21/10/2021 Changing customer expectations, new technological capabilities and the quest for sustainability are the main forces shaping the future of the luxury sector, according to recent guests on a new Mazars podcast. 'Let’s talk luxury' is a podcast series featuring luxury business founders and sector experts sharing insight on how and why the commercial model is undergoing a makeover.
New ways to consume luxury
With guests coming from a range of luxury disciplines, each episode delves into how brands and businesses can thrive in the years ahead. That success, say the experts, largely depends on sustainability commitments and achievements.
“In a world like luxury, characterised with pleasure not with necessity, people don’t want to purchase a good at the expense of the environment”, says Isabelle Massa, Partner, Head of Luxury, Mazars. “You can recycle and recycle and recycle and the same product can have infinite number of owners and that’s the new way to consume luxury.”
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Environmental considerations also weigh heavily on the mind of Kress Wesling, Co-founder of sustainable and ethical luxury brand Elvis & Kresse. “I think it’s about using your imagination”, says Kresse, “anybody can use a bolt of cloth, anybody can use a full hide of leather. The real creativity comes in applying your skills to under-loved materials. And I think fundamentally we need to decide now whether we’re going to be truly creative – as in, are we going to solve some of the world’s biggest problems or are we going to be destructive?”
Inspiration front and centre
While luxury can be seen as synonymous with ambition, entrepreneur and Aureum Coaching founder Lina Bustillo calls on the sector to take a deeper approach. “The context we’re living in right now has made it clear the change we need comes with new solutions led by consciousness and it’s no secret luxury has an aspirational aspect. However, in that change I’m optimistic about the fact that luxury should not be aspirational but inspirational.”
Julie Laulusa, Mazars’ Managing Partner in China takes a similar view, reflecting on how luxury risks losing relevance in some parts of the world. “It looks like luxury products will be replaced by education and entertainment in the future. Significant changes have taken place in the lifestyle of Chinese consumers. They are eager for more spiritual consumption rather than just material purchases.”
Digital first strategies
Building on the luxury study Mazars published in 2020, Conscious, connected, collaborative, the series also sees guests turn their attention to technology. “In a digital world, as a brand, you want to be natively digital”, says Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel, CEO, Arianee. “You want your product to be natively digital, not because we’re all going to wear only digital, 3D versions of stuff and not get out of our houses anymore… [but] because you can do so much more with something that is connected.”
More Let’s talk luxury episodes are coming in November, featuring representatives from global luxury brands and sector collectives.