EVENT | Condé Nast Future Luxury 2016: take-away insights

17 min read

Missed out the big Condé Nast conference in Séoul on the Future of Luxury? No worries, we summed up all the insights you need to know from super quotes to big announcements!

THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA with Eva Chen and Olivier Rousteing



Luxury is shifting rapidly from ‘having’ to ‘being'”, “‘sharing’ is the new ‘having'”.  Social media are here to create a community around a brand and help reach its consumers. It needs to be transparent and sincere, it has to convey raw emotions to create engagement. Passion, authenticity and personality are key to success for Instagram.



  • “I use the hashtags and for a reason. I want to create more diversity in fashion.”
  • “When I first started my Instagram, there was a crisis. ‘Why is he inviting everyone into the world of luxury?’ Now, everyone understands what I’m doing and people understand Balmain, the brand, because it came from the heart. Now, after a show I can invite people to understand the Balmain world. If they want the Balmain world they can have it and follow; if they don’t like it, they can unfollow”
  • “Whatever haters might say, at the end of the day, if you get thousands of likes on Instagram, that’s great.  If you believe in yourself, you can make your dreams come true. My Instagram is a way to share that with others “
  • “I believe in see-now-buy-now – we have to stay connected and go faster. It’s the ‘click generation’ – we have to make it possible to buy. Its important to have a mix: see now, buy now & key pieces with different price points that you have to wait for, for different generations”

Fashion has always been about the future, it’s always moved quickly, and yes – it has been accelerated  by social media

  • “Know your audience and the DNA of your brand and extend that to digital through the unique tools & community collab”
  • “Passion and authenticity and personality are key to success for Instagram says, Remember that Instagram is truly a community – and it can be a great ice-breaker”
  • “It’s such an interesting time, with enormous opportunity. The velvet ropes have come down in fashion – the future of fashion is democracy and the ability to adapt with the consumer. It’s a new way of storytelling. So many luxury brands use the word ‘storytelling’ and what else is Instagram than storytelling? There’s so many ways to do it now through Instagram”


  • “Social media is powerful, sometimes unsettling but always offering opportunities for growth”

why models are being insta-pendent


Consumers are more interested in people than brands – models are taking up a new role as content curators with huge social following (social media stars, influencers, ambassadors).


Models are going “Insta-pendent“, less of just a face of a campaign but an influencer validating consumer purchases @JohnHooks

  • John Hooks, CEO at Pacific Global Management: “Same post attracted 1,023 likes on brand Instagram – but 1,200,000 likes on model’s Instagram, just like this Estée Lauder picture reposted by Kendall Jenner”
  • “The power does seem to have shifted: compare Vogue UK’s 200-300k circulation vs ‘s Instagram following of 54m”




Korea has emerged as a top destination for duty-free retail, valued at $88 billion and attracting millions of international shoppers every year. Luxury spending in Asia saw the highest annual growth in duty free last year, surpassing online. 60% of luxury sales in Paris are to tourists, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg, only 6% of urban citizens in China have a passeport. So brands need to fix inconsistencies in branding thorough international retail because they are easily spotted and lead to doubts of legitimacy.



The Korean wave is going to be big as they influence Europe but also they are drawing a brand new market for luxury brands thanks to their two digit growth. K-pop singers are already international stars thanks to social media. China is evolving from bling luxury to a more subtle consumption, as luxury become a commodity and no longer an exotic ownership. Korea, is a younger audience they want to rule their consumption and image, they are very proud of being independent and like when they have a voice.

The most important element of collaboration in Chinese and Korean markets is authenticity, Brands to target Korean and Chinese consumers need to stay true to their DNA but still cope with country rules such as copyrights or digital only interactions. Vogue launched only on digital and has reached half of the Chinese population, proof that the country is craving for high quality information on luxury.


  • Christopher K Wood, GM Estée Lauder Korea:
    • “Why is  TV so popular? “It’s an eclectic mix of drama, emotion and very very beautiful people”
    • “The most important element of a collaboration is authenticity”
    •  is a cultural coolness powered by social media, inspired by Asia”

The best luxury brands are true to their DNA and do not shoehorn in Asian, ideas are what appeal to Asian consumers @Erwan Rambourg, HSBC

  • Wim Pijbes, museum curator 
    • “Copyright in Asia sometimes means the right to copy, you can only trust the value of authenticity”
    •  “Luxury is all around in Asia. It’s no longer exotic. It’s almost a commodity”
  • Angelica Cheung, editor-in-chief Vogue China
    • “We are looking at the 1st generation of Chinese who haven’t experienced hardship. Playing authority won’t work with Chinese , treat them as equal and make sure their voices are heard”
    • “We made a decision to only use digital channels to launch Vogue me – we have reached half the Chinese population”
    • “In Asia, (product) quality is key! And Ideas matters more than ever”
    • “Technology has connected people all over the world and today, we are all inspired by each other”
    • “Korea is a Latin country – we like food, partying and dancing”
    • “The young generation just wants freedom. They have become the leader”

FUTURE LUXURY with Sophie Hackford, Director of Wired Consulting



Technological change will never be this slow again, luxury needs to go on board immediately.  Could it be bridging physical to digital, smart clothing or virtual reality. We need to see technical innovation as opportunities to develop Luxury Experience, so not only luxury brands need to stay informed but brands need to be the most technologically  advanced in order to deliver the best services.  Next big thing is obviously virtual reality which gave brands power to create worlds apart. Data, also a big shift trigger, needs to be understood in order to lead businesses to better consumers understanding and better ROI.


We’re not suffering from lack of technology, but a lack of imagination as to what to do with it @

    • “The only question more important than how and why luxury businesses should embrace technology is when they should embrace it. The answer is immediately”
    • “Rethink the meaning of from being exclusive to inclusive, interactive and experiential in a more connected world”
    • “Our kids will be the first virtual reality natives, the future of tech is immersive, it doesn’t end at edges of mobile, it’s not a text feed. We are moving away from the rectangle screen towards a 3D world”
    • “The data is already available and can provide the answer. So luxury leaders : What is your question?”
    • “Tech should not be seen as separate to your business. It is part of it”
  • Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap CEO “A text feed is not my normal interaction with the world. The computer needs to bend itself to you”
  • Omar Bradley: “We should be navigating by the stars and not the light of every passing ship.”

SAMSUNG KEYNOTE with  Seohyun Lee, ceo of Samsung C&T Corporation


We are at an exciting crossroads where the highest percentage of fashion students are Korean, and  Asia is the largest market for luxury good.  We are excited by what is coming in technology such as 5G, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, we imagine that it will bring a better experience for online viewing of fashion shows.


“I’m not sure we could be the LVMH of Korea, but the key point is I have a vision of growing Samsung Fashion overseas in the next 10 years. However, I want to run business in a modern way – finding out what the customers wants and moving quickly. We will continue to nurture new talents and invest in Korean fashion so that the industry can grow together with us.” SEOHYUN LEE, CEO of Samsung  C&T corporation

    • “I am looking forward to 5G coming to Korea later this year- better experience for online viewing of fashion shows”
    • “Imagine the future of as if the internet came first, offering the tactile stuff you can’t get in virtual reality”
    • “Koreans want everything to be fast and convenient, which drives technological innovation”
    •  “TBH, we first thought we could get into fashion by just buying a brand. But it wasn’t that easy”
    • “Samsung started out in the textile business in the 1950s and with SADI, we are investing in Korean design”


  •  Marie-Claire Daveu “The future of without does not exist”
  • : “For us, sustainability and social responsibility are no longer optional.”



  • Stuart Vevers, Coach Inc.  Creative director

“Old codes of luxury can be restrictive. I want Coach to reflect diversity of America. I want it to stand for cool. What will Coach stand for in 2020? A fresh alternative to formal European luxury” This generation doesn’t see luxury as a formal dress but a personal expression with a fashion fantasy”

    • “Words like ‘classic’, ‘timesless’ are not relevant anymore for today’s shoppers”
    • “Exclusivity needs a revision. It can’t just mean excluding”
    • “I didn’t limit myself to heritage. We relate to present and the future”
    • “I’m scrolling down to 100 images per day, I don’t go to galleries for inspiration
  • Jason Wu, Artistic Director Womenswear, BOSS
    • On the speed and pressure of fashion: “I love what I do. Work isn’t easy though- only way is to have a great team”

“What you wear has a lot to do with what you feel. We all playing dress-up. Because we judge everything by what we see first. Fashion is not a frivolity- Fashion allows you to be whoever you want to be. “

    • “My whole life has been unusual. I never followed any rules. I embraced the fact I didn’t know anything”
    • “The way that BOSS makes clothes is advanced. They took crafmenshift in a very different direction”
  • Kim Young-Seong, Head of Fabric Research, CHANEL
    •  “Younger people could be more talented yet not passionated enough. To make it in fashion, you need to be passionate and a very hard worker”
    • “Karl has wonderful dreams sometimes. And I have to make the dreams come true”
    • “Karl doesn’t really go to the supermarket”

“What I really appreciate in Chanel is the freedom of creation – for me that is really so precious.But with freedom comes responsibility; you have to respect the price, but with the custom-made tweed it is impossible to compromise. It is an amazing company, and with Karl there is total freedom. I ask other people how they work, and they cannot have this kind of autonomy.”


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Post written by Tali Fitoussi, Editor

Graduate student from IFM Paris, Tali is passionate about fashion and technology. Involved in valuable collaborations and internships at global companies like L’Oréal or Condé Nast, she helped organizing a conferences sessions at IFM Paris, and joined Clausette Magazine in September 2015.

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