💎Brilliant Cut No. 6:

Balenciaga's Cyberpunk Game, Peloton's Black History Apparel, YSL's AI-Powered Lipstick Pod, Pent Up Luxury Travelers, China's Nicknaming Phenomenon, Rick Owens Reshapes The Chuck, and More

Welcome to this edition of Brilliant Cut, a free monthly newsletter that delivers the most essential stories on luxury marketing strategies right to your inbox.

Issue #6 | February 1, 2021

BMW beats Mercedes and Lexus to become top selling luxury brand in US

(Carscoops) BMW has won the luxury sales crown as the automaker finished 2019 with 324,826 sales in the United States. Read more

Dior, Louis Vuitton outperform at Christmas

(Vogue Business) Despite an easing of the rate of decline in sales, the fourth quarter has not saved the luxury sector from one of the most turbulent years on record. Luxury analysts are also wary about the prospects for a quick bounceback in 2021. Read more

How Leica, the 107-year-old camera company, has survived and thrived in a digital age

(Luxury London) While the era of smartphones has all but decimated the affordable camera market, the luxury arm continues to prosper – with Leica leading the charge. The company’s UK managing director, Jason Heward, explains how the heritage brand has persevered in a dwindling industry. Read more

When the billionaire bling kids get to run Tiffany and Prada

(Bloomberg) The appointment of Bernard Arnault’s 28-year-old son to a senior role at Tiffany is the latest example of a luxury dynasty tapping the next generation. Read more

YSL’s lipstick pod gadget will create whatever shade you want

(The Verge) L’Oreal debuted a gadget at CES last year that promised to make lipstick shades in whatever color wearers wanted. This year, we’re learning what that device requires to work at home: lipstick pods. Read more

Italian luxury retailers get digital push

(WWD via Yahoo) The year just ended has been significantly challenging for the fashion retail industry, which had to deal with multiple lockdowns and consequently with piles of unsold merchandise. But in 2020 Italy’s top luxury stores made significant investments that, in the year ahead, should help them maintain their position among the leaders in global independent retailing. Read more

Balenciaga released its Fall 2021 collection inside a futuristic RPG-style video game

(Muse by Clio) For its fall 2021 collection, Balenciaga has released an RPG-style video game titled Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow. It takes place in 2031, a future that is bleak but also edgy, like a cross between Banksy's Dismaland and a post-industrial Berlin rave. Read more

Lexus crowdsources gamer-ready car design on Twitch

(Marketing Dive) Lexus enlisted the Twitch community to create a customized version of its 2021 IS sedan, designed by and for gamers. Read more

How Burberry uses digital to drive growth in its multichannel business during lockdown

(Internet Retailing) Burberry showed how it uses digital as a “key driver of growth” for its business. Read more

Cartier launches campaign showcasing house classics

(WWD) In unsettling times, people tend to gravitate toward classics, and Cartier is seizing the moment to round up its house staples for a group display. Read more

First look at pgLang full Calvin Klein campaign

(Highsnobiety) For the longest time, Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free's company pgLang has been shrouded in mystery. Is it a label? Is it a brand? Is it a production company? Now, after 10 months of radio silence, pgLang is finally making its debut with a campaign for Calvin Klein. Read more

Peloton announces Black History Month apparel collection celebrating pioneers and changemakers

(The Source) Peloton is celebrating Black History Month by highlight Black pioneers and changemakers, along with their contributions to society. Read more

Bulgari teams up with Save The Children for Giving Tuesday

(V Magazine) Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, a day to invest in global generosity and giving back to others—and this year, Bulgari’s #GiveHope social media campaign is doing just that. Read more

U.S. Sees Jump in ‘Million-Dollar Cities’

(Mansion Global) The number of U.S. cities where the typical home is $1 million shot up 17% in 2020, according to a report Monday from Zillow. Read more

Off-White x Nike Sneakers expected to top luxury resale list this year

(WWD via Yahoo) Sneakers, high-end watches and jewelry and a couple of desirable collections of designer apparel are expected to be the most sought-after items in the luxury resale market this year, according to The RealReal. Read more

Luxury travelers are ready to get back on the road in 2021

(Strategic Vision) A new study of consumers and professional travel advisors shows a net positive outlook for the luxury travel industry in 2021. Slightly more consumers feel optimistic about their leisure travel plans for this year than pessimistic, and luxury travel advisors see their business returning, albeit slowly, in 2021. Read more

What will Chinese fashion publishing look like in 2021?

(WWD via Yahoo) A round of changes at Condé Nast last year, which included the exit of Vogue China’s founding editor Angelica Cheung, Condé Nast China president Sophia Liao and group publisher Paco Tang, has had profound impact on how the Chinese fashion media landscape will look in 2021 and beyond. Read more

Call me by your nickname: Inside China's nicknaming phenomenon

(Vogue Business China) Calling a luxury product by its nickname, as strange as it might seem to an international luxury audience, is common practice in China. Young and old, consumers are used to inventing funny and sometimes not-so-glamorous names for products that have won their wallets and their hearts. Read more

How China’s beauty market might morph

(WWD via Yahoo) If the green light is given to foreign ordinary beauty brands to enter China without mandatory animal testing, it could be transformational. Read more

China takes the lead in demand for Swiss watches

(New York Times) As 2021 begins, the Swiss watch industry is navigating a new and unfamiliar retail landscape: For the first time, China is the world’s largest market for its products. Read more

Jing Daily’s weekly ‘The Social Edition’ takes a deeper look into luxury initiatives in China’s social media landscape:

📲 January 8, 2020 // January 16, 2020 // January 22, 2020 // January 29, 2020

Louis Vuitton launches its luxury bicycle line together with Maison Tamboite

(Entrepreneur) With a retro design, the French brands Louis Vuitton and Maison Tamboite have come together to launch the LV Bike line of bicycles. Read more

Rick Owens and Converse reveal square-toed TURBODRK Chuck 70

(Hypebeast) Legendary designer Rick Owens has released a surprise collaboration with Converse, reworking the Chuck 70 through his DRKSHDW line. The collaboration continues Owens’ relationship with Converse, with the designer previously referencing the label’s footwear through his own releases such as Spring/Summer 2014’s DRKSHDW Ramones High-Top sneaker. Read more

Master collaborator Takashi Murakami has finally put his smiling flower design on a Swiss watch

(Robb Report) You’ve seen Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami’s vibrant artwork on t-shirts by Supreme and Uniqlo, shoes by Crocs and Vans, and, of course, handbags by Louis Vuitton. But until this week, it had never appeared on the face of a Swiss watch. Read more

Moncler launches sustainable "Born to Protect" outerwear

(Hypebeast) Italy-based label Moncler has revealed the latest installment in its “Born to Protect” sustainability plan. The new capsule features jackets for men, women and children, all of which have been constructed using sustainable materials ranging from regenerated nylon to 100% DIST (Down Integrity System and Traceability) certified down. Read more

Redefining sustainability for 2021: The new priorities

(Vogue Business) Industry leaders weigh in on the goals needed to reshape fashion sustainability this year. 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:

👜 Nadia Tuma-Weldon, senior vice president at McCann Worldgroup’s Truth Central, discusses the changing behavior of today’s luxury consumer Apple / Spotify

💎 Rebecca Foerster, President of diamond giant Alrosa USA shares fascinating insights on the state of the diamond industry Apple / Spotify


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

Here’s how Apple can tackle the $230 billion luxury car market

Bloomberg technology columnist Alex Webb says the iPhone maker has an edge when it comes to design, software and maybe even batteries. But those advantages will only take it so far. Read it here

“Luxury is that which you can repair”—Why renewable fashion’s time has come

Vogue contributor Luke Leitch says "The old expression holds that a well-repaired object can be 'as good as new.' Today I’d argue that this no longer applies, because in 2021, a well-repaired object isn’t as good as new, it’s better." Read it here


Thank you for reading this,

Scott

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