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18:00

WELCOME DRINKS RECEPTION SPONSORED BY THE CAPELLA SINGAPORE, WEALTH-X AND BILLIONAIRE.COM

08:00

REGISTRATION AND REFRESHMENTS

13:00

LUNCH SPONSORED BY FIDé FASHION WEEKS

09:00

Welcome remarks Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, President, International, The New York Times Company

14:00

China as a luxury goods producer and fashion powerhouse Yiling Zhang, President, Erdos Cashmere Group Gilles Dufour, Artistic Director, Erdos Cashmere Group

Introduction Suzy Menkes, International Fashion Editor, International New York Times

Fuelled by a growing middle class and the Asian passion for luxury, handbags and shoes are key to the luxury industry’s growth in the region. In these sessions, speakers will talk about their growth plans for South East Asia, and share insights into the creative strategies that help them appeal to consumers.

In the conference’s opening sessions, speakers will share their insights into South East Asia, why it’s such an important region for the luxury industry, and what consumers really want.

Building the Valextra brand in South East Asia Emanuele Carminati Molina, President, Valextra Marco Franchini, CEO, Valextra

Luxury in South East Asia and beyond: Opportunities in the pan-Asian region and Tier 2-3 Chinese Cities Ermenegildo Zegna, CEO, Ermenegildo Zegna Group

Anya Hindmarch in conversation with Suzy Menkes Ethan Koh, CEO and Creative Director, Ethan K in conversation with Suzy Menkes

Jing Ulrich, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Asia JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Asia: The next step in Jimmy Choo's global expansion Pierre Denis, CEO, Jimmy Choo and Sandra Choi, Creative Director, Jimmy Choo in conversation with Suzy Menkes

Guest Chair: Nader Mousavizadeh, Co-Founder and Partner, Macro Advisory Partners Reaching the South East Asian consumer Michele Norsa, CEO and Group Managing Director, Salvatore Ferragamo and James Ferragamo, Women’s Leather Product Director, Salvatore Ferragamo

15:40

At the heart of the 2013 Luxury Conference is this: When will Asia mature into a luxury creative powerhouse with a truly global reach? Suzy Menkes has brought together a diverse and unique mix of speakers to help address this critical question.

Building an Asian luxury brand Jiang Qiong Er, CEO and Artistic Director, SHANG XIA 11:10

11:40

MORNING REFRESHMENTS

AFTERNOON REFRESHMENTS

16:10

Asian creativity Angelica Cheung, Editor in Chief, Vogue China

Men are driving sales growth for the luxury goods industry in Asia. How can you tap into this crucial community? In this next block of sessions, hear from speakers at the heart of maleoriented luxury brands, and gain an overview of the South East Asian ultra high net worth male population.

The Asian wave of talent Elisa Stephens, President, Academy of Art University

A look at the South East Asian UHNW market Christian Barker, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, Billionaire.com Wealth-X Mykolas Rambus,

Anna Sui in conversation with Suzy Menkes

Reimagining Asia’s cultural place in the world Pearl Lam, Founder, Pearl Lam Galleries

Phillip Lim, Founder, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Wen Zhou, CEO, 3.1 Phillip Lim in conversation with Suzy Menkes

Guest Chair: Nader Mousavizadeh, Co-Founder and Partner, Macro Advisory Partners

Asian design talent Biyan Wanaatmadja Huishan Zhang Frank Cintamani, Chairman, FIDé Fashion Weeks; President, Asian Couture Federation

The South East Asian male’s passion for watches Grégoire Blanche, Regional Director South East Asia and Australia, Cartier A Chinese connoisseur discovers authentic Italian men's style Umberto Angeloni, President and CEO, Caruso Patrick Zhong, Head of Global Investments and Strategies, Fosun

Co-moderators: Angelica Cheung, Editor in Chief, Vogue China; Suzy Menkes, International Fashion Editor, International New York Times Bryanboy in conversation with Suzy Menkes

Developing and growing brand footprints in Asia Domenico De Sole, Chairman, Tom Ford International

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18:40

CLOSE OF DAY ONE SUZY@25 GALA PARTY DINATOIRE AT A SURPRISE LOCATION

TRANSPORT WILL LEAVE THE CAPELLA SINGAPORE, THE W HOTEL AND THE MÖVENPICK FOR SUZY@25 GALA PARTY DRESS CODE: COCKTAIL WITH A NAUTICAL TWIST

08:00

BREAKAST BRIEFING IN SENTOSA I, II AND III Presentation by: Amrita Banta, Managing Director, Agility Research & Strategy

Emotion in Luxury Pierre Rainero, Director of Image, Heritage and Strategy, Cartier

09:00

Welcome to Day Two Suzy Menkes, International Fashion Editor, International New York Times

12:15

LUNCH SPONSORED BY FIDé FASHION WEEKS

From sparkling stones to precious metals, the jewelry industry is enjoying growth in South East Asia. Learn more about the Asian jewelry consumer, and what this means for the wider luxury industry.

Princess Marie-Chantal, Founder and Creative Director, MarieChantal; Board Director, DFS Holdings, in conversation with Suzy Menkes 13:15 Luxury ecommerce is going from strength to strength – but how are retailers adapting to the unique markets of South East Asia? Where do the greatest online retail opportunities lie – and how can they be tapped?

Storytelling and emotion behind jewelry Stephen Webster, Creative Director, Stephen Webster & Garrard Jewelry and watches as emotional Vanessa Herrera, Business Director for Watches, Wine and Southeast Asian Paintings, Sotheby’s Hong Kong

Connected commerce in Greater China Andrew Keith, President, Lane Crawford and Joyce

Reinventing heritage for younger consumers Katharina Flohr, Managing and Creative Director, Fabergé

Guest chair: Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, President, International, The New York Times Company

Luxury in South East Asia – through gold-tinted lenses David Lamb, Managing Director, Jewellery, World Gold Council

Pioneering customer experience online Federico Marchetti, Founder and CEO, YOOX Group

Guest moderator: Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, President, International, The New York Times Company

Guest chair: Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, President, International, The New York Times Company

Dennis Chan, Founder and Creative Director, Qeelin, in conversation with Suzy Menkes

The luxury of touch, feel and physical experience plays a critical role in the South East Asian luxury retail landscape. This next session brings together insights from Indonesia to Thailand, the Philippines to Malaysia and beyond, to discuss the importance of physical retail.

The Asian passion for colored stones Ian Harebottle, CEO, Guest moderator: Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, President, International, The New York Times Company 15:15

Luxury retail in South East Asia • Chandra Widjaja, Director, Club21 Indonesia • Douglas Benjamin, Group COO and Creative Director for RAOUL, FJ Benjamin • Eman Pineda, Founder and President, Adora • Anh Tran Thi Hoai, Founder, Runway

AFTERNOON REFRESHMENTS

Luxury consumers have, for quite some time, demanded that the goods they buy be made in ways that do not harm the environment or the workers who make them. But where next for Suzy Menkes will invite speakers to highlight new industry initiatives and share their visions of ethical and responsible luxury.

Guest moderator: Robb Young, Fashion & Luxury Journalist / Strategic Consultant 15:45 In these next sessions, Suzy Menkes has brought together digital visionaries to share their thoughts on how excitement, passion and feeling can be conveyed through pixels on a screen. And what does South East Asia’s craze for social media mean for luxury brands?

David Briskin, sass & bide and Heidi Middleton, Co-Founder, sass & bide in conversation with Suzy Menkes A Kering vision: sustainable innovation and transformation Marie-Claire Daveu, and Head of Kering in conversation with Suzy Menkes

Marrying technology, art and commerce James Lima, Director, Art+Commerce How luxury brands can tap the Asian passion for social media Thomas Crampton, Ogilvy & Mather

The journey to sustainable luxury Maxime Labey, International Retail Director, Chopard Livia Firth, Creative Director, Eco Age 17:15

CLOSING PARTY OF THE S.E.A. OF LUXURY CONFERENCE SPONSORED BY FIDé FASHION WEEKS

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OPENING REMARKS

The future is here in South East Asia Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, President, International, The New York Times Company “The future seems to be very much here in South East Asia, so it is therefore not a surprise that global companies are increasingly looking at the region as a zone of enormous potential,” Opening the S.E.A. of Luxury conference in Singapore, Stephen Dunbar-Johnson of the International New York Times welcomed some 500 delegates from 36 different countries to an event that promised to be as varied as the vibe of the country itself. Describing how he himself has always been struck by Singapore’s “modernity, order and energy,” Dunbar-Johnson explained how the choice of venue for the conference was clear, given that South East Asia now offers “enormous potential” for luxury brands. The statistics more than illustrate his point. The South East Asian region has a population of well over 600 million. The average age is just 27. GDP growth as a whole is predicted to stand at 5.5% between now and 2017, while in 2011 alone the region attracted more than $114bn in foreign direct investment. These figures, he said, are underpinned by a rapidly growing middle class and an ease of doing business. “The future seems to be very much here in South East Asia so it is therefore perhaps not a surprise that global companies are increasingly looking at the region as a zone of enormous potential,” he said.

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While there is clearly what Dunbar-Johnson cited as “a significant disparity” between the wealth of particular countries within the region, as a whole South East Asia has become the target of intense focus from luxury brands seeking to tap into its potential. “A stroll down Singapore’s Orchard Road on any given Saturday shows the sheer number of young people consuming – there is certainly enough anecdotal evidence at least to compare the scene with that in London’s Bond Street or Parisian ChampsÉlysées,” he said. As this conference turned out to prove, the South East Asian region is one that luxury brands should be focussed on, based on a lot more than merely anecdotal evidence.

South East Asia has become the target of intense focus from luxury brands...

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INTRODUCTION FROM SUZY MENKES

Riding on a sea of luxury Suzy Menkes, International Fashion Editor, International New York Times Acclaimed fashion journalist Suzy Menkes, who this year celebrates 25 years of writing for the IHT/INYT, opened her welcome speech by explaining the reasoning behind the name for this year’s event: The S.E.A. of Luxury conference. “The idea was to create the image of water lapping at these verdant tropical islands,” Menkes explained. “Even although across the region - as here in Singapore - we [see such diversity as] high rise buildings versus orchid plantations, there is still a similar rhythm to these individual countries,” she continued. Menkes went on to explain how the concept behind the event itself, continuing with the theme of the sea, was to create ‘waves’ that defined key topics relevant to the South East Asian region. One of the key themes of this year’s event was to be the rise in prominence of the male consumer in Asia, or as Menkes put it the “fashion fetishism” now a part of the lifestyle of young men. Menkes referenced brand Tom Ford, itself planning to open a store in Singapore as a proven example of the “power of the well dressed male.” What cannot be ignored, she continued, is the popularity of the luxury watch in this region. “No area in the world can match Asia in terms of interest in watches,” she said, adding that in Singapore in particular, a good watch marks a sign of success. Intriguingly, one industry insider recently told Menkes that in the South East Asian region, up to 30% of male watches sales are attributed to women, who like their watches “bold and highly visible.” One of the most exciting things about the luxury goods market in South East Asia, said Menkes, was the fact that it is so culturally diverse. Comparing the region to China, Menkes controversially stated that the difference between the two lay in the fact that South East Asia has not been “wiped out by a cultural revolution,” remaining, in her words “varied and vibrant.”

FROM #INYTLux @ESSECLuxuryMBA Suzy Menkes: Optimistic abt the potential of growth of SEA market beyond just consumption. @INYTLuxury #INYTLux “Those trying to sell to this region appreciate the difference between the one time Dutch colony of Indonesia, and then Thailand, which never went under European colonial rule.” For Menkes, the influence of China cannot be ignored, and the buying power of Chinese consumers in South East Asia is a real game changer for the region. Menkes described how South East Asia’s “extraordinarily young” population is creating opportunities for young designers to emerge – suggesting that Asia is on the cusp of becoming a supplier to the luxury goods industry, rather than merely a purchaser. “This is the [issue] at the heart of this conference,” said Menkes, “I talked to young designers at the recent Jakarta Fashion Week, and there they are primed to build a new generation that will revitalize the skills of the South East Asian region – they have wonderful heart stopping skills. I am mesmerised by the beauty of the fabrics and tools of this region. Now that fashion schools from London to San Francisco are filled with Asian students there should be a movement toward a new kind of fashion fusion,” she said. Bringing to attention one of the key sessions from day one of the conference, Menkes gave an insight into how Angelica Cheung, Editor in Chief at Vogue China would champion creativity in the fashion industry in Asia. The Chinese edition of Vogue is testament to how popular luxury commence now is in the East – when the edition launched in 2005 the magazine struggled to find native models to grace its pages. Now it is so successful that it prints 16, rather than the standard 12 issues a year in order to accommodate the needs of its readers and advertisers. Menkes concluded her opening speech by bringing to attention to the recent Typhoon Haiyan tragedy in the Philippines by reminding the audience that above all, “health is more important than wealth. The thoughts of all of us gathered here must be with those suffering in the Philippines.”

“I am mesmerised by the beauty of the fabrics and tools of this region.”

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ASIA’s LUXURY CONSUMERS

China: A force to be reckoned with Jing Ulrich, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Asia Pacific, JP Morgan Chase Bank It would be impossible to talk about the future of the luxury goods market in Asia without reference to the powerhouse that is China. Here Jing Ulrich, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Asia Pacific for JP Morgan Chase & Co. reminds us of the influence of this formidable country – and not just when it spends within its own borders either. China is what many in the luxury goods industry would describe as the “promised land.” Every brand outside of its borders would love to understand and find resonance with its immense population. And as Jing Ulrich, known as one of the world’s most informed commentators on the Chinese economy succinctly points out, they have good reason to. According to Ulrich, the Chinese economy overall today is worth £10 trillion dollars. To put that into perspective, the US economy to date is estimated to be worth £15.7 trillion. “The Chinese economy has grown massively over 30 years to become the second largest in the world. It has 300 million middle class consumers,” said Ulrich. It is thought that China now accounts for between 25% and 30% of all luxury goods sales. Crucially, this figure includes its own tourists travelling overseas to the likes of Europe, the US and Australia. Last year, said Ulrich, 83 million Chinese tourists travelled overseas - making the country the largest source of visiting tourists in the world. Next year it is envisaged that the number of Chinese tourists travelling overseas will top 100 million. “If things continue at the current rate, who knows how long it will be before the figure easily reaches £150 million,” added Ulrich. By some estimates, Chinese tourists spend more on luxury

goods when abroad than they do at home because of price differences and taxes. Chinese consumers often are laden with three types of tax on top of their goods - VAT tax, an import tax and a luxury goods tax – meaning many items cost them up to 60% more than they would do abroad. Back on home soil and 52% of the Chinese population lives in cities these days, with the figure rising by 1% year-on-year. “That one per cent represents some 30 million people and while these newcomers in the cities might not be your luxury goods consumers today, they may well become tomorrow,” she said. However, Ulrich warns that the general urbanization of Chinese populations doesn’t necessarily mean that luxury brands should look at automatically going to where these populations are in order to grow. They should at least study very carefully the actual patterns of settlement in a country as complex as China she warns. Rampant growth is by no means a nationwide phenomenon. Some of the lower tier cities in China are suffering the knock-on effect of over-supply versus too few buyers at the moment. “Some are practically ghost towns,” she said. Some luxury companies have expanded quickly into China because overall its economy looks good. But they do they need to think, no matter how exciting China looks as a future prospect, about where they really should be within its vast borders. “Yes if you move too slowly you can lose your success, but also if you expand too fast your brand it can lose its authenticity which is so hard to retrieve,” he warned. Whichever way you look at it, the Chinese market for luxury goods is burgeoning and whether it’s people making those purchases here or abroad, the words of Ulrich suggest that purse strings, in many cases, are ready to be pulled at.

China now accounts for between 25 and 30% of all luxury goodS sales.

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REACHING THE SOUTH EAST ASIAN CONSUMER

FROM #INYTLux @fashionfriday James @ferragamo: being able to do something unique with current celebrities such as Lady Gaga is key. #inytlux

Reaching the South East Asian consumer [TOP] James Ferragamo, Women’s Leather Product Director, Salvatore Ferragamo. [BOTTOM] Michele Norsa, CEO and Group Managing Director, Salvatore Ferragamo.

@Postergirl Michele Norsa @Ferragamo: airports are an incredible way to become visible to consumers. Millions of people see your brand. #inytlux @FideFW 21 Nov James Ferragamo at @INYTLuxury Conference “Celebrities for @Ferragamo is really where is all began”. #INYTLux @tokinipeterside James @Ferragamo: 3rd generation of the family: we never stop innovating in fashion. #inytlux

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THE POWER OF THE MALE CONSUMER

Mykolas Rambus, CEO, Wealth-X and Christian Barker, CEO, Editor-in-Chief, Billionaire.com

Men & Money: The ultra high net worth male consumer. Men are driving the growth for the luxury goods industry in Asia, as figures revealed at the S.E.A. of Luxury conference suggested Menswear is a booming business in South East Asia, with the latest Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report 2013 finding that the region is home to almost 4,000 “ultra-rich males” with a combined wealth of $585 billion. In a session that revealed the proportion of high net worth individuals that reside in South East Asia, Barker and Rambus provided statistics that highlighted the future potential of the region. A high net worth individual, explained Rambus, has an aggregate value of $30,000,000, taking into account property and any other assets owned, and has a liquid spend of between $2 million and $5 million dollars. There are an estimated 200,000 people around the world that fit into this category – equating to just 0.00003% of the population. Between them, said Rambus, they have an aggregate wealth of some $28

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trillion dollars. Breaking down the statistics, the presentation went on to reveal that around 70,000 of these high net worth individuals reside in the U.S; 40,000 of them in Asia and 15,000 in Europe. Crucially, Rambus pointed out that Asia is actually expected to overtake the U.S in terms of the number of high net worth individuals it accounts for - and in the not too distant future. “There is lots of talk about the centre of money moving from west to east, and that is happening,” he said. “In the next eight to ten years we will see Asia become the number one in terms of number of high net worth individuals,” he predicted. It is calculated that at least 1,300 of those from this demographic live in Singapore, making it the sixth most popular country of residence for billionaires. In Singapore and Indonesia combined, high net worth individuals spend up to $1bn a year, based on the purchase of nine identified types of luxury item - excluding cars - added Barker. Congratulations if you were born in the year of the rabbit – apparently some 25% of those considered rich by the Wealth-X report were born in this affluent year of the Chinese zodiac.

FROM #INYTLux @21scents Asia has overtaken Europe for luxury spending @ ESSECLuxuryMBA @WealthX #inytlux @CNBCWorld EXCLUSIVE - Domenico de Sole, Chairman of #TomFord International tells us “menswear is strong in China” at #INYTLux conf in Singapore

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LUXURY IN SOUTH EAST ASIA & BEYOND

Opportunities in the pan-Asian region and Tier 2-3 Chinese Cities Ermenegildo Zegna, CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna Group, highlighted why China is such an important region for the luxury goods industry

FROM #INYTLux @brunanmiranda “@ESSECLuxuryMBA: Ermenegildo Zegna, CEO - shares latest lux consumption globally. @ INYTLuxury #inytlux “

In his speech at the S.E.A of Luxury conference, Zegna highlighted two interesting points; firstly he talked about how second and third tier cities in China are playing an important role in terms of retail sales. According to Zegna, China’s luxury goods market is set to grow by some 72 percent in value terms over the five years, with second and third tier cities such as Harbin, Chongqing and Wuhan increasingly contributing to the revenue generated by major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. Zegna then added that he believed that men were the main drivers behind the sale of luxury goods in China now, and said that the increased personalisation of goods was a key driver of sales. In China, he said, Italian craftsmanship was of particular interest to male consumers, as well as goods that had “style and authenticity.” According to the Italian men’s wear giant, secondand third-tier cities now make up a third of Zegna’s Asia sales, on par with China’s first-tier cities. The rest of Asia make up the remaining third, he said.

Educating a sophisticated generation When Vogue China launched in 2005, it struggled to find native models to grace its pages. Now it is so successful that it prints 16, rather than the standard 12 issues a year in order to accommodate the needs of its readers and advertisers. A few key facts on this publishing powerhouse: Editor Angelica Cheung takes inspiration from her young daughter when envisaging her readers. “I want my daughter to grow up to be positive and optimistic, as we live in a world full of so many problems. I want her to have courage when facing challenges, and to have personality and soul. All of these things combined that I want for my daughter, I want for my readers too.” As well as its standard monthly edition, Vogue China publishes a series of extra editions dedicated to advising people on how to, in Cheung’s words, “become more sophisticated.” “We advise readers on how to use their wealth to collect art and jewelry. The aim is [to aid] the first generation of really sophisticated consumers.” This year the magazine published four such supplements – with Cheung hinting there may be as many as six in 2014. Vogue was, said Cheung, one of the first publications in its sector to really integrate print with digital. Now it works with brands like Chanel to create sophisticated 360 degree projects, and Vogue’s app remains consistently at the top end of Apple’s download chart.

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FROM #INYTLux @FashionistoBlog Angelica Cheung of Vogue China #inytlux great vision. VN media should hear this.

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BUILDING LUXURY BRANDS

Developing and growing brand footprints in Asia Domenico De Sole is best known for his regeneration of the Gucci brand in the 1990s alongside Tom Ford. Now the duo are looking to take over Asia with Tom Ford International. Domenico De Sole and Tom Ford go back a long way. De Sole used the first half of his time on the stage to recount fondly their days at Gucci. The pair, nowadays widely referred to as the ‘Tom and Dom dream team,’ took on the brand which in 1993 was on the brink of bankruptcy, and turned it into a fashion powerhouse that by 1995 had gone public and had a reported sales revenue of more than $1 billion. But it was talk of the plans that Ford and De Sole – now Chairman of Tom Ford International, which was the jewel in the crown of his speech. They certainly haven’t set the bar low for the success of the company, which the duo founded in 2005 after nine years sharing the helm at Gucci. “The mission for us that Tom has in mind is very simple and very short,” said De Sole. “We want to be the number one luxury brand in the world. To which I add we’ve got to go fast, because I am getting very old very quickly!”

“You cannot be a great luxury brand unless you are successful in Asia.” Success so far has been rapid. The first store opened in New York in 2007 and more quickly followed across North America and Europe. In 2010 the company launched its first womenswear collection. In Asia, the brand was quick off the mark to establish a presence too. Explained De Sole, “We had two choices, we could either wait until the Tom Ford brand is really well known in the US and Europe or move here quickly. You cannot be a great luxury brand unless you are successful in Asia”. So with that the brand established itself in Hong Kong in 2010, followed by Shanghai and Beijing. De Sole added that further store openings are planned in more of “the most important and best lactations in China” in the coming year. Now it is setting its sights on South East Asia, with an opening in Singapore next year and plans to expand into Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur too.

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Referring to Singaporean consumers of luxury goods, De Sole outlined three key facets that help to define their shopping habits: That they are sophisticated and young; They enjoy travel – De Sole said he was surprised at the number of Singaporean attendees at the recent launch of his London store; That the region contains a huge tourist base led not just by mainland China – Singapore attracts affluent business people from around the world. Tom Ford International will also expand into the online space next year with the launch of its online store. “However I don’t believe that online shopping is going to eclipse the bricks and mortar store,” he concluded. “Shopping in store is a part of the luxury, part of the experience, the theatre and the excitement. But it will have an amazing role to play in the future.”

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IN CONVERSATION: ANYA HINDMARCH

Anya Hindmarch, Designer

Old fashioned luxury

Anya Hindmarch started her business at the age of 19 when she designed her first bag, influenced by a style she had seen on a trip to Florence in Italy. The business has grown from Anya’s first shop, an intimate store on London’s Walton Street, to 57 stores worldwide, including a London flagship on Sloane Street and a Tokyo flagship in Aoyama. Suzy: Is making bags a fun business, or a serious business, a bit of both? Which comes first? Anya: It really depends on your definition of fun. For me, fun is all about the product, and for me it’s very important in a business to put the product centre stage and to always be really passionate about it, so yes it is definitely fun. But bags are also a very serious business – they are often seen as a bit of a sweet spot in the luxury business portfolio – once you’ve got the product right and worked out your point of difference it becomes a very serious business. S: How did you build your business from your kitchen table? A: From the age of 17 I knew very clearly that I wanted to design handbags so I went off to Florence after school knowing it was a centre of that world. I went to tanneries and sourced samples and just started my business very gently, learning as I went and it just grew from there. When I opened my first store on London’s Oxford Street I could only afford a first floor shop. S: You were very early into the market in Hong Kong – what are your plans for the rest of Asia? A: We celebrated 20 years in Hong Kong last year. We are

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“From the age of 17 I knew very clearly that I wanted to design handbags.” getting a lot of approaches from the Philippines, Jakarta and Thailand – these markets are very exciting right now. But it’s important not to spread ourselves too thin, we have a very small management team – we have identified key markets [in Asia] and obviously there is a lot of work that goes into building the infrastructure to be able to [trade] in these markets so it takes time, but it’s a very exciting time to be looking at [this region]. S: Tell us about your bespoke range and the decision to let customers personalize their bags – what is the thinking behind that? A: It’s about reconnecting people back to how things are made as there is a real disconnect there. I think luxury is all about personalization – like being able to say ‘I know this suit was made to match my grandfather’s shoes.’ It’s about there being a story to a piece, that sense of personalization. The customer will get very involved– its proper old fashioned luxury. I will have customers that will have a bag with a little secret message embossed in the pocket by their husband. We’ve had some very funny stories – most of them top secret. S: How long can the craze for buying expensive bags go on – is it all going to peter away one day? A: I think trends and fashions change. I think as is demonstrated by [my bespoke range] a luxury product can be all about the person rather than the brand. I think brands just morph and change to adapt. I still get excited about having a good bag on my arm every day and I don’t think that will go away. S: What has been your toughest challenge to deal with in the last 25 years? A: I refer to a triangle of pain. Where you are trying to persuade craftsmen to take you on and are trying to persuade customers to place orders and pay you and that point where you are selling to the customer and selling to the manufacturer. I think getting there is very hard. Those early days were tough but very exciting too – I think it was good to start young. But every day has different challenges. Recently we tried to make a bag fly – and we did!

FROM #INYTLux @Luxecorp “AH: there is too much talk in the luxury industry about celebrity and not enough about craftsmen - they are the heroes #INYTLux”

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REGIONAL IDENTITY

Re-imagining Asia’s cultural place in the world Phillip Lim, Founder, and Wen Zhou, CEO of 3.1 Phillip Lim magnified how a special relationship between the creative and the purse strings within a fashion brand can drive business success. Born to Chinese parents but both living in America, Phillip Lim and Wen Zhou were 31 when they founded 3.1 Phillip Lim. Almost a decade later, the brand has a global footprint spanning North America, Europe and now Asia. Both Lim and Zhou described how expanding into native territory has been a “dream come true”. With Lim the creative force behind the business and Zhou the financial one, theirs is an interesting tale of how they have used their abilities collaboratively to drive the independently owned 3.1 Phillip Lim into new markets. “Our Japanese partners have previously described me as the romantic beauty and Wen as the creative beast,” joked Lim. “I couldn’t do my job without a partner like Wen on board. Structural roles are important so that everyone knows their place. If we were hired as executives or creatives [within a company] then great but we are not, we are business owners and founders and we live and die by the company. To simplify it, I pick up on the zeitgeist and she industrializes it.”

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Despite the company now being very much a global one, with stores in Beijing, Toyko, Korea, Singapore, New York, Los Angeles and London, Lim and Wen still like to run it like the small enterprise it once was. “Every decision we make we do it very organically. We ask – does [this decision] feel good for the brand and for each other, if the answer to both of those is ‘yes’, then we do it.” Both referred to running 3.1 Phillip Lim like a ‘Mom and Pop’. “We have built a family,” said Lim. The company said it plans to open between three and five more stores in Asia in the coming year.

“We live and die by the company. To simplify it, I pick up on the zeitgeist and she industrialises it.”

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in conversation: Anna SUI Anna Sui, Designer

I like being my own boss Anna Sui, the American fashion designer, is famous for her timeless creations across the fashion, fragrance and cosmetics sectors. Suzy Menkes found out what inspires her, why she loves Singapore and her thoughts on Asian talent in the luxury sector. An ardent fan of Singapore, Sui used her appearance at the S.E.A. of Luxury Conference as chance to explore the city. In the whirlwind of regular promotional visits, Sui rarely ever gets to see Singapore beyond the airport and the inside of its hotels. Arriving at 6am, she dashed off to explore the street markets for some food, then drove over to the Peranakan Museum, waited for it to open and was the first visitor or the day. Later on the S.E.A. stage, she discussed the creative influences and industry trends that have shaped her life and work. Suzy: You’ve had success in Asia – from fashion to fragrance – what do you put it down to? Anna: I think I was lucky to have the parents I did – they came from China and were educated in Paris and then they eventually migrated to the US. So [I have roots in] pop culture but then with very traditional Chinese parents. I think I had the great fortune of having parents that showed me that hard work and sacrifice would allow me the career I had always dreamt of. S: Do you think there will be an explosion of talent coming out of Asia? A: I think in time yes, in the same way that people talked once about talent emerging from the US. I was lucky in that my parents let me do my own thing and didn’t try and pressure me to become a lawyer or a doctor. It’s only a matter of time before the next big thing breaks through and I really believe that will happen in this region. S: Where do you take your creative inspiration from? A: I’m so lucky in that wherever I go I can use everything I am inspired by. I love coming here to Singapore and seeing two cultures that merge together – Chinese and Malay. That’s how creativity happens – different influences coming together and a process evolving from that. S: How did you forge your identity in the US, was it early on in your career?

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FROM #INYTLux @BLLNR 21 “I’m a creature of pop culture wth very traditional Asian parents” says @annasui at @ INYTLuxury @BLLNR @WealthX #INYTLux

A: When I started people had a hard time categorising me. A good friend of mine suggested I open my own boutique and that gave me an idea to really showcase what my world was about. That is where the black furniture, purple walls, the red floor, the butterflies on the wall came from – all of those things became icons of my brand. S: They are saying in Europe that the big juggernauts of fashion are now recruiting designers so young that it takes out the ups and downs of running your own business – both financially and creatively. Have you been approached by big companies over the years and if so, why did you say no? A: Yes I was approached several times but in the long run I like being my own boss and not having to answer to somebody. If I just want to make dresses one season, or pants on another, and I want to make it all look punk, I can do that – I think that that’s what helps me to stay creative. S: What advice would you give to a designer just starting out? A: The main thing is to be true and honest with yourself and understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. Stick at it and evolve and grow. You have to learn your craft – you have to learn how fabric reacts – really get to know your resources, because your resources and your fabric are what you make your creations out of. You have to know where to get your hands on it and what to do with it.

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Creativity & Talent

Biyan Wanaatmadja – designer Huishan Zhang - designer Frank Cintamani, Chairman, FIDé Fashion Weeks; President, Asian Couture Federation

Talent by design In a lively panel session co-hosted by Suzy Menkes and Angelica Cheung, Editor in Chief at Vogue China, a range of panellists were invited on stage to discuss some of the barriers that Asia needs to overcome in order to be seen as a luxury creative powerhouse. In this session more than any other, the focus was very much on young Asian creative talent, and how the designers of today are gradually finding the confidence to promote their own local regions as manufacturers of fine goods. Wanaatmadja has worked in the fashion industry for 30 years. When he was a student, he did what many young designers do today, which was to travel to Europe in order to study, gaining degrees in Germany and then at the London School of Fashion. However on completing his studies, he was persuaded by his family to return to his native Indonesia to carve out a career. “I grew up surrounded by diverse history and tradition and rich, beautiful craftsmanship but used to take it for granted. When I moved to Europe all I remember was hearing the words contemporary and modern so that when I came back home I found it difficult to associate what I had learnt with my own cultural [references].”

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It was a visit to Singapore’s Fashion Week, around three years after setting up his own studio in Jakarta that the penny really dropped and Wanaatmadja realised that there was a real calling for the fusion of ‘uniquely modern yet uniquely Indonesian’ culture, to create appealing contemporary pieces. Wanaatmadja is these days famed for designing imaginative pieces for women in Muslim countries who want to cover up and respect the religion, but in a contemporary way. His pieces are often described as “modestly fashionable.” Young designer Zhang has followed in Wanaatmadja’s path. Having left his native China to study at London’s Central Saint Martin’s college and also New Zealand, he believes that it is now very much the case that Asian students who go abroad do so because they want to bring what they have learnt back to China. Cheung meanwhile said it is important that in order for young Asian designers to flourish in their own markets, they need to visit other countries in order to gain a better perspective on what their own cultural influences can bring to their work. She describes how perhaps Asian designers still need to have more confidence in designing from their own cultural influences, rather than automatically wanting to study in the US or in Europe. “All the best machines and technology are here in order to create exciting contemporary design, it is really just a case of making sure that designers are exposed to as many influences as possible [in order to] create ideas,” she said. Cintamani added that creativity is alive and well in Asia – what perplexes him is why are we haemorrhaging all of this talent to the west.

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Creativity & Talent

“In schools here, students say they want to be a designer in Milan, New York or London. Why not in Tokyo, China or Jakarta – this is something that is very troubling to me. It is a travesty that people don’t understand that these talents do exists in Asia,” he said. Cintamani, chairman of the FIDé Fashion Weeks which helps to promote young Asian design talent, went on the point out that while Asian fashion brands have tremendous creative and business skills, that too many underestimate the importance of marketing. RAOUL, a relatively new brand launched in Singapore, is now already sold internationally and has been seen on the likes of The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and is a brand to look up to for its marketing prowess he said. Zhang-emphasised Cintamani’s point, stressing that any young designer looking to start up their own business must take into account all areas involved within that, not just the creative aspect. He pointed out that living in a digital era meant made many keen to start up on their own, but that sometimes internships could prove a good way of gaining an all round understanding of how a business works. Perhaps overall it seems that better promotion of Asian creativity from all sides is needed in order for the region to become the powerhouse it wants to be; from the students who should have more confidence in expressing the creative ideas their cultures can provide, to the up and coming brands that need to ensure they invest in the appropriate marketing skills to make their talents known.

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SOUTH EAST ASIA SOCIAL

Fashion blogging Bryanboy (real name Bryan Grey Yambao) is one of luxury fashion’s original bloggers, starting his own nine years ago, at the age of 24, from his parent’s bedroom in Manila. Nowadays he has followers the world over and attracts celebrity guest posts from the likes of Marc Jacobs and Rachel Clark.

Anna Sui with Bryanboy at the S.E.A. of Luxury reception

“actually I am more creative in generating content whilst I am not connected.”

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Bryanboy described himself as a ‘first generation blogger’ and admitted that as far as the blogging industry is concerned, those within it are still figuring out where it will go next. In an age now of bloggers for whom the ‘selfie’ is the norm, “will I still really want to be posting pictures of myself posing in front of mirrors when I am 40?” he asked. This is something that only time will tell, as online communications and the way we use them to interact with each other evolves. He admitted that with new platforms coming out so frequently – from Whatsapp to Tumblr to Instagram, he only focuses on using “the ones I am good at” – he only joined Instagram “late to the party” for example last year. Despite the Internet providing his livelihood, Bryanboy suggested that we as consumers and retailers are in danger of missing out on real life because of the amount of time we spend online now. “I actually am more creative in generating content whilst I am not connected,” he said. He also alluded to there being a certain sadness in the increased commercialization of social media in general; in the way that some brands try to control what is said about them online. “There is a certain loss of innocence - when I first started I just wanted to tell a story. But a blogger can still share something from a personal point of view,” he said.

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THE ASIAN WAVE

FROM #INYTLux @bryanboy Super chic HRH Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece #inytlux @ Capella Singapore @MarkandDrama Princess @MarieChantalUK: what little girl doesn’t want to dress up in a princess dress? #inytlux

Princess Marie-Chantal, Founder and Creative Director, Marie-Chantal; Board Director, DFS Holdings

@FideFW “What the business world needs now is a lot of soul. There is a little story in everything I design” Princess @MarieChantalUK #INYTLux

Singapore is the new Hong Kong For Princess Marie-Chantal, who was inspired by her own brood of five to launch her childrenswear collection in 2001, Singapore is the “new Hong Kong.” Marie-Chantal spent her early years in Hong Kong, but is excited now by the promise that countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand offer. For her, Singapore is the real jewel in the South East Asian crown for luxury goods retailers. In conversation with Suzy Menkes on day two of the S.E.A. Luxury conference, Marie-Chantal described her family’s history with Asia (she grew up working in some of the region’s duty free stores), and explained Singapore’s association with luxury because of the way its boutiques are so well planned and thought out. Marie-Chantal is renowned for making designer clothing for children up to the age of 12 and has stores in London, Hawaii and Guam, plus boutiques in more than 20 countries. The company has plans to grow significantly over the next five years by adding up to 12 stores in major cities. Asia is clearly a big focus for the brand.

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THE ASIAN CONSUMER

[TOP] Grégoire Blanche, Regional Director South East Asia and Australia, Cartier. [BOTTOM] Vanessa Herrera, Business Director for Watches, Wine and Southeast Asian Paintings, Sotheby’s

The collecting passion Vanessa Herrera has spoken to many people looking to invest in a timeless piece. Herrera offered up the following tips that she imparts to collectors: “Buy the absolute best that your budget will allow. Never try for volume. Commit to finding the best possible piece that not only fits your budget, but that also represents something of you as a person. Personal taste is important when it comes to investment buys, especially if you plan to pass it on to generations after you. Look for rarity in piece. This is not the same thing as looking for a ‘limited edition’ – that is often a misconceived interpretation of rarity. Invest in something that breaks new ground. Sometimes, when I am presented with new watches, I can’t actually tell the time on them straight away. There is a certain joy in handling something that is brand new to you and that makes you think. Invest in pieces that compliment you. To emphasize this point in terms of watches, not all wrists are the same size and therefore size matters in terms of what will look good.”

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EMOTION IN JEWELRY

Stephen Webster, Creative Director, Stephen Webster & Garrard

Storytelling and emotion in jewelry Recognition of British talent in the jewelry sector has never been higher. Stephen Webster, the London-based jewelry brand internationally heralded for its exquisite and cutting edge designs has flourished under Founder and Creative Director, Stephen Webster MBE. Stephen blends his love of traditional craftsmanship with his passion for music, fashion and art to produce contemporary yet eternally chic and glamorous jewelry. It’s a unique approach that has been some 37 years in the making and won huge industry recognition. Claire Weekes caught up with Webster to find out more about the story of the brand’s success. What is it that puts British jewelry design on the map, so to speak? There is something out there people seem to attune to about it - if you get it right and there is a real air of ‘Britishness’ to your design then there is an assumption of quality – and that’s not just with jewelry but I think with every creative product, from cars to knitwear. I think there are people beginning to respond more to British jewelry too because it’s not seen as a great threat – we seem to have this small presence with a big voice. When I did my first show in America I stood out like a sore thumb – my character, jewelry, the way I dressed... But I must have been doing something right. There is something about British quirkiness that people warm to.

For a mid-sized design company like yourselves, how do you stand out against some of the bigger corporate names in the UK market? I think because advertising is expensive and therefore limited, I try to work more with my retailers and use their tools because doing that directly impacts on my sales. I make a lot of appearances at events to network and I have a sales team that are incredible about communicating about me and my life and my work – it’s important to have a team around you that gets and loves your work like you do because if they didn’t like you and your work then it would be an impossible working relationship. We’ve done some beautiful campaigns but I am financially restricted so I use my images wherever I can – for example through the personal touch we drove the business into Russia which a lot of companies wouldn’t be able to do. That is our biggest market now – Russian consumers like to surround themselves with luxury [so we know our] products are right for them, they like the aesthetics and the fact they have an edge to them. The pieces are not something I really have to fight to persuade them what they are all about, there is a natural fit. What advantages are there to working within a more boutique environment, as opposed to designing for one of the big names already out there? Competing with the bigger companies makes you very creative – I’ve just taken on my very first director of marketing and she didn’t believe we’d never had someone in her role as she said we are so good marketing ourselves. Of course we have made mistakes along the way but we’ve always learned from these and it was an interesting comment to receive from somebody with that strong marketing background. Even though we are a medium sized business – we have 90 or so employees – we are still a niche brand, driven by creativity, that needs the support of what we give it – the end result is to have consumers become brand fans, if you like, which is really rewarding.

“When I hit the headlines in jewelry it was because I was breaking a few rules on the aesthEtic side of things.”

How is British talent being fostered - how are new designers breaking through into the industry? The British jewelry industry is a fascinating thing. The industry here is so fragmented that it’s difficult for a designer to say ‘I am going to have an English training’ as there is no such standard thing. I curate a course for the British Fashion Council for emerging designers and it blows me away just how much talent there is. It’s a mentoring programme so I try and give them all I can as a mentor but I don’t interfere, if they ask for advice its more about business and information on retail targets and merchandising – the raw talent is just there. I took my students to the US this year and I had my clients fighting over these people which just goes to show that the UK is fierce in its talent.

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You were originally known for the Gothic and rock and roll touches you put to your pieces. How has your style evolved on from that? When I hit the headlines in jewelry it was because I was breaking a few rules on the aesthetic side of things. We describe ourselves as fine jewellers with an edge, we’ve got roots and DNA which I would say are more routed in us being broadly ‘edgy’ rather than ‘Gothic’ or ‘punk’. The new collection just out is inspired by the works of English poet, William Blake. Not that I am denying that some of my earlier work had Gothic and punk edges to it – after all it is these styles that really helped to put me on the map – but influences naturally change over time.

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EMOTION IN JEWELRY

FROM #INYTLux @AssiaWebster As usual most amusing & entertaining yet informative speech of the #INYTLux well done #stephenwebsterjewelry FIDé Fashion Weeks @FideFW “All luxury brands have someone in there who are only only passionate, but obsessed” Stephen Webster at @INYTLuxury Conference #INYTLux

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the asian passion for gold

David Lamb, Managing Director, Jewellery, World Gold Council

Gold: A real and current obsession South East Asia is a region where gold’s popularity predates luxury and the notion of marketing by centuries. However, as David Lamb of the World Gold Council explains, the metal is enjoying something of a modern renaissance of late. David Lamb took to the stage in Singapore to describe gold as a “very real and current obsession” for South East Asian consumers. And he could back up this claim with some solid statistics. According to research carried out by the World Gold Council itself, Thailand for example this year reported a 57% year-over-year rise in Q3 gold jewelry demand. Lamb estimates that South East Asia now represents between around eight and ten per cent of the world’s gold consumption, making it, in his words “collectively as important a market as the US.” “The gold industry gives you a window on the assets of power heading eastwards,” said Lamb. “In 2010 for the first time, China and India as two single markets represented 50% of the overall gold jewelry market.” This is an exciting time then for the gold industry in the Far East, especially given that many predict a lot of luxury players in other categories are seeing the first deceleration in their growth across the region in recent years. Quoting more statistics from the World Gold Council’s report, Lamb added that 67% of Singaporean women claim that high end, luxury gold products offer them more pleasure than other luxury goods. Meanwhile 55% of Malaysian women say that they intend to purchase a piece of high carat

jewelry within the next two years. “For the gold industry, this is a time of huge aspiration, belief and intention,” said Lamb. Despite this, Lamb warned that the industry needed to pull together more to harbour and nourish talent in the industry.” Desire for gold is enormous but product and retail innovation is poor. We need to innovate digitally, we need to find new designers, new forms of communication and supply the supply chain with the raw materials they need to great products,” he said. With the cost of gold generally rising, the World Gold Council has committed to ways of helping emerging talent to work with this sometimes unobtainable metal. “The problem in a lot of cases is that we have the talent out there looking to work with gold and the consumer seeking to buy it, but then you have a supply chain that simply can’t afford to make or stock the pieces.” The World Gold Council has launched a scheme – for now in the West – which gives that supply chain access to gold. “If it can be made it can be stocked, and if it can be stocked it can be sold,” reasoned Lamb. “We have these reserves and so we will [invest] in those that we believe deserve bigger futures.” The Council has also recently launched another successful scheme – this one called ‘LoveGold.com’, a community driven website which aims to seek out some of the world’s most beautiful gold jewelry, the designers creating it and the people wearing it. “It launched fairly modestly but the community has grown quickly, which proves that if you put new and exciting stimuli in front of young consumers, they will pounce on it.” It is this younger consumer that Lamb feels is breathing new life into the gold economy in South East Asia. Where once gold was perhaps considered the metal worn by older generations, now gold pieces are resonating more than ever with the affluent 25 to 35 age bracket. “Asian culture has always been gold centric but if it has previously had a negative connotation it would be that is it seen traditionally as a material owned by mothers and grandmothers. This is a perception we are working to change. The 25 to 35 demographic is interesting as it’s an age group that over the course of that decade defines its cultural and generational values, and is looking for timeless pieces designed especially for them. This is very much an age bracket that the gold jewelry industry in general is looking to ‘recruit’ and make brand loyal.” “The industry is often seen to lag behind fashion in terms of innovation, but you could argue that the difference between fashion and jewelry is that Asian consumers want something that is particularly culturally relevant in the latter. They increasingly want often more modern re-workings of traditional pieces – not their mother’s jewelry but something that is more relevant to them, while keeping an element of the traditional about it.” One thing is for sure, the desire for gold is increasingly deepening among South East Asian consumers.

“This is a time of huge aspiration, belief and intention.”

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REGIONAL RETAIL

Luxury retail in South East Asia In a session hosted by fashion and luxury journalist and strategic consultant Robb Young, panellists discussed the importance of researching tomorrow’s markets today, and the role customer relationship management has on the in-store experience Retail development is accelerating at a rapid rate in South East Asia, a point no better illustrated in the fact that China has achieved in ten years what Europe has achieved in the past 100. This was according to Robb Young, who opened a session on the importance of physical retail in the region. Young was keen to emphasise that is not simply the “supreme hubs” such as Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok that retailers should be focussed on, but the emerging hubs around them that will become the retail hot spots of the future. “I am fortunate enough to be able to check out several cities like Bandung, even when a brand might just be entering Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta. Of course Bandung may not be immediately relevant or at the top of your priority list for many years to come but if we wait until it’s on everyone’s radar then we have lost our competitive edge,” he said. Whilst much focus had been placed at the conference so far on

PANELLISTS [L-R] Chandra Widjaja, Director, Club21 Indonesia. Douglas Benjamin, Group COO and Creative Director for RAOUL, FJ Benjamin. Eman Pineda, Founder and President, Adora. Anh Tran Thi Hoai, Founder, Runway. Robb Young, fashion and luxury journalist and consultant.

“The most important thing is to make sure a customer gets the right in-store experience...” the supreme cities of South East Asia coupled with the importance of online retail, it was important to explore other territories now he added. To give an example, Young said – imagine a wealthy woman in Kuching, Malaysia wanted a cocktail dress for a party taking place in a few hours’ time – no retailer in Kuala Lumpur, or online outlet, would be able to deliver in time. “Very local retail is very important,” he said. Young went on to discuss the topic of customer relationship management (CRM), and how keeping a track on customer habits can help to enhance the physical in-store experience. For Widjaja, Pineda and Tran Thi Hoai, traditional one-to-one service, personal contact and in many cases, the manual storing of customer data still work very well. For Benjamin, the gradual digitalization of RAOUL’s CRM database has worked well. Benjamin summed up the importance of CRM well when considering the importance of managing customer data versus managing shopper expectations in-store. “Both are very important – of course the most important thing is to make sure that a customer gets the right in-store experience and keeps coming back, and CRM is the tool you can use in order to do that.”

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ART, TECHNOLOGY AND COMMERCE

The marriage of art, technology and commerce

James Lima, Film Director Hollywood film director James Lima has produced films for luxury fashion brands including Prada, Versace and Louis Vuitton. Lima used his time on the podium to explain the concept of creating a brand story and to talk about how immersive video techniques are coming of age. We caught up with him backstage to find out more. Lima has spent much of his film career in Hollywood, working with great names including Steven Spielberg and James Cameron on adverts, Emmy nominated television series and blockbuster feature films such as Avatar. Having now branched into creating short films for luxury brands, Lima is passionate about the concept of using ‘brand storytelling’ to encourage luxury items to appeal to consumers. “There is something so massively personal about fashion, and if fashion brands can understand and start implementing the narrative of story – that is to explain to the audience who the brand is, where it is from and what it is about, then they have the power to evoke incredible brand loyalty,” Lima said backstage at the S.E.A. of Luxury conference in Singapore.

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“Commercials and ads have specific formats and rules, but what I feel that fashion brands have been exploring for the past few years now is the creation of something that is more evocative of a feature film. The really exciting thing about fashion film is that because we are using the medium of the internet now too, we can appeal instantly to an international, world-wide market,” he said. Lima went on to explain that in Hollywood films, the emphasis is always on story and character, and that the concept is similar when it comes to fashion film. “The trick is to engage people on an emotional level, to transcend people’s awareness. People don’t just think about clothes, they remember them – and that is quite a different brain function.” For Lima, the concept of immersive video advertising is an exciting one right now. He believes that brands are really starting to grasp the concept that ads can include interactive elements such as, for example, music and video game apps that draw the audience toward taking part in branded activity. This move, he says, has great potential for luxury brands – because consumers don’t just want to see a product in 2D, they want to be able to ‘feel’ the product too. There are techniques now – thanks to technologies such as augmented reality, that allow consumers

“The trick is to engage people on an emotional level, to transcend people’s awareness.”

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art, technology and commerce James Lima, Film Director Hollywood film director James Lima has produced films for luxury fashion brands including Prada, Versace and Louis Vuitton. Lima used his time on the podium to explain the concept of creating a brand story and to talk about how immersive video techniques are coming of age. We caught up with him backstage to find out more. Lima has spent much of his film career in Hollywood, working with great names including Steven Spielberg and James Cameron on adverts, Emmy nominated television series and blockbuster feature films such as Avatar. Having now branched

“The tricky thinG here is that you want to be accessible, but you don’t want to be too accessible.” into creating short films for luxury brands, Lima is passionate about the concept of using ‘brand storytelling’ to encourage luxury items to appeal to consumers. “There is something so massively personal about fashion, and if fashion brands can understand and start implementing the narrative of story – that is to explain to the audience who the brand is, where it is from and what it is about, then they have the power to evoke incredible brand loyalty,” Lima said backstage at the S.E.A. of Luxury conference in Singapore. “Commercials and ads have specific formats and rules, but what I feel that fashion brands have been exploring for the past few years now is the creation of something that is more evocative of a feature film. The really exciting thing about fashion film is that because we are using the medium of the internet now too, we can appeal instantly to an international, world-wide market,” he said.

“Burberry does great things, it really understands that the branding has to have mystique and character.”

Lima went on to explain that in Hollywood films, the

FROM #INYTLux Juan Manuel Perán @juanmaperan James Lima, it’s all about emotions at the buying experience #INYTLux natasha cowan @natasha_fashion What is a fashion film? A recording of a shoot? This needs 2 develop says #Hollywood’s James Lima @ INYTLuxury

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COMMERCE AND CONSUMERS Federico Marchetti, Founder & CEO of YOOX Group

The online customer experience

FROM #INYTLux @BLLNR 22 “Everything is driven by the customer” CEO Frederico Marchetti of @yoox at @ INYTLuxury @BLLNR @WealthX #INYTLux

Yoox.com is gaining popularity in South East Asia. Founder and CEO, Federico Marchetti, has even been labelled the ‘geek of chic’ by the New Yorker Magazine and knows all about how to entice the online customer. For Yoox Group, an Italian retailer that manages e-commerce sites for other brands, online marketing is a key channel. “It’s all about giving the customer an entertaining experience, which they expect nowadays,” said Marchetti, who revealed that around 40% of the company’s customer traffic now arrives via a mobile phone or a tablet device. As the manager and operator of e-commerce stores for brands from Armani to Zegna, Marchetti has maintained a healthy outlook for full-year revenue and earnings growth, after investments in mobile technology have helped to boost quarterly sales. Marchetti went on to reveal the results of some research carried out by the company itself, which gave an interesting insight into how Asian consumers shop online for luxury goods. The top five brands that Singaporeans purchase from Yoox are Italian, and Thailand has the most generous male shoppers – 66% of orders from men are purchased for women. South East Asian customers are more likely to purchase online in the evening – meaning, joked Marchetti – that they probably have a very good work ethic and don’t order during office time! The split in the online customer demographic is typically 60% female and 40% male, other than in China where the reverse is true. In Asia in general, the age of its online customer is higher than in the rest of the world – it is generally those in their 30s or 40s making purchases. Finally, the average order value is “much higher” than in the rest of the world, Asian online consumers are “top spenders” on luxury items.

“It’s all about giving the customer an entertaining experience, which they expect nowadays.”

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South east ASia Jewelry

[Clockwise from top] Vanessa Herrera, Business Director for Watches, Wine and Southeast Asian Paintings, Southeby’s Hong Kong. Steven Webster, Creative Director, Steven Webster. Ian Harebottle, CEO, Gemfields

Jewelry: A buoyant market The status of the jewelry industry in South East Asia was a key theme on day two of the S.E.A. of Luxury conference. Day two of the S.E.A. of Luxury conference saw key members of the jewelry industry come together to discuss how consumers are increasing their appetite for sparkling stones and precious metals. Stephen Webster, Creative Director of Stephen Webster and Garrard kicked off the session with his views on how, in the luxury sector, nothing creates more of an emotional tie than a special piece of jewelry – whether it is the signal of an engagement, a wedding, an anniversary or something handed down through generations – a piece can really mark an occasion. Webster went on to explain how he begins a new collection by creating a storyboard. “With jewelry, you need to build a sentiment. A piece of jewelry comes with a story, whether that is about who it belonged to or the occasion it was given on,” he said.

“A subtle education is taking place.” Katharina Flohr, Managing and Creative Director of Fabergé talked about how heritage can be cleverly reinvented to suit the younger consumer. Fabergé is a heritage brand, and as Flohr

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pointed out, one that her own generation became aware of through exhibitions, the press and James Bond films. “But the craftsmanship and museum quality heritage [of the brand] does not yet resonate as much with the younger customer in the new markets, so a subtle education is taking place,” Flohr explained. As such, in 2011 Fabergé launched a print advertising campaign aimed at capturing the attention of a new, younger audience. With world renowned fashion photographer Mario Testino and fashion stylist Carine Roitfeld on board, the idea behind the elegantly shot, black and white stills was to capture the attention of a new generation of customer. The team employed young family descendant Josh Fabergé and his friends to advise on how to wear the eggs “in a cooler, younger way,” and to star in the campaign itself. “The press followed suit and the eggs suddenly became hip and attracted the self-purchasing new customer, the young trendy ones, as well as the established old school ones,” said Flohr. The brand also recently undertook a collaboration with a Turner Prize nominated artist by painting the tail of an aircraft the contemporary Fabergé egg artwork. Up next was Vanessa Herrera, Business Director for Watches, Wine and Southeast Asian Paintings at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. Herrera focused on how jewelry and watches can become both emotional and financial investments. Herrera made an impassioned speech about how a great watch is almost like a

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[Top] Katharina Flohr, Managing and Creative Director, Fabergé second “heartbeat”, adding that collectors should invest in pieces that provide both enjoyment and a sense that the piece will provide returns – whether that be within five or 50 years time. David Lamb, Managing Director for Jewellery at the World Gold Council revealed some interesting statistics that highlight the success that jewelry is now enjoying in South East Asia. He revealed that the region now accounts for between 8 and 10 per cent of the world’s gold consumption – making it as financially important as the US. Meanwhile Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields, the world’s leading producer of ethically-sourced rare coloured gemstones emphasised the importance of transparency in the luxury goods

“If luxury is about quality and rarity then there is nothing more luxurious than the rarity of ethics...” market, saying that he was encouraged by the increasing view that quality should exist, but never at the expense of others. “Ethics, transparency and the environment – it is nice to see the luxury industry really embracing these issues. If luxury is about quality and rarity then there is nothing more luxurious than the rarity of ethics and the power of it,” he said.

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FROM #INYTLux Billionaire.com @BLLNR 22 Nov Singapore makes up 68% of Jewellery sales in SEA says Vanessa Herrera from @Sothebys at @INYTLuxury @BLLNR @WealthX #INYTLux LoveGold @LoveGoldLive 22 Nov We loved the talks on jewellery at #INYTLux! We have our eye on the best gold from Asia & we’ll be sure to share them with you. @INYTLuxury

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Luxury gem market

Accessibility and aspiration Ian Harebottle, CEO, Gemfields Despite rising prices in the precious gemstone market, Asian demand for these pieces continues to grow. We caught up with Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields, to find out why he predicts a buoyant future for this glittering corner of the luxury jewelry sector. Ian Harebottle admits that the gemstone industry might have overlooked the immense power of the emerging markets prerecession. In the run up to the Western economic crash of 2008, there was the knowledge that much consumer desire for gems came from America and Europe. “We knew we were vulnerable. We knew we should look to the increasing power of emerging states more but it was always a case of ‘we’ll do that tomorrow, or we’ll do that next year,’” he said. Then the downturn hit, and companies naturally looked harder at opportunities in the Far East. It wasn’t a painful process – “India, Africa, China – they had already inherited a love for colour, and were not that easily influenced by big name brands,” says Harebottle. He is the first to admit that over the past four years, these markets have helped the Gemfields house to grow “phenomenally.” Of course the buzz for coloured stones in these regions is nothing new – far from it. Six thousand years of recorded history makes gemstones amongst the earliest precious items known to man. But demand for such jewels continues to rise amongst Asian consumers – and this is despite the price of coloured stones rising sharply in recent years. “Certainly at Gemfields we have achieved a ten-fold increase in prices in the last four years and prices continue to rise – but we have come up against such a low base. In terms of relative rarity and beauty the coloured stone the market is still small [compared to others], so you can still get a much bigger bang for your buck than say with diamonds, and very often even watches or handbags.

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“We are still a long way from saturation point in terms of supply and even in comparative prices,” said Harebottle. Plus, he adds, as the gemstone market globalises, so luxury pieces made from precious stones become generally more accessible. “We call the classics, that is emerald, ruby and sapphire, the ‘traffic light colors’ because they have got a lot of history and have been written about a lot, but what we are seeing now is designers experimenting with blends a lot more, for example by adding amethyst stones to a ruby and emerald necklace. This makes choices and price points more accessible and creates exciting new opportunities in South East Asian markets. “For me I think the trick to marketing luxury goods in the Asian regions is to project the right balance of accessibility and aspiration. ” Harebottle went on to stress the importance placed now more than ever on the ethical sourcing of precious stones. “Increasingly, there is an attitude now luxury should not be placed at the expense of others. At the S.E.A. conference this week I’ve really felt that transparency in our industries and environmental issues have been much talked about which is great to see. If luxury is about quality and rarity then there is nothing more luxurious than the rarity of ethics – the power of it.”

“You can still get a much bigger bang for your buck than say with diamonds, and very often even watches or handbags.” @INYTluxury

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CREATIVe TALENT AT S.E.A. LUXURY [CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT] Katharina Flohr, Managing and Creative Director, FabergĂŠ. Andrew Keith, President, Lane Crawford and Joyce. Pierre Rainero, Director of Image, Heritage and Strategy, Cartier. Mary Nighy, Director and Stephen Whelan, Producer, Handprint. Pearl Lam, Founder, Pearl Lam Galleries

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Luxury, ethics and sustainability

Ethics and aesthetics: The sustainable luxury challenge

Livia Firth, Creative Director, Eco Age Consumers increasingly demand that the goods they buy are made in ways that harm neither environment nor workers. In this final session, Suzy Menkes talked to some of those in the luxury industry at the fore-front of making sustainability a key part of their business plan. This year’s tragedy that killed more than one thousand people in a Bangladesh garment factory highlighted more than ever the sad fact that at times, people really do suffer for fashion. But on a more positive note, there are lots of companies in the luxury sector making clear these days their policy on ethical practice. Sass & Bide is a stand out example of a company that combines its own goals with those of people in impoverished nations who have their own to achieve. Heidi Middleton, the brand’s cofounder, went to Nairobi in order to experience first-hand the conditions in which her garment makers work. She can describe nothing less than a “tsunami of emotions” over what she witnessed, “I stood in a factory with around 50 women, and they burst into a thank you song when we entered,” she said. “It didn’t matter that we spoke different languages as the message was clear and the emotion was raw – that moment sparked the first of many tears shed.” Middleton went on to describe the women’s amazing skills and dedication. “These women are proud of the work they do, and they are [proud of the fact that they are] doing it to support their children and families.” She admits that her trip was humbling. “It is one thing to love what you do, but to be able to use

that platform for all altruistic endeavours gives true depth of satisfaction with what you are doing,” she adds. Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs at Kering has similar views. Kering was named one of the world’s top 100 companies in relation to sustainability in the 2011 Newsweek Green Ranking – topping the list of textile, apparel and luxury goods companies. “Citizens are becoming more and more sensitive about where products come from and as a brand, it is important to communicate this information she said. The company has taken the somewhat bold move to publicly announce a set of core sustainability targets that it has pledged to achieve by 2016, having said that it will aim to reduce its carbon emissions, waste and water deriving from the production of products and services by 25%. It has added that 100% of precious skins and furs in its product range will come from “verified captive breeding operations or from wild, sustainable managed populations.” Livia Firth, Creative Director of Eco Age, agreed with the sentiments of those echoed before her on stage. Eco Age is a consultancy that specializes in helping businesses to achieve growth and add value through sustainability. Firth is also known in the fashion industry as the woman who ‘turned the red carpet green,’- a project that she is incredibly passionate about. Firth took to the stage with Maxime Labey, International Retail Managing Director at Chopard, to explain the relationship that the watch and fine jewellery maker has with, in particular, Colombia. Said Labey, “The smiles on the faces of the miners in Colombia

“I stood in a factory with around 50 women, and they burst into a thank you song when we entered.”

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Luxury, ethics and sustainability

[Clockwise from top left] David Briskin, Chief Executive Officer Sass & Bide; Maxime Labey, International Retail Managing Director, Chopard; Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs, Kering

when they heard that Chopard was going to buy the gold [there] and help improve their lives was a real testament to what luxury brands can do to improve the lives of people.” The company is meanwhile committed to checking on the welfare of its miners that dig for precious materials. In South America, Chopard has the co-operation of the Alliance for Responsible Mining which keeps a constant check on the safety of workers. In some other areas he admits it is harder to regulate these conditions. Does Labey think that the consumer will ever put the fact that a piece has been ethically sourced at front of mind? Certainly at present the question over ethics doesn’t seem to surface immediately when consumers make an expensive purchase. Said Labey, “I don’t think we will see that day anytime soon, but what we hope is that maybe there will be a pressure on other brands to join us in our effort to be more sustainable, and for there to be some more questions from the customers as to where their gold and diamonds are coming from. What we would like to see is an overall, healthier supply chain for our industry.”

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FROM #INYTLux @eco_age @liviafirth to #SuzyMenkes #INYTLux: Mines are easier to control than factories, especially with @ communitymining on the ground in S America @Luxecorp We agree! “@INYTLuxury: Suzy Menkes: anyone who can turn the red carpet green, like @liviafirth, is a genius #INYTLux”

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PHOTO DIARY A selection of images from the S.E.A. of Luxury conference, welcome drinks and gala party, celebrating 25 years of Suzy Menkes at the International New York Times.

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International New York Times is a leading international news source for opinion leaders and decision-makers around the globe. International New York Times includes the journalism of The New York Times, tailored for a global audience, and launched in print and online on October 15, 2013, with dedicated newsrooms in Paris, London, Hong Kong and New York. International New York Times succeeds the International Herald Tribune, a publication based in Paris since 1887. For more information, visit www.NYTCo.com INYT.com For further information, please contact us: International New York Times 1 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1NU, United Kingdom www.inytluxury.com Photos courtesy of Getty Images Text by Claire Weekes. Edited by Mark St. Andrew. Š International New York Times, 2013.

INYT S.E.A. of Luxury Conference post event report  

Hosted by Suzy Menkes, and with over 500 attendees from 36 countries, the 2013 INYT Luxury Conference brought South East Asia out of the sha...

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