link.png On the topic of "Hard Luxury": the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference← Back


Image source - Condé Nast International Luxury Conference

The beautiful painted ceilings of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio were host to the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference for the past two days.
 
The conference was hosted by Suzy Menkes, fashion journalist and International Vogue Editor and saw key figures from the luxury industry, from Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz to Albert Bensoussan, Kering’s CEO of luxury watches and jewellery, share their ideas on the topic.
 
Focusing on the theme of “Hard Luxury”, the conference was an opportunity to discuss the challenges facing the luxury industry such as the new, younger luxury consumers. A key topic was the place of technology in luxury and how it is shaping the future of luxury. Frederic Cumenal, CEO of Tiffany & co summarized: “Luxury is evolving: because luxury is a living body; luxury is at the centre of culture and culture is evolving very fast.”
 
 
 
With technology now being such an important facet of the high-end market, it was fitting that the conference was opened by Apple’s Jonathan Ive and designer Marc Newson, only two days before the release of the Apple Watch that they co-created. During their discussion with Suzy Menkes, they explained how they were both trained manually and that this artisanal element still needs to hold an important place in luxury in an era of technology. This was a opinion backed by the likes of  Alber Elbaz and Chloé’s Clare Waight Keller, who both felt that a computer has no place in their lives as fashion designers, instead working closely in a relationship with ateliers.   
 
Karl Lagerfeld, who is amongst the first to have been seen wearing a gold Apple watch, was also amongst the guest speakers. Known for his relentless work ethic, he commended having a “high-speed professional life”. As the final speaker he explained that, as a designer, he has never visited the Fendi and Chanel archives as it is unhealthy to look towards the past.