Luxury means something different to everyone, but at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, it’s defined by experience.
And with that experience comes consistency, engagement and dialogue, which were three main points during the Cosmetic Executive Women panel discussion “LVMH: Defining the Luxury Landscape” on Nov. 18 at The Harmonie Club.
Panelists Terry Darland, president of LVMH Beauty; Nicholas Munafo, president of LVMH Fragrance Brands and Acqua Di Parma, and Jean-Marc Plisson, chief executive officer of Fresh, shared some insights on the ever-changing luxury business during the conversation moderated by WWD Beauty Inc editor Jenny B. Fine.
“Luxury is defined by the experience you have no matter where you shop,” said Darland.“You have online, but really the in-store experience really defines luxury.”
For Munafo, luxury is something consumers covet and desire versus products customers simply need. “It is about the in-store experience,” he said. “But it’s also about the quality.”
A common theme for each executive was reinvention and their strategies for distribution.
Dior went back into specialty stores, renamed the beauty advisers as beauty stylists and gave them more in-depth training. The company also scheduled more in-store events.
“We’re very happy with the existing distribution,” said Darland. “Basically, with every retailer, we look at segmenting the marketing and focusing on what we do for each and every one of our customers. But what it comes down to is our partnerships.”
For Fresh, Plisson took advantage of the recession to redefine and regroup the company from a U.S. regional brand into a global entity.
“We redid the whole strategy, the brand, the packaging and the messages,” said Plisson. “We still have the founders so we keep that important history.”
Munafo, who is in the process of reinventing Givenchy, is focusing on the product it’s bringing to the market, the distribution and the level of promotion.
“With [Givenchy] beauty, because our distribution is very tight we decided to launch Le Rouge in a gorilla way in Manhattan,” said Munafo. “But also to use our celebrities in fun and different ways.”
Turning the focus to retail, Fine asked the panelists about Sephora being a sister brand and what advantage it gives them.
“We are on equal basis as any other brand,” said Plisson. “It’s all about partnership.”
Darland noted that Dior has learned a lot about the younger consumer and how to market certain stockkeeping units from Sephora.
Munafo added, “[Sephora] is amazing at picking out hero items and galvanizing on that.”
Moving on to the holidays, Fine acknowledged how tough the season will be and asked if it is really going to be that grim.
“When you have less shopping days it makes for a challenging holiday,” said Darland. “Speaking from my brands I think we’re in a good position with fragrance, but it all comes down to those last few days.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast