Local, fair trade, carbon-neutral . . . What makes a brand ethical and sustainable anyways? While everyone has slightly different criteria, there are some universal standards these brands must uphold, and there are some that do so under relatively intense consumer scrutiny. Read more (Thread Magazine/Cornell)
The impact of the shop-near-home trend has been noteworthy. According to the Wall Street Journal, the China unit of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE — owner of Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Dior, and many others — saw 65% growth year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020, while Kering SA, whose portfolio includes Gucci and Bottega Veneta, recorded a 40% increase in revenue in China during the same period. Currently, demand at brick-and-mortar stores is so strong that Gucci and Hermès stores in Shanghai have limited shopper visits to avoid overcrowding. China was virtually the only bright spot for both LVMH and Kering, as global revenue for the two luxury giants in the second quarter of the year plummeted 38% and 43.7%, respectively. Read more (Jing Daily)
China has emerged as the economic winner of the COVID-19 pandemic, and analysts predict that gains made in 2020 — when it was the only major economy to record growth — have set it on a path to become the world’s largest luxury market by 2025. At that point, Chinese consumers are predicted to make up nearly 50 percent of all luxury purchases globally, according to a November report from Bain & Co.
But could anything slow the runaway train that is China’s economy? Is there anything that would not make this a reality? Read more (Jing Daily)
From Gucci to Saint Laurent, some of the industry’s biggest brands opted out of fashion week again this season. Will they come back? Read more (Business of Fashion)
Unsurprisingly, LVMH is a master of storytelling and brand experience creation. Bernard Arnault famously described luxury as the ability to create desire. The greater the lust, the higher the value creation. In turn, more customers flock to the brands with the highest value creation and are willing to pay prices that correspond to that value. Read more (Jing Daily)
“In Japan, people have an impression that when someone stands out, they will be targeted or bullied,” she said. “So people learn not to stand out, and young people see this as a survival method. Teachers talk about individuality, and yet people’s uniqueness is crushed.” In corporate Japan, that in turn creates an atmosphere in which people are often scared to speak out, particularly in meetings, and especially if they are women, Oshima and Nozu said. Read more (Washington Post)
Mapping Knowns and Unknowns
Unlike traditional investments in financial assets, luxury goods can be difficult to value if one does not have an appreciation for their form. A rare painting, for example, does not generate cash flows, meaning its value is truly in the eye of the beholder.
To gain some insight into the market for luxury goods, this infographic takes data from Knight Frank’s 2021 Wealth Report to compare the preferences of nine global regions. Read more (Visual Capitalist)
Perhaps more significant than the boy’s subversion of upper-class clothing was the girls’ appropriation of masculine styles. Whilst the pants worn by working women during the war were mostly shed in relief, replaced by the welcome femininity of silhouette-skimming skirts, the Teddy Girls clung to the new sartorial codes that the adoption of menswear for women ushered in: boxy single-breasted jackets and the slicked back quiff hairstyle, a proto-mohawk that would eventually give way to the more extreme hairstyles of punk. Despite their non-conformist style and rebellious attitude, “I never thought of those kids as anything but innocent,” Ken Russell told The Evening Standard. “Even the Teddy Girls [from the 1955 series The Last of the Teddy Girls], all dressed up, were quite edgy, and that interested me; they were more relevant and rebellious — but good as gold. They thought it was fun getting into their clobber, and I thought so too.” Read more
The rise of conspicuous non-consumption has been a long time coming. Over the last decade or so, we have witnessed a slow and sometimes painful pivot as fashion at first ignored, then loftily entertained, and finally fell head-over-heels for the concept of “sustainability.” Those who were once dismissed as sackcloth-wearing, soy-munching, Gaia-loving outliers—ideology driven pioneers such as before-her-time Katharine Hamnett, perfectly-timed Stella McCartney, and of-his-time Christopher Raeburn—have proven to be the Cassandras who saw first what most of fashion was too busy making new stuff to realize: As a marker of desirability, being environmentally virtuous has transitioned from niche consideration to central parameter of desire. Read more (Vogue)