The Luxury Entrepreneur (Part 2): Changing the Rules of Luxury Retail
In our last blog, we presented, in a broad stroked landscape, the philosophy of the Luxury Entrepreneur. The sensibilities driving this new creative force can be summed up as follows:
The search for Artists & artisans whose creativity is fired with a passion for life and a quest for personal identity rather than pure commercial values.
Artists who offer a unique integrity in what they create as their art precedes the product as a seed precedes a flower and its bloom.
A global outreach by the entrepreneur to artisans who share an Eastern cultural sensibility about a spiritual lifestyle.
A curator-designer approach to merchandising and product development.
Products and retail presentations whose uniqueness transcends consumption and become modern heirlooms.
In accessories, the result at retail is nothing less than revolutionary. The traditional rules and formats for retail entry and merchandise presentation are radically altered. The entrepreneur’s brand is showcased with traditional luxury brands. The price of entry is not how popular they are but how they work as complementary works of art. The presentation is in a museum like setting in specially lighted minimalist formats; brands, previously seen purely as competitors and housed in separate shops, fixtures, cases and the like are now integrated in lifestyle presentations—hats with scarves and handbags, for example. Cross merchandising the brands recognizes the reality of how consumers shop and dress, mixing brands for their own unique lifestyle identity. Complementary color, texture, prints and the like, that is the design elements, unify the presentation.
The traditional concept of a department is jettisoned and with it its limitations. The artificial presentation of products which neither serves the consumer or the artistry inherent in luxury is no longer relevant. Lifestyle driven by something more than pure consumption prevails as we both collect and consume these works of art.
Traditional business practices such as returns and mark-down guarantees also become changed by this new sensibility. True partnering between retailer and brand owner is elevated by a sense of community rather than conflict and confrontation. A new age for Luxury has begun.