Founder and President of the Cabinet specializing in economic research, forecasting and strategic analysis Carles et Associés since 1995, Jacques Carles is also President of Le Centre du Luxe et de la Création (The Luxury and creation Center) which organizes each year in Paris Le Sommet du Luxe (Centre du luxe et de la création Summit). The next edition of the event, which brings together the leaders of the luxury industry every year, will be held on March 4, 2020 at the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand. The manager returns for the occasion, exclusively for Luxus Plus, to “Creative disruption: the future of luxury”, the theme that will be discussed during this day.
Interview by Claire Domergue
C.D.: Luxury homes integrate environmental and ethical requirements of society as technological solutions develop. How far will this green shift transform luxury business models?
From upstream to downstream, the entire chain from creation to sale is being reinvented in the face of the various current transformations.
Indeed, if luxury consumers have traditionally bought social status and exceptional know-how, they are more and more sensitive to the impact of their consumption and ask brands to commit to a more sustainable and inclusive world. .
The recent law to combat waste and the circular economy should contribute to this development, insofar as it provides in particular for the prohibition of the destruction of unsold goods.
But the luxury industry is not the only one experiencing these environmental and ethical transformations, all economic activities must today integrate these requirements!
Luxury homes thus integrate the environmental and ethical requirements of society as technological and scientific solutions develop.
From mastering “production on demand” to platforms that give a second life to luxury products. It’s a first wave of response.
But we are already seeing creators taking an interest in the promises of “vegetable” leather, obtained by the growth of animal leather cells in the laboratory, certain synthetic stones, or returning to traditional non-polluting methods in textiles.
There is a turning point which has been frankly taken and which goes in the direction of history.
Luxury raw materials evolve, its values espouse those of society, but luxury will remain first and always a unique experience for its customers, with statutory markers which change but which will remain in a triptych “Creation, Experience, Rarity” .
C. D.: Digital brands have multiplied in recent years. How far will virtual or augmented reality technologies shape production processes and luxury distribution models?
Digital has obviously impacted the luxury market. Especially because it is a new distribution channel at the same time as a new communication channel.
The luxury world has declined its storytelling on major digital platforms, with some success elsewhere.
It is difficult today to do without the web in a luxury brand communication strategy. On the other hand, digital distribution is more complex to tackle for large houses, because it is contradictory to the classic approach of exclusive distribution.
This is a new global digital retail job that is more like that of Amazon than the traditional job of luxury brands, and it takes time to learn. What is clear today is that no brand has really invented a “luxury” digital experience.
We stay in very beautiful and very well executed storytelling exercises, with “very licked” web front offices. But the overall digital experience right up to delivery is sometimes better for e-commerce giants.
This is a big challenge for luxury brands! Finally I really believe in the emergence of radical experiences in VR or AR, immersion makes the experiences unique and very striking.
Luxury has the means, through its creativity and heritage, to create magical and seductive experiences in virtual reality. When the creators of the luxury goods world take over these media, they will make history.
CD: If these disruptions are not “destructive” in the luxury sector, according to the famous formulation of the economist Schumpeter but “creators” of value, is it not because of the deep meaning that luxury embodies in our corporations?
Luxury is unique in that it is a deeply creative economy. These are exceptional men and women of incredible talent who have written the history of luxury. And there is something common in their approaches, it is to transform the breaks of their time into exceptional creations.
Because today the challenges are many, especially for the creators who are at the source of the influence of the luxury industry, it is essential to understand these breaks to better anticipate the consequences.
And the debates that will be born on March 4 during the 18th edition of the Luxury and Creation Summit will contribute to this.
Professionals in data and digital transformations (Luxurynsight, Valtech, MADnetwork ..) will testify of their experiences alongside experts in bioeconomics with actors of Haute Couture, Haute Joaillerie, Watchmaking.
Regional actors such as Bourgogne Franche-Comté, a true cradle of creators and the Chalhoub group, a privileged partner of luxury in the Middle East, will also enrich these reflections. And Business France, which supports French companies abroad and foreign companies in France, will shed interesting light on the attractiveness of the regions as part of a global geopolitical approach.
Luxury industry analysts at IPSOS will also provide cross-sectional insights.
By giving meaning to technical, social and economic disruptions in their creations, luxury brands always say something of their time.
More than any other economic activity, luxury can transform the ruptures of the world into creations, it is the secret of its growth and its longevity. Disruption is in some ways the DNA of luxury.