students, who work on a design and marketing case study prepared by a luxury firm, might see their efforts make it to the marketplace. This year, for instance, participants involved in a Lalique case study repurposed the iconic Mossi vase design as a shot glass. Dior handbag
themselves very quickly and their knowledge of our world and our product is very impressive. If anything, the whole new way of communicating with social media makes our lives easier because you get instant reaction whether you are doing something right or wrong. Usually you hear much more about the wrong than the right, but it doesn’t matter. It’s information that is thrown out there by the thousands, which before, you had no way of knowing. It becomes an important element of how we react to our clients. BC: When we survey customers after a shopping experience in our own stores, one thing that’s always consistent, and I’m always amazed that it doesn’t change, is how they are hungry for more of the story. When you say, “What would have made your experience better?” it’s always that they want to know more of the story. The story of the brand, or Coco Chanel, or that handbag...
Travel Games, a carrier for Loro Piana’s board game collection, or responded to
challenge to create jewelry pieces with a spring theme. Ketty Pucci-Sisti Maisonrouge, president of LEF, notes that the Master
How has corporate sustainability factored into the marketing of your brand? HB: It’s part of our DNA and part of what we do. The jewelry industry in particular has been targeted more than others. It forced the industry in general and then the individual companies to send out the message that this isn’t the way we do things. PB: Younger generations and particularly the millennials are very interested in sustainable practices and ask a lot of questions about where you’re sourcing materials, or how you’re producing. All our companies that have been around for 50 to 100 years have to have responsibility, credibility, and follow-through on these topics,
“We have to be relevant, exciting, and fresh to today’s world and time. Luxury is a dream, not a necessity.” —MAZ ZOUHAIRI, CEO AND PRESIDENT, LALIQUE NORTH AMERICA
Class “allows students to experience why a true collaboration between design and business is the basis for success in the luxury
VO: Believe it or not, we sell more shearling coats in South Beach than we do in New York City. So you have to be ready for surprises like that in every market.
Balcon du Guadalquivir
BC: We all just have one brand collection, so we don’t create specific things for other markets, but we might tailor our assortments for them. But I have to say, if there’s something that’s really hot and key on the runway, it’s hot everywhere, everybody wants it. So if it’s very heavyweight, and you’re in California, you still have to have it.
transferred it to an enamel
MZ: In Miami, where there’s a more Latin influence, there are other aspects that depend on lifestyle. The Latin culture is much more about weddings.
Van Cleef & Arpels’s
Today brands are global, but how do you market to your customers differently from city to city? How does the product mix differ from store to store? PB: I think it’s a matter of lifestyle, so yes, we do merchandise the stores very differently. For example, in Miami, they like a lot more color.
HB: Jewelry moves much more slowly than fashion; we don’t have six collections a year. The trends in jewelry go from decade to decade. When you acquire a piece of high jewelry, there has to be a perennial aspect to it, that it’s going to work for years, and eventually become a
Other groups created My
family heirloom. Having said that, yes, you sell much more conservative, understated jewelry in Chicago. The Beats by Dre items are fun in Vegas. You’ll sell more colorful jewelry in Florida than you do in other places.
industry.” Some project results are so spot-on they are picked up by the firms: One LEF team took Hermès’s
porcelain pattern and
bracelet (BELOW). Today it is an Hermès best seller. —Suzanne Charlé
Barguirdjian, Cirkva, Ottomanelli, Baxter, and Zouhairi.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANNA DEMIDOVA (HERMÈS)
the Master Class that