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Vegas - 2015 - Issue 5 - September - Fall Fashion - Kate King

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CONTINUED ON PAGE 104 Chanel clutch RC: We're not seeing as many millennials as we'd like to. And who we do see are at an entry price point. So it's their fi rst scarf, fi rst tie, fi rst watch. Regardless of age, there is one consistency: People are genuinely interested in quality and craftsmanship. They want something that is very well made, that's going to last a long time. But, for example, in the case of ties, a younger customer wants a thinner tie—same quality, just thinner. BC: I think it's less a generational issue than a lifestyle issue. There are certain badges of honor you want to acquire at different stages in your life. For some indi- viduals, it might be 10 days at an Aman resort. For other people, it's going to be a Chanel haute couture dress or handbag, or something from Dior or Lalique. But it's much more individual than it was in the boomer years, where there was more consistency to "what's your fi rst badge, what's your second badge?" Today it's based more on personality and lifestyle. MZ: It's also about having collaborations that are relevant to a younger audience. All brands are searching for ways to be relevant to the millennials. In terms of being more relevant, I recently visited a Graff store in Vegas and found Beats by Dre headphones with Graff diamonds on them! Henri Barguirdjian : The idea of doing something with Beats by Dre was a cool way to show that we're not old and stodgy; we can also be hip— so there you go. It was a fun collaboration. VO: It's interesting what you did with the Beats product. The heritage of our brands is about product. I don't think it's necessarily generational; it's about the quality and the craftsmanship that each of our brands represent. We have been around for over 100 years and everything we do has to be product-focused, and then secondly, it's how can we communicate that to stimulate [interest from] different generations? What do you think are the priorities for luxury customers today? Have buying patterns changed? Lifestyles are more casual. Everything is global. RC: People want to make a subtler statement. Society has become a bit over the top in terms of celebrity status. I'm just fascinated by this. It's like, how much less can you wear to a black-tie affair today? And it's getting crazier and crazier. So you know it's reaching a tipping point with people starting to think, Wow, where does this all end? I think the real big change with millennials is the concept of less is more. They don't want lots of anything; they just want a few very good things. And fortunately for us, it plays into who we are. If you're just going to have one, let me have the best one that I can have. MZ: It depends on the audience. Some of the younger consumers are attracted by celebrities, and that's their way into a luxury brand like Graff or Lalique. Our classic luxury consumer varies also. There are those who want the limited, one-of-a-kind product, and there are those who want something not limited but with the same levels of craftsmanship and effort behind the design. HB: Our customers want pieces that are understated but with gems of extreme rarity and quality. Nothing ostentatious—I hate to use the word "bling." What is the consumer buying in the luxury category? What are the hottest items to have this year? BC: We are seeing growth in ready-to-wear and, more specifi cally, in knitwear. Additionally, shoes continue to be an area of growth for the brand, and the newest US Chanel boutiques feature dedicated shoe salons, which showcase the breadth of the shoe collection. RC: Our single best category this year is the home area. We are fi nding an exorbitant interest and increase in our home business—decorative items, accessories, furniture. It seems that people really want this Hermès lifestyle in their homes. HB: There is such scarce supply to demand, and our customers are looking for pieces with great rarity and value. This year our Butterfl y line [in which gems for jewelry and timepieces are crafted with butterfl y shapes] has done extremely well. MZ: We're investing signifi cantly in the Lalique Art Division. Collaborations with the Yves Klein Foundation, Anish Kapoor, Zaha Hadid, Rembrandt Bugatti, Elton John, and Damien Hirst have helped drive interest from a younger customer. What does the luxury customer want today and how are you addressing these wants? HB: I think that there are two things happening. Number one, new consumers have educated themselves very quickly and their knowledge of our world and our product is very impressive. If anything, the whole new way of Celebrating its 10th anniver- sary this year, the Luxury Education Foundation was established to help students acquire the specialized skills needed to succeed in luxury retail. Since LEF's founding, more than 500 students from the Columbia Business School and Parsons School of Design have taken courses focusing on the creation and marketing of luxury goods; about half have gone on to work in the sector. The number of executives and brands involved—among them Cadillac, Chanel, Cartier, Dior, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton—has grown signifi cantly over the last decade, like the global goods market itself (worth more than $950 billion in 2014). LEF offers 10 classes, such as Corporate Classroom, in which students spend the day at the headquarters of luxury brands for a glimpse of day-to-day operations, and the new Luxury Craftsmanship Workshop, established this year, in which design students participate in a two-week program with master artisans HIGHER LEAR NING How the Luxury Education Foundation nourishes emerging talent and tomorrow's leaders. 102 VEGASMAGAZINE.COM Hermès scarf

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