Luxury ... to me it's sleeping on three or four featherbeds and having a vintage car that runs well. Luxury can mean many things. There's a business of luxury and much of it is thriving. FT is holding its sixth annual Business of Luxury Summit at the Beverly Hills Hotel today and tomorrow. I'm not there (I wish I were, I wish I were) sadly. FT is tweeting (which may really make you sad, too, if you're not there). Besides the most wonderful speakers - Diane von Furstenberg, Leonard Lauder, and so many more - the Beverly Hills Hotel is pink perfection and the most glamorous history.
Some things from today's session:
"It's more important to empower women than to sell them a dress. If everything is market driven, it's no longer real." Diane von Furstenberg
The unique visitor volume for Conde Nast magazine brands have already surpassed physical magazine circulation.
The average consumer "likes" on average eight brands on Facebook per month.
"Sixty percent of VAT forms completed in France are completed by Mainland China shoppers." Leonard Lauder
"French Vogue circulation has increased 36% since 2000 to 150,000, and now has a huge following on Twitter." Jonathan Newhouse
Thirteen percent of luxury spending is via ecommerce, up from five percent last year, per Master Card.
"Making women around the world beautiful" is the ultimate luxury that Estee Lauder sells, per Leonard Lauder. "Aspiration is the key to luxury."
$347,000,000.00 in business is done by the largest airport shop in the world which is in Korea.
And all of this is in the vicinity of the Polo Lounge and the bungalows, the ones that Elizabeth Taylor and Clark Gable and so many other movie stars lived in for days and some for years, as Howard Hughes did (thirty years).