PARIS — Europe’s luxury circle just got a little bigger.
Representatives of more than 40 German and international luxury brands gathered Friday in Berlin to officially launch the Meisterkreis — German Forum for Luxury, which joins the European Union’s four existing luxury associations.
Among the German founding members are watch brand A. Lange & Söhne, handbag maker Comtesse, department store KaDeWe, camera and optics manufacturer Leica, kitchen appliance maker Gaggenau and the Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin. International members include luxury brands Estée Lauder, Chanel and Dior.
Christian Kurtzke, chairman of the board of porcelain manufacturer Meissen, was elected president of the German association, whose executive committee also includes Thomas Schnädter, managing director of Montblanc Deutschland, and management consultant Clemens Pflanz.
“In a globalized world, German luxury culture will no longer be originally influenced by national, but also international luxury brands. That is why it is important for us to involve all relevant brands and companies to shape the German luxury market together,” stated Kurtzke.
Sales of luxury goods in Germany totaled 11 billion euros, or $14.6 billion, in 2010, according to Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. It estimates this could rise to 24 billion euros, or $31.8 billion, by 2020. All dollar rates are calculated at average exchange rates for the period in question.