Vivatech: FancyTech, winner of the LVMH Innovation Award 2024

FancyTech, a video content production platform based on generative artificial intelligence, wins the Grand Prix of the LVMH Innovation Award 2024. This technology is particularly well represented among the seven winners in the various categories. The awards testify to the growing interest of the number one luxury goods company in content, conversation and… sound experience. LUXUS PLUS was once again present.


Of the 1,545 startups from 89 countries that entered the LVMH Innovation Award, only seven remained on the main stage at Vivatech on Thursday May 23 for the traditional family photo taken at the end of the ceremony.


During this eighth edition, presented by Swiss humorist Marina Rollman and rewarding tech solutions capable of accompanying the luxury group on its path to excellence, FancyTech walked away with no less than two trophies: the Grand Prix and the Immersive Digital Experiences category.


FancyTech’s Chinese-born CEO, Morgan Mao, had the honor of posing with Bernard Arnault as a traditional sponsor, impeccably dressed in a charcoal suit and black turtleneck.


As winner of the LVMH Innovation Award Grand Prix, FancyTech succeeds Save Your Wardrobe (2023), Toshi (2022) and Bambuser (2021).


The crowning glory of generative AI


Founded in 2019 and supported by a 200-strong team, FancyTech specializes in 3D modeling coupled with brand briefing and film generation via artificial intelligence. In particular, the solution enables static images to be animated. The Singapore-based company is no stranger to the world of LVMH, counting among its clients the Givenchy and Hublot houses, subsidiaries of the Number One in luxury goods, as well as competitors such as Burberry and Blancpain.


Interviewed by Fashion, Morgan Mao, the company’s young CEO, indicated that he would like to continue his meteoric expansion by opening “an office in Paris next month” and thus “get closer to the headquarters of European brands”.


For its part, BLNG AI, the Virtual Studio specializing in jewelry and the development of solutions in generative artificial intelligence, from sketch to final design, was awarded the Jury’s Special Mention Prize.


More generally, artificial intelligence – once again a major theme at Vivatech – was particularly well represented among the solutions competing for the LVMH Innovation Award 2024. “At LVMH, we are definitively convinced that generative AI will transform our processes and bring efficiency in many areas, such as clienteling, supply chain, content creation and marketing […] We want to move fast and therefore wish to accelerate the rate of adoption of this technology internally,” said the Group’s Director of Technology and Information, Franck Le Moal.


But the Group refuses to confuse speed with haste, or to advocate a dehumanized vision of physical commerce, its core business. “Artificial intelligence represents an enormous opportunity to create value for our customers in terms of personalization, efficiency or service,” confirms the Group’s new innovation and data director, Gonzague de Pirey. “As a leader in our industry, it is our responsibility to promote an ethical and reasoned use of artificial intelligence, i.e. one that is human-centered,” he continues. We strongly promote the use of this technology to augment our people and support them in their constant quest for excellence, not to replace them.”


The recent launch of a human-centered AI training program, in partnership with Stanford University, is a step in this direction. This training aimed at the responsible use of AI will thus be addressed to all Group employees, creatives included. “A misuse of AI carries the risk of flattening creativity. Conversely, its right use can foster it if it is driven by the conviction that creativity and empathy remain in human hands.”


AI is also seen as a strategic tool for developing internal mobility in a group that has become international. For the Group’s Head of People and Transformation, Maud Alvarez-Pereyre, “with 230,000 employees across 75 companies and 81 countries, we need to harness the power of AI to match people and jobs. This technology will be used by HR teams around the world to disrupt us, offering profiles we wouldn’t otherwise have, and creating diversity in the people we promote.”


Other paths to excellence



Video – at the heart of the challenges facing 22 Montaigne, the Group’s new Entertainment division headed by Antoine Arnault and Anish Melwani – is far from the only angle in the design of memorable experiences. According to the Group’s Global Brand Officer, Mathilde Delhoume-Debreu, sound is “vastly under-utilized” by the luxury sector. Ircam Amplify, a French start-up that also uses artificial intelligence, was awarded the Image & Media for Brand Desirability prize. The French company has already worked for the Group’s three Maisons Louis Vuitton, Tag Heuer and Krug.


Sustainability applied to the point of sale was also represented, with Aectual receiving the award. This Dutch company, which specializes in 3D printing and architectural finishes using recycled materials to bring more circularity into the store, managed to win over brands as diverse as Tiffany & Co, Nike and BMW. It won the Sustainability & Greentech Award.


Glanceable, another French nugget, was hailed in the Retail & Omnichannel category, i.e. the customer relations section responsible for delivering the best retail experience. The solution uses AI technology to analyze customer feedback. Its CEO, Charles Dognin, summed it up as “the first AI partner capable of summarizing, analyzing and acting on all customer feedback.”


Responding to diversity and inclusion (DE&I) issues within the Group, Japanese company Heralbony, meanwhile, won the Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion Award. This start-up offers artistic license to companies, with unique stories by disabled artists.


Augmented Trophy


Better than a breeding ground (for talent or start-ups), LVMH prefers the allegory of a flourishing orchard. This is reflected in its “Dream Garden”, a pavilion in the Group’s colors, set up in the heart of Hall 1 at Porte de Versailles for the Vivatech trade show, and housing a majestic tree of life, immaculately white with pink foliage. This “structure adorned with meticulously hand-crafted lacy paper foliagecan also be found in the various trophies awarded to the winners of the LVMH Innovation Award 2024.


True masterpieces of art, craftsmanship and human tradition, these trophies were created by Murano glassblowers using artificial intelligence.


Always sensitive to the unique character of its creations, the LVMH group states in its press release that “each piece shines with a unique iridescence, embodying the fusion of creative spirit and technological innovation”. It adds that “Artificial Intelligence has been fully integrated into the creative process, as a source of inspiration, thanks to a tool designed by Dior teams, INSPAIRE.”


Finally, following on from its protective trunks for the Olympic and Paralympic medals at the Paris 2024 Games, Louis Vuitton has created a unique trunk for the Grand Prix du LVMH Innovation award, “reflecting its heritage and expertise in making bespoke trunks and special requests”.


At Bernard Arnault’s request, Luca Albero, Creative Director of Visual Merchandising at Christian Dior Couture, presented the trunk containing the famous Grand Prix trophy.


LVMH, start-up accelerator…


As the Group’s newly appointed CEO, Stéphane Bianchi, reminded us, “Why do we innovate at LVMH? We innovate for excellence, in every one of our products, services and customer contacts.” And he adds that the Group’s success in the age of omniscient AI is first and foremost a matter of flesh-and-blood individuals: “It’s a question of teams, of partners” and this in order to build “a whole new smart community”.


True to form and welcomed like a true rock star, the Group’s Chairman and CEO, 75-year-old Bernard Arnault, was in charge of presenting the Grand Prix of the LVMH Innovation Award.


It was an opportunity to recall an entrepreneurial odyssey that began 36 years ago, and more particularly that of the Internet and entertainment boom.


Bernard Arnault recalled that “with LVMH, we have always supported and invested in innovative companies. Some have done well, others less so. For example, we invested in the early days of Google, but also in Netflix at a time when it was a DVD rental business. There are reasons for success. The first is creativity and innovation. But that’s not enough. For a luxury brand as for a start-up, the quality of your product is paramount. The third point is the presence of entrepreneurial spirit and efficiency.


A great fan of tennis, Bernard Arnault was quick to use a sporting metaphor to anchor the event in this Olympic year: “To be an entrepreneur, you need to have the spirit of a top-level athlete. To have it every day and for a very long time. Believe me, for you this is just the beginning.”


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Palmarès complet du LVMH Innovation Award 2024 :

Image & Media For Brand Desirability : Ircam Amplify (France)

Sustainability & Greentech : Aectual (Pays-Bas)

Immersive Digital Experiences : FancyTech (Singapour)

Omnichannel & Retail : Glanceable (France)

Operations Excellence : Authena AG (Suisse)

Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion : Heralbony (Japon)

Mention spéciale Data and Artificial Intelligence Solution : BLNG AI (Etats-Unis)

Grand Prix : FancyTech (Singapour)



Featured Photo: © Claire Jaillard/LVMH

Picture of Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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