AFFLUENT ASSEMBLY: Luxury brands for years have been closely watching Brazil, waiting for the burgeoning high end market to firmly take hold. That hasn’t happened — yet. A group of some of the best minds in the luxury industry has convened at the Luxury Lab.MX summit in Sao Paulo to discuss how to appeal to high income consumers in the country. With about 80 percent of luxury spending by Brazilians done outside the country — in part because of high import taxes — there’s plenty of room for growth.

For the first time in the event’s five-year history, Luxury Lab.MX will take place outside Mexico. Featured speakers will incude Carlos Jereissati Filho, president and chief executive officer of mall developer Iguatemi Group; Island Post founder Chris Blackwell; Fernanda Feitosa, founder of the contemporary art fair SP-Arte; Julia Chaplin, founder of Gypset; Liz Swig of LizWorks; Boston Consulting’s Olavo Cunha, and Robert Girotti, Delta Air Lines executive consultant.

Brazil as a luxury market has a lot going for it, including low inflation. According to Bain & Co.’s 2014 annual luxury study, yachts bounced back with a 2 percent increase last year, while private jet sales were up 9 percent, boosted by emerging market demand from, of all places, Brazil. While the high price of luxury goods makes products unaffordable to all but the wealthiest Brazilians, that’s seen as changing. McKinsey & Co. predicts Brazil will be among the top 15 luxury markets by 2018.

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