HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CONDÉ NAST INTERNATIONAL MINDFUL LUXURY CONFERENCE
Pierre Denis, CEO of Jimmy Choo, spoke about where he sees future opportunities for the accessories industry in the Middle East and beyond.
In Online: A Road of Its Own, José Neves, Founder and CEO, Farfetch, Morin Oluwole, Head of Luxury, Facebook / Instagram and Yasmin Sewell, Fashion Director, Style.com explored the factors shaping the future of luxury retail – from technology to smart cities, Artificial Intelligence to payment services, generational change to virtual reality.
Oluwole spoke of Instagram’s plans for the year ahead, focusing on testing shoppable products and what this will mean for the overall consumer online journey. Luxury is one of the top categories for engagement on the channel, and an intimate space where you can engage with consumers. The average consumer accesses Instagram 10 times a day, while 20 times a day for the luxury consumer. Instagram is going to focus on “how to take advantage of people’s needs, emotions and translate it in to a more relevant shopping experience,” and Facebook Inc. are producing a 10-year roadmap to factor in AI, with a focus on integrating product try-ons using Instagram and facial recognition. José Neves spoke of his belief that AR is in fact augmented retail, reminding the audience that 92% of transactions take place in stores, hence his passion for the physical retail experience. Yasmin Sewell spoke of the fact “technology gives us time, and time is one of the greatest luxuries of today.”
Huda Kattan discussed the organic creation of digital beauty as a powerpoint of social media, successfully building more than 18 million followers by “being true to yourself.” Kattan described the way the brand was “born into social media”, using it as a place for people to get to know the brand, “forming an alliance and a knowledge of the person behind the brand, that person now being more than the creative, but also the face, the spokesperson, the one strategically planning.” Kattan went on to discuss changing perceptions in beauty, with two clear trends, on the one hand a move towards homogenous beauty with east meeting west creating a more consistent beauty, while at the same time a sense that people are embracing individuality, whether the gap in the teeth or the freckle.
In the closing remarks of the two-day Luxury Conference, Futurist Sophie Hackford said from a technology perspective the way business operates in the next few years is going to change dramatically. Stefan Siegel added he believes now is “the end of linear economies – they are the opposite of mindful luxury”. Mindful Luxury should not be categorised as a business division, it is a mindset to implement sustainable luxury. It is now more important than ever to invest in talent and education for young entrepreneurs, to have the opportunity to become global success stories as we have seen in speakers such as Huda Kattan and Edgardo Osorio.
Other speakers included Paul Andrew, Design Director for Women’s Footwear, Salvatore Ferragamo; Founder, Paul Andrew; Rania Masri, General Manager, Level Shoes, Chalhoub Group; Edgardo Osorio, Creative Director and President, Aquazzura; Raffaello Napoleone, CEO, Pitti Immagine; Matthew Rubinger, Senior Vice President, International Director, Handbags & Accessories, Christie’s; Lapo Elkann, Chairman and Founder, Italia Independent Group and Garage Italia Customs; Pascal Mouawad, Co-Guardian, Mouawad Group; Solange Azagury-Partridge, Jewellery Designer; Tarang Arora, Creative Director & CEO, Amrapali; Caterina Occhio, Founder and CEO, SeeMe; Matteo Marzotto, Executive President, Italian Exhibition Group; Dalia Daou, Designer, Daou Jewellery; Noor Fares, Founder, Noor Fares.
The Co-Lead Partners of the 2017 Conference are Place Vendôme Qatar and Oman Air; Host Sponsor is Omran; Destination Sponsor is Ministry of Tourism; and the Car Sponsor is Genesis. Bank Muscat; Chaloub Group; Facebook; Intesa San Paolo; Khimji’s Watches; McArthur Glen; Muscat Bay; Muscat Duty Free; OAMC; Omantel; Opium, Thor Equities 680 Madison; White Communications; Zappos Luxury are all Event Sponsors. The Condé Nast International Luxury Conference 2017 is produced by IMG with photos by InDigital.
The seminar took place at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, a five- star resort in Oman, Muscat on 5th and 6th April 2017.
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