the company has now offered up an in-depth look at the vehicle’s futuristic infotainment system.
On Wednesday, the German automaker unveiled the next-generation of its MBUX infotainment system that will come with the 2021 S-Class, and it’s hard not to view it as a giant leap forward for the company. While physically streamlined compared to past versions, the new system will feature five high-definition screens, augmented reality capabilities and biometric security features.
16. Fashion Week 2020: Prada headlines Milan’s first Digital Fashion Week
AKLC COMMENT(S): wow 🙂
Luxury fashion is adapting to the coronavirus pandemic by moving runway shows onto digital platforms. It was that, or cancel the season, a tough choice for an industry that in Italy alone is expected to suffer a 20%-30% drop in revenues this year, from 67 billion euros ($76 billion) last year. So the job now is to stanch losses and maintain ties with consumers, and a spotlight on digital displays given the necessity to maintain social distance.
Prada told its story through five video chapters by international artists, featuring glimpses of the collection against the backdrop of the Fondazione Prada’s exhibition space in Milan.
17. Tired of working from home? Upgrade to a luxury hotel suite for the day
AKLC COMMENT(S): Time for a workcation?
With occupancy rates now at 44% in the U.S., and European hotels not expected to fully recover until 2023, hotels are reaching out to a new crop of clientele — local residents who are tired of working from home.
Luxury hotels are now renting rooms by the day — often at steeply discounted rates — with extra perks such as gym, sauna and pool access for midday breaks. And unlike your local coffee shop or home office, suites are posh and Zoom-meeting ready with plastic-free fine dining delivery just a phone call away.
18. Jacquemus Hosts Runway Show In Spite of COVID-19 Pandemic
AKLC COMMENT(S): Jacquemus never fails to amazes us with their creativity & innovation
Simon Porte Jacquemus has become known for his romantic, experiential runway shows: in previous seasons, he has presented his collections along the beach or nestled within fields of lavender. So it was, perhaps, inevitable that he would eschew this season’s movement towards digital fashion shows.
Instead, the designer flew an audience of guests to the Vexin National Park, an idyllic natural space northwest of Paris. There, in a barley field, he had set up an outdoor show on a wooden runway 600 meters long. Guests – some masked, others not – were spaced apart from each other during the presentation. The models, however, were not masked.
Speaking to Vogue, the designer said, “For me, the runway can’t be a video. It’s at the heart of what we do; it’s not superficial. It’s important to all of us to continue, just like a restaurant that reopens. It’s like a movie of a summer day. It’s our life.”
19. Pamela Tulizo wins Dior Photography and Visual Arts Award for Young Talent
AKLC COMMENT(S): Congratulations
Based in Johannesburg, Tulizo won the coveted prize thanks to her Face to Face sensibility. The award carries a prize of €10,000 and the guarantee of a creative commission from the house of Dior.
“This young photographer of Congolese origin, who now lives in Johannesburg, chose to explore the richness and conflict of identity in African women in a series entitled “Double Identity.” In 13 color self-portraits, she demonstrates powerful representation, remarkable acuteness and genuine evocative strength which captivated the entire jury,” Dior said in a release.
20. New normal: Balmain’s Resort 2021 photoshoot approved over Zoom calls
AKLC COMMENT(S): More like the new abnormal, eh?
Shot during the lockdown, Balmain’s Resort 2021 is a fresh hit of breeze in the grim hours of the current pandemic. At a time when the fashion industry is trying to see through the blurred lens of the future, Balmain is unstoppable in finding ways to keep the bar of creativity high.
21.Are Digital Fashion Weeks Really More Sustainable?
AKLC COMMENT(S): Absolutely agree. Digital shows can never be an alternate to physical events, but they can complement each other very well.
It’s no secret that the endless cycle of fashion shows taking place pre-Covid, often in far-flung locations around the world, was bad for the environment. According to a report by Ordre, fashion buyers and designers alone contribute 241,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year by attending fashion weeks in New York, London, Paris, and Milan — more than the total emissions of a small country such as Saint Kitts and Nevis. And that’s not even counting all the models, press and other members of staff working behind the scenes to make fashion weeks happen.
22. Take A SkySafari Next Year For The Ultimate Luxury Trip To Africa
It’s bound to be love at first flight.
23. Christian Dior finds magic and roots in its cruise collection, but in Puglia not Paris
AKLC COMMENT(S): Amazing show 😀
Dior unveiled a magically infused cruise collection on Wednesday night in the main square of Lecce in Puglia, the home region of the father of the house’s couturier Maria Grazia Chiuri. An homage to her country, in a unique display of Italian savoir-faire and ancient artisanal skills that harnessed the mystical roots of southern Italy.
A collection that expressed the myths and rituals of Puglia – like the Tarantula dance, where Chiuri referencing Italian anthropologist Ernesto De Martino’s theories of the dance’s magical dimensions.
24. IPL 2020 to be held from 19 September to 8 November in UAE, confirms chairman Brijesh Patel
The eagerly-awaited Indian Premier League will start on 19 September in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the final slated on 8 November, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel told PTI on Friday.
While the event’s Governing Council will meet next week to chalk out the final details and approve the schedule, it is understood that the BCCI has informally intimated the franchises about the plan.
“The GC will meet shortly but we have finalised the schedule. It will run from 19 September to 8 November. We expect the government approval to come through. It is a full 51-day IPL,” Patel confirmed the development after PTI reported the dates on Thursday.
25. Rethinking the store of the future
AKLC COMMENT(S): The all new shopping experince
Retail is far from returning to normal, despite government restrictions worldwide easing. Brands are reassessing the purpose of their stores, while vast numbers close and consumer behaviour shifts.
The future retail store, once thought likely to be dominated by large-format flagships in key tourist cities with customer engagement front-of-mind with in-store art spaces, cocktail bars and event spaces is pivoting fast amid Covid-19. The new imperatives include safety first, fulfilling online orders ahead of consumer-facing sales, offering touchless experiences and focusing on personalisation for those brave enough to visit, experts say.
26. Two New(ish) Watch Shows Are Coming to Switzerland and China
AKLC COMMENT(S): Watches & Wonders and HourUniverse !
Despite the never-ending speculations that the old-hat concept of the trade show is dead, the watch industry continues to find ways to reconceive or reinvent them. On Thursday, Watches & Wonders—a consumer-facing watch event that began in Hong Kong followed by Miami and is now the name for the annual longstanding Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) trade affair in Geneva—announced that it will be heading to Shanghai this September. This news came more or less simultaneously with Baselworld’s announcement that it is rebranding itself as HourUniverse for April 2021.
27. BURBERRY’S PRE-SPRING 2021 LOOKBOOK IS MODELED BY ITS EMPLOYEES
AKLC COMMENT(S): Woah!
“I am so proud of this collection which not only reflects and celebrates the unique codes that make the house, but also the diversity of talent that represents our Burberry community,” said Riccardo Tisci.
28. 5 good things that may follow once the pandemic is over
Cough once, and it’s enough to earn you the side-eye from people around you. Sneeze, and you’re given multiple kaadha recipes to cure the ‘infection’. And if you’ve moved in with your parents to work from home, your millennial gestures, part of your personality now, will be questioned by the older people you’re living with. What do we owe it all to? The outbreak of a disease that has changed the world in ways we wouldn’t have imagined.
But if you come to think of it, the pandemic-stricken era has also introduced us to positive ideas and actions that were rarely considered in the past. The digitisation of processes has given way to successful remote working—be it in media, film or tech industries—and the challenges with the economy and restriction of movement have boosted the consumption of local goods. The time has provided us a chance to be more self-reliant, and taught us several ways to stay connected with long-distance friends and family members. While we still wait for our locked-down reality to meet its end, and for travel and leisure activities to reopen, there are a few silver linings, too, that we can’t ignore. Ahead, we list out the good things that may be in store for us, once it’s all over.