Where do we go from here? Luxury has boomed for the last two decades—from the latest musthave handbag or shoe to elaborate diamond watches and the most pampering vacations. To help figure out what's next in the Land of Luxe, WWD asked designers to peer into their crystal balls.
Giorgio Armani "I see a future increasingly driven by personalization and customization, not just in the way clothes and accessories are designed and produced to individual customer specifications, but also in the way the customer is served. Handheld technology and the Internet will play a significant part in this development, through which customers will receive very personalized information from their own dedicated sales associate remotely, with visual proposals provided through the season in a nonintrusive way. Service at the place of work or home will become more a part of client expectations. And this overall evolution will be seen across the spectrum from fast fashion on up."
Ralph Lauren "This is an exciting and creative time for the luxury industry and for designers. As more people discover what luxury means to them, we will see an expanded market and audience."
Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel "[The fabric future is] influenced by all the new technologies. 'Marketing' and 'brand building' are words I never use. I go [along] with the times and time tells us what to do. The future is when? It has now [become] an industry, like cars and planes!"
Donna Karan "Luxury is all about the personal touch. It's not just about clothes. It's understanding the consumer, from their family to their philanthropic interests and what they care about most. Retailers are the conduit between the designer and the consumer, offering guidance and a context to their needs, wants and desires."
Donatella Versace "My look to the future is a look that's concentrated on tomorrow's fashion, tomorrow's style and tomorrow's luxury. There is no reference to the past, but a continuing attention or wanting to capture the elegance that is to come...the elegance of the future."
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Dolce & Gabbana "We are already experimenting, thanks to fabrics and innovative techniques, without ever forgetting our roots and style. We think it is fundamental to always respect one's DNA when it comes to building a proper identity that the consumer will remember, and this is the reason for choosing one brand over another. The consumer needs to be surprised and supported with a vast and continuous flow of clothes."
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"