Emerging brands in the luxury industry in France :
How will their sustainability be assured?
The Club ESSEC Luxe united its members around a big round table this December in Paris. This needed action was initiated by Claire Colas, manager of Club ESSEC Luxe. Reaching almost 100 people, the group did some assessment and highlighted the quality points regarding the facilitation managed by Olivier Coppermann around this question : how, in France, can we launch and sustain these luxury brands in a growing industry essentially controlled by big brands that had even become international over decades ago? The Daily Couture, a Club ESSEC Luxe media partner, shares with you the biggest issues and concerns : the specifics regarding luxury brands, their development within the French luxury and fashion industry, and lastly the common pitfalls that happen when companies get booted.
photos : Claire Colas, manager of Club ESSEC Luxe et Olivier Coppermann, associate founder of OC & PY
THE SPECIFICITIES OF LUXURY PRODUCTS
According to Michel Chevalier, consultant of EIM, and Jacques Carles, president and founder of the Centre du Luxe, for everybody, creative capacity is imperative, as well as the continuing usage of quality craftsmen skills. Carles, himself, does not agree with Daniel Piette, the president of L Capital, and who also highlights the excellence of some semi-industrial products like automobiles and shoes. And what about their views on the globalization of a luxury product? According to Bruno Piette, there’s no need to go international now! And for Michel Chevalier, we must meet our “flying customers”. The travelers. Jacques Carles, he emphasizes the beauty of integration’s capacity for innovation. With that, though, Bruno Piette stresses the importance of the “emotional experience ” that relatively new brands do succeed in offering to their customers. He quotes brands like Isabelle Marant, Paul & Jo, or Sandro.
photo : Daniel Piette*, president of L Capital (lvmh), Emilie Piette*, assistant Mode, Luxe, Design, Director of DGCIS, Olivier Coppermann, associate founder of CO & PY (* homonyms)
FIXING THE FACT THAT THERE IS A
LACK OF EXPERTISE
IN THE FRENCH LUXURY INDUSTRY
Jacques Carles is sorry to say that there’s a complete imbalance of expertise in banks involved with luxury industries. One of these banks’ new department, Stratégie & Finance in the Centre du Luxe, presents itself as an aid which offers services regarding corporate finance and advice on management. Among recent initiatives, Emile Piette, Assistant Fashion, Luxury, and Design Director for DGCIS, mentions that there are new specialized teams in the HSBC and SG banks along with actions that are being conducted by some federations, the CCE (foreign trade advisors), and UBI France. Emile Piette stresses, however, the difficulty of undertaking such a task, no matter what the industry.
photo : Fred Pinel, bespoke and luxury leather luggage and accessories maker of Pinel & Pinel, Michel Chevalier, professor at Dauphine and consultant EIM Paris, Jacques Carles, president of the Centre du Luxe et de la création
THE CREATOR OF A LUXURY BRAND
The creator working in the business of luxury is like any other, except that he works in a particular company that requires its teams to really comprehend, at minimum, the branch of aesthetics. Daniel Piette stresses the creator’s impregnable determination to achieve whatever he’s got his mind set on. For everyone in this position, much time and laundering is required, and always more than one would have anticipated. According to him, the idea of a creator-director duo remains pertinent, even if the inherent difficulty for the luxury industry to incorporate the management of emotions persists. That’s when the need for managerial innovation comes in! The journey of bespoke and luxury leather luggage and accessories maker , Fred Pinel, from Pinel & Pinel, perfectly illustrates the equation between creativity and business. This man brings emotionality to the heart in his brand and you could find this special touch in each of his products. And there we have an example of a creator who’s been blessed with a business sense as well as a grand pugnacity—a real creator’s qualities according to the stakeholders.
PUTTING AN END TO FRENCH ASSUMPTIONS
IN THE LUXURY BUSINESS
Should he go for it? Should our passionate Parisian designer, year 2011, take that big step in acquiring his shop? What a dream come true!–Op. Better consider the size of the market first! In France, the big stores are a great opportunity for young brands to start for they’re just simply offering you a lower and “better” price. Still Michel Chevalier stresses on how great an learning experience it is for a designer to own his/her boutique to get to know customers ‘expectations quite well.
Nevertheless, our man Fred Pinel took this risk. With a chunk of his share capital sold, he’d better have made magic happen! For this was an important step towards adulthood for his young brand, for a local brand as his is definitively limited by the logistic boundaries posed by online shopping.
Last, Michel Chevalier raises the issue of product licenses for French luxury brands. He denounces how French luxury brands don’t go for them, an almost “French sickness” or “cultural con” says the expert. It’s an obstacle preventing a potential acceleration of the reputation and awareness of quality brands – it’s “a tragedy” even. A French tragedy, but at the same time, a forewarning to French emerging brands to really consider their decision and recognize the consequences posed by present competitors.
Translation by Camille Davis
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