LUXURYCULTURE.COM - What Is Luxury, Now?


Get the inside track on the luxury boom as we hand pick the must-attend conferences of the season.

As the whirlwind tour of worldwide luxury conferences commences, with organizers at the ready, it's time to schedule in the most important dates of the season.

"Luxury is not the opposite of poverty, but of vulgarity." Coco Chanel

What is true luxury? For me, it is a philosophy. It means aspiring to something extraordinary for oneself. It also includes intangibles, such as time, light, space, silence... It can mean thousands of things, because it is so personal. Each of us does often have our own definition of it, but luxury's values remain universal.

Luxury has entered the industrial age, and that is irreversible. Because of this, luxury brands are confronted with a permanent state of tension, and they are constantly looking for a sense of balance. They lead paradoxical lives - striving to reach the greatest number, and yet to satisfy the smallest number: that tiny handful who don't live in a world of appearances, but rather of well-being. Those who live in the kind of luxury that makes you happy.

Those who would like to live in a world of "slow luxury," who know how to wait, who let time do its work, who seek exclusivity, rareness.

Today, the luxury brands that have forged their identity and reputation through years of work and perseverance are seeking each other out, watching one another, following each other's lead. And those that aspire to become part of that exclusive circle are
asking the same questions.

How should we approach such an immense, volatile and disloyal market? How can we educate the nouveaux riches, who may be young billionaires but have recently acquired their fortune rather than inheriting it? How can we look after the "cultivated" rich? How can we hold onto the dream and allow the greatest number of people access to it?

All those questions – and others, as well – have generated a growing number of
congresses, forums, trade shows, etc. Here, we have chosen a few, in different fields, that are worth singling out for the quality and organization of their guests and speakers.

Yaffa Assouline

> Moscow
IHT Luxury Business Conference

It has been seven years since IHT's world-renowned fashion editor Suzy Menkes, hosted the IHT Luxury Business Conference.

Every year a world capital is chosen, this year the conference will be held in Moscow where the cream of the crop of leaders and decision makers from the world of luxury and style will meet on November 28-29 to discuss Supreme Luxury. For anyone involved in the luxury business, this is the must go to event. This year's list of speakers includes: Sidney Toledano, CEO Christian Dior Couture; Tom Ford; Donatella Versace; John Demsey, Group President of The Estée Lauder group.

> London
The World Luxury Congress

From October 22-24, London will once again host The World Luxury Congress for the third consecutive year, which will pay particular attention to the future of the Luxury Business. The congress aims to learn from the experiences of those who have made luxury their business, as well as opening up vital networking routes, which are available to participants year around. On October 22, KPMG will host a pre-conference workshop "opportunities for growth in luxury", a perfect way to open up the event.

This year's illustrious line-up includes: David Tang OBE, founder of Shanghai Tang, The China Club, Pacific Cigar co; Nadja Swarowski; Andy Watt, Director of Millinery and Luxury Goods, Bentley Motors; Dr. Concetta Lanciaux, Senior Advisor to the chairman, Groupe Arnault; Guy Salter, Deputy Chairman, Walpole.

> Milan
The Luxury Goods & Fashion Human Resources Excellence Summit

The Luxury Goods & Fashion Human Resources Excellence Summit, which takes place in Milan from January 23-24, 2008, is a new event not to be missed. The summit will offer human resource professionals the opportunity to anticipate strategic and operational challenges, and meet the needs of high-end luxury organisations as well as those of their employees.

Attendees will be invited to discover how premium brands benchmark their artisan philosophy and manage to win over their highly demanding customers, while learning how human resource directors' and talent scouts' align HR policies to strategic business objectives so that high-end luxury companies' values are a vision shared by their employees.

Key speakers include: Antonella Pavoda, Director of Human Resources, Tod's Group; Flavia Spena, Director of Corporate Human Resources and Organization Bulgari; Valérie Mellul, Human Resources Development Director, PPR; Alessandro Chiesa, HR Development Director, Ferrari Group.

> Monte Carlo
The Luxury Marketing Summit

The Luxury Marketing Summit, organised by
Marcus Evans, one of the world's leading business information companies dedicated to assisting in strategic and effective decision making, takes place in Monte Carlo from November 7-9, 2007.

The summit brings together the leading figures in the luxury business, including: Tyler Brûlé, founder of Wallpaper and founder and Editor-in-Chief of Monocle; Mimma Viglezio, Executive Vice President Global Communications, Gucci Group; Nicolas Brindjonc, Director of Competitive Intelligence Department, Richemont; David Spooner, Vice President Sales and Marketing EMEA, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

> Shanghai
The China Luxury Summit

With more than 10% annual growth, China's luxury consumption market will definitely outgrow that of Europe and the USA and become the second largest luxury market in the world.

The China Luxury Summit held from November 8-9, 2007 will highlight some interesting points this year. Of the 10 themes that be will addressed one of the most fascinating on the agenda is "The sleeping lion: Keeping an eye on china luxury market – Is it a need or a must?" However, don't miss "Luxury and super rich – speaking the luxury language in Chinese" and much more!

> Cannes
The International Luxury Travel Market

Held in Cannes from December 3-6, 2007 is radically different to typical exhibitions and exceptional in its approach as attendees are carefully selected.

The market is a direct response to the sector's demand, as the number of high net worth individuals have practically doubled over the last five years. Today's luxury travel consumers are fuelled by the desire to experience new trends without compromising service, exclusivity or uniqueness.

IMTM is the place to go to discover and discuss cutting edge trends in travel and to get the inside track on the next great destination.

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