Luxury is artificial definition and cannot be easily transferred into real life. It is a notion of anything that is useless and superfluous in real life. However, it can be often associated with beauty (art, entertainment, design, décor or trend) and remains one of the driving forces behind society’s spending. It is true that luxury speaks and renown’s itself by big spending and indeed, outlandish expenditure is often associated with it.
The world luxury market is worth more than $130 billions and France is the country which owns the largest number of companies in the luxury and historically always been trend setter in the luxury market. Some of the world’s best symbol of lavish lifestyle is essentially French (such as Don Perignon champagne, Louis Vitton handbags or white truffles as a culinary ingredient). French is the language of choice for aristotles and diplomats. Shortly, France has long heritage in leading and dominating luxury market and therefore is an appropriate background for my analysis.
1. Luxury industry: presentation
The luxury industry is based on prestige brands which dominate luxury market and its spectre e.g. Perfumes, fashion design called “Haute Couture”, jewellery, leather, shoes and accessories. Fashion and luxury goods have an annual turnover of € 35 billion in France (campus.org 2006). Main players on the market are LVMH, Chanel and Hermes International.
In the sector of luxury especially la Haute Couture, lavishness is a notion difficult to comprehend. The leading designers such as Jean Paul Gauthier kept the introvert and indeed humble image for years, before breaking the bank with their designs.
We need to limit our seeking because there are 130 brands in France (Comité Colbert Website 2005) that one third is present on the market. For this reason I have chosen to detail through of a committee in Paris which gathers 70 best houses in the luxury sector and later more precisely LVMH.
In last century, the sector of the fashion of French economy underwent a profound change. Home-made brands started to gradually expand and explore wider audience, targeting not only Paris, but also rest of the France and later Europe, Asia, finally the whole world. Their domination on the global market was mainly achieved thanks to outstanding history and heritage of the brands, quality of the product, trend setting ability of Paris and social notion of luxury desire.
So, the big creators, both in the high fashion and in the perfume, were steadily replaced as dominating figures by designers. The marketing and the advertising become the most important in the sector – products became increasingly similar so the brand identity was essential.
From the end of the 19TH century, some names have led, such as Guerlain in the flagrance or Worth in the "haute couture". These designers are at the origin of a luxury depth change by contributing to expand, differentiate and create new background and clientele – from the elites to the masses.
This period was dated as the one of the birth of a new luxury and a blooming of the fashion arts.
Everything in this section is based on the annual report on “Comité Colbert” Website 2007. To gather skills and the strengths of every luxury designers, Guerlain created “Comité Colbert” in 1954 with 70 houses from the luxury brands. This partnership reinforces know-how of each brand and they keep developing it. Furthermore Paris is the worldwide capital famous for its tourism and high quality products. They count 10.5% of increase of turnover every year (2005).
Despite the international competition such as New-York or Milan Paris has to keep its leadership and to make the most to the influence of Paris. This “comité” or “Colbert committee” organizes events (catwalks and salons) and tries to make sure that Paris is regarded as a capital of luxury in the world.
For the generation to come, they invest in the...