LUXE PACK ON MOVE IN U.S.
Byline: Soren Larson
NEW YORK — The U.S. version of the Luxe Pack packaging convention ended its fourth edition last week with boosts in attendance and the number of exhibitors.
The show, held here April 15 to 17, drew 102 exhibitors from the prestige fragrance and cosmetics business — the leading category — and the gift, jewelry and liquor industries. Overall attendance was 2,375, an increase of 10 percent over last year.
Georges Gignac, president of Luxe Pack/New York, the counterpart of the 10-year-old Monaco-based Luxe Pack, said many European exhibitors dropped out this year — but the number of new entries made up for the loss.
“There have been changes in the world economy,” Gignac said, explaining that a continuing recession and poor exchange rates were behind the reduced European presence.
“But now American firms realize they can compete on the high end,” he continued. “What’s seen as luxury in Europe has been a commodity here — but the attitude is changing.”
In addition, he said, the definition of luxury goods is not as strict, leading to freer interaction among a wider variety of companies. “All the notions are skewed. The industry is becoming blurred,” he said. “What [exhibitors] are selling is technological capacity, and that can come from anywhere.”
The proceedings took on a celebratory air on the night of April 16, when Avon was honored at Luxe Pack’s annual dinner benefiting the Pratt Institute.
The capacity crowd of 320 mingled for cocktails at the University Club and looked on during dinner as Andrea Jung, executive vice president and president of global marketing at Avon, accepted an award from Luxe Pack honoring Avon’s “100 years of packaging innovation.”
“A commitment to package design and excellence will take us into the future,” said Jung, noting that Avon has recently undertaken a complete overhaul of its packaging, modernizing its look and graphics in an effort to draw new, youthful consumers.
“Over the last two to three years we’ve undertaken one of the most comprehensive makeovers in the history of Avon,” she said, “and packaging design is at the heart of it.”
She was introduced by Diane Von Furstenburg, and talk at the Avon table touched on an upcoming venture between the designer and the direct-sales company: a Von Furstenburg fragrance. It will probably be launched in the first quarter of 1998.
The dinner raised $25,000 for the Pratt Institute’s Marc Rosen scholarship foundation for graduate students in packaging design. Rosen, founder and president of Pret-a-Porter, a stock bottle manufacturer and exhibitor at Luxe Pack, said donations have now reached $125,000 since the scholarship was created two years ago.