💎Brilliant Cut No. 10:

Sotheby's 'Emporium', Luxury Brands Bet on Digital Fashion, Chanel's Cult of Celebrity, Prestige Beauty Surges, Luxury is Back, Rich Flock to Singapore, IWC x Mercedes, Politics of Fashion, and More

Welcome to this edition of Brilliant Cut, a free monthly newsletter that helps you smartly navigate the most important luxury marketing stories and insights.

Issue #10 | June 1, 2021

Marco Bizzarri on next chapter of Gucci

(WWD via Yahoo) Fashion cycles seem to last around five years, contends Marco Bizzarri, but he is more than ready to challenge this assumption. In a candid and wide-ranging interview, Bizzarri, who was appointed Gucci president and chief executive officer in December 2014, admitted that in March last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused Italy to enter a full lockdown, both he and creative director Alessandro Michele wondered about the future. Read more

Sotheby’s new NYC ‘Emporium’ offers a rotating selection of art, watches, and luxury collectibles

(Robb Report) Sotheby’s is going retail. The venerable auction house launched a new brick-and-mortar outlet in New York City called The Emporium, which will offer goods selected by a revolving group of tastemakers and influencers. Read more

Richemont’s perfect match has luxury price tag

(Reuters) Richemont’s perfect match would come with a luxury price tag. Chairman Johann Rupert acknowledged that the $60 billion owner of Cartier had been approached by several suitors. Rupert has plenty of options, but the deal that makes the most sense will require a big concession. Read more

Hermès hits hyperdrive with a one-off car design for McLaren

(Wallpaper) The latest project to cross the atelier’s threshold is this spectacular transformation of a McLaren Speedtail. There’s nothing remotely off-the-shelf about the Speedtail, the current flagship of McLaren’s Ultimate Series of hypercars. Read more

Lamborghini builds brand with mobile esports competition

(Marketing Dive) Lamborghini is hosting an esports tournament with the mobile racing game Asphalt 9: Legends. The competition will let players worldwide drive a virtual version of the luxury car brand's Essenza SVC12 sports car as they complete challenges. Read more

You can now explore a surreal Gucci garden inside Roblox

(The Verge) For the next two weeks, the virtual realm of Roblox is getting a dose of high fashion. Currently, fashion house Gucci is hosting an artsy garden space, which will be available for Roblox users to explore starting today through to May 31st. The space was conceived as a virtual counterpart to a real-world installation called the Gucci Garden Archetypes, which is taking place in Florence, Italy. Read more

The top 10 luxury brands in digital, according to Gartner

(Gartner) The top ten luxury brands in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Luxury lead in four online dimensions: site, path to purchase, digital marketing channels and social media. Read more

Zwirner may disrupt art gallery model with click-to-buy business

(New York Times) One mega-gallerist, David Zwirner, has decided to double down on what he took away from the last year: the need for a click-to-buy marketplace to sell original works of art. As a result, Zwirner has created Platform, a website which each month will offer 100 works presented by about 12 independent galleries around the world with prices ranging from $2,500 to $50,000. Read more

Everyone from Gucci to Louis Vuitton is betting big on digital fashion. Here’s why they should proceed with caution

(Fast Company) Digital fashion has been growing in recent years, and it represents a tremendous opportunity for both designers and consumers. But there’s a real danger that it could repeat many of the pitfalls of traditional fashion, particularly around discrimination and access. Read more

Maserati bends its Levante Trofeo like Beckham

(Branding News) Moving into a new era, Italian luxury vehicle manufacturer Maserati has found the perfect partner with which it can share this adventure: Sporting legend, style icon, businessman, and philanthropist David Beckham joined the automaker’s team as the global brand ambassador. Read more

Chanel’s new video series explores the cult of celebrity

(Harper's Bazaar) To mark the major birthday, Chanel has launched a video series that unpicks the nature of celebrity, shining the spotlight on six prominent figures with very different experiences surrounding fame. Read more

Gucci celebrates Its 100th birthday with an exhibition surveying creative director Alessandro Michele’s fantastical visions

(Artnet) In celebration of the luxury brand Gucci’s 100th birthday, creative director Alessandro Michele has debuted his latest fantasia-like experience, this time in the form of an immersive mixed-media exhibition entitled “Archetypes” that brings together fashion, art, music, beauty, and the joys of sensory overload to one space. Read more

Fendi’s bright new cafe in Miami is as groovy as its summer clothing

(Robb Report) Fendi isn’t just serving up coffee at its new pop-up cafe: It’s also serving a bright jolt of energy. Read more

Versace 'La Vacanza' Summer Beachwear Campaign

(Hypebae) It has been a while since any of us have been able to enjoy a vacation due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, but with Versace, we’re heading straight to the beach in the label’s new La Vacanza campaign. Read more

BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable French Brands

(Kantar) COVID-19 has proved an unpredictable force and has disrupted lives in unexpected ways. However, this year’s BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable French Brands have once again shown that having a strong brand is a good insurance policy against a world turned upside down. Read more

Prestige beauty grew 11 percent in Q1, per NPD Group

(NPD) According to the first quarterly data of 2021 from the NPD Group, the U.S. market’s prestige beauty categories are bouncing back. Prestige beauty sales almost hit $4.2 billion in the first quarter of 2021, up 11 percent from the same period in 2020 Read more

Sports and philanthropy top the pursuits of the wealthy

(Barron's Penta) The world’s richest population are most passionate about philanthropy and sports outside of their pursuit of wealth, according to a Wealth-X report. Read more

Global luxury sales could return to pre-COVID levels this year, Bain says

(Reuters) The luxury goods sector could shrug off the hit from the coronavirus crisis as early as this year as Chinese and U.S. shoppers help sales recover to pre-pandemic levels, consultancy Bain said. Read more

Luxury consumer sentiment in the age of Covid-19

(Altiant) Research firm Altiant brings the latest insights from their tracker covering 'Luxury Consumer Sentiment in the Age of Covid-19'. The analysis includes Evolving sentiment about the health and financial effects of the crisis, Consumers’ estimation of a return to ‘normalcy’ and the High-level impacts on their household income. Finally, the wealthy consumer tells us about sentiments towards vaccination and vaccine passports. Read more

Asian celebrities replace Hollywood stars as the face of luxury brands

(South China Morning Post) A slew of Asian-fronted campaigns for luxury brands marks a move away from picking stars that meet traditional Hollywood standards of beauty. Read more

Even after 8 months of double-digit growth in 2020, luxury sales in China reached new heights in Q1 2021.

(NPD Group) Chinese consumers' enthusiasm for and willingness to spend on luxury goods continued into 2021, beating the historic growth achieved in 2020. Total luxury transaction value grew 82.3% in the first quarter, and value per transaction was up 45.5%. Download infographic here

New Ranking Shows Chanel is Favorite Brand of Wealthy Chinese

(Business of Fashion) Chanel topped a survey of high-net worth consumers in China as their favorite luxury brand, according to luxury research firm, Agility Research and Strategy. Read more

What the JD Logistics IPO means for luxury

(Vogue Business) Today’s high-profile debut of JD Logistics on the Hong Kong stock market highlights the essential role of logistics in e-commerce and the future of fashion, from mass market to luxury. Read more

The super rich are choosing Singapore as the world’s safest haven

(Bloomberg via Yahoo News) When Singaporean car dealer Keith Oh first read the Facebook message, he wasn’t sure it was real. A Chinese client ordered a S$1.1 million (US$830,000) Bentley—sight unseen—over the social network. Read more

Chinese shoppers, stuck in China, revive local malls

(Wall Street Journal) With travel restrictions keeping people at home, many are spending at local shops with cash they might otherwise have dropped abroad. Read more

Jing Daily’s weekly roundup of the latest luxury social media campaigns in China

📲 May 14, 2021 // May 21, 2021 // May 28, 2021

Rag & Bone reimagines the neighborhood deli at Nordstrom’s Center Stage Pop-up in New York

(WWD via Yahoo) Rag & Bone has created an exclusive retail concept at the latest Center Stage pop-up at the Nordstrom NYC Flagship. Open through June 5, the space reimagines an authentic New York icon — the neighborhood deli. In addition to the NYC flagship, the immersive retail experience will be amplified via 10 select Nordstrom locations and Nordstrom.com. Read more

Netflix partners with Halston for its first luxury fashion collection

(InPut) Netflix is dreaming of a world where viewers don’t just ogle at a show’s fashion — they can actually own some of it, too. The streaming company is dipping its toes in the world of high fashion with a landmark Halston collaboration to celebrate the release of the eponymous designer’s biopic series. Read more

This Sotheby’s x Loewe Collab is the future of brand partnerships

(Jing Daily) Two of the world’s most sophisticated names in luxury and culture, the LVMH-owned Spanish brand Loewe and the auction powerhouse Sotheby’s, recently teamed up for a collaboration that has offered a glimpse into the future of brand partnerships. Read more

IWC and Mercedes-AMG team up for a racing-inspired titanium pilot’s watch

(Robb Report) Sports cars and sports watches have perennially made for a perfect pairing thanks to their mutual reliance on engineering and performance. In that spirit, IWC’s Pilot Chronograph Edition AMG is the result of collaboration with Mercedes-AMG, the sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz that takes racing technology to the streets by applying it to its road-going series of cars. Read more

The Politics of Fashion: A New World Order

(WWD via Yahoo) The easy etiquette dodge about “not talking politics” is out — consumers are pushing companies to take a stand. In the process, they’re pushing fashion — and other business sectors from airlines to sports leagues — into often new and unfamiliar territory that ties together politics, purpose and the consumer dollars and cents that still power the corporate world. Read more

Eton is upcycling the scraps from its shirts into customizable rugs

(Robb Report) The venerable Swedish shirtmaker Eton has been in operation for close to a century now, during which time it’s made plenty of, well, shirts. It only recently dipped its toes into the slightly less formal t-shirt category. But now, the house is shifting gears in the interest of sustainability, creating a series of limited-edition rugs made entirely of scraps from its production process. Read more

LVMH releases first comprehensive social and environmental report

(FashionUnited) French luxury group LVMH on Monday released its “first comprehensive social and environmental report,” in which it highlights its initiatives to support sustainable growth. It is the first time the Group published a consolidated report of its social and environmental commitments and initiatives. Read more

Produced and hosted by Scott Kerr, The Luxury Item is a podcast on the business of luxury. Check out the last two episodes and gain new insights on the luxury industry:

🛫 Uma Subramanian, CEO of luxury air travel service startup Aero, talks about why more wealthy travelers are opting for private aviation to get away Apple / Spotify

🍷 Maximilian Riedel, President and CEO of 265-year-old luxury glassware company Riedel Crystal, discusses innovation in glassware and digital strategies Apple / Spotify


Mixed Gems: Featured writers on luxury, fashion, and culture

What comes after sustainability?

Vogue writer Emily Farra writes how fashion brand Dôen is making a case for accountability and integrity. Read it here

Luxury packaging is often more powerful than the products

Mark Elwood from The Robb Report says a new study is a timely reminder that luxury is as much about marketing as it is about quality. Read it here

What kind of exclusivity are Chinese luxury consumers really looking for

Luxury Society’s Alexander Wei says understanding the local scene is no mean feat. how can brands create the “exclusivity” that sophisticated Chinese consumers really expect? Read it here


Thank you for reading this,

Scott

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