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Artketing: when luxury uses art for marketing purposes

The worlds of art and luxury are fields that have been intertwined and have fed of one another for a long time. This mix has led today to artketing, a word which analyses the closeness between art and marketing, including in the luxury industry. Professor Christophe Rioux, luxury and creative industry specialist in Sciences Po and la Sorbonne deciphers this phenomenon.

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto05 juillet 2022

The world's largest Barbie exhibition in Montreal features outfits from top designers and labels such as Christian Dior, Versace and Givenchy on the dolls (Shutterstock)

The world of art and the world of luxury are ever more intertwined. Foundations dedicated to contemporary art are flourishing and bring a much-appreciated aura of patronage to luxury brands that connect their name and image to these institutions.

In some other cases, they are the products of luxury brands themselves which are dramatized, even sacralized in museum vitrines, often showcased in a scenography only found in great cultural exhibitions. Furthermore, sometimes artists reinterpret a luxury product and bring an artistic validation through their collaboration with a luxury brand. This was the case with the long-standing collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Murakami, or even between Jeff Koons and the champagne house Dom Perignon. Today more than ever, in a world where the intangible dimension of experience takes over on products to embody luxury, the world of art and the world of exclusive brands are more than ever connected.

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The pioneer was Cartier, who decided to open a building by Jean Nouvel in Paris, in 1984, on boulevard Raspail: its own foundation dedicated to contemporary art. Then, other foundations followed: François Pinault’s Punta della Dogana, or even Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Prada and Louis Vuitton.

The Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, created in 1984 by the Maison Cartier (Shutterstock)

Contemporary art has therefore become a precious communication tool for great brands. Luxury products are enriched with a storytelling that finds its inspiration in the artistic, by no longer being a simple object.

Today ever more immersed in the virtual world of metaverse and NFTs, great names of luxury want to bring consumers to live experiences, and not to aim solely at owning precious objects. This new luxury concept can be a blessing and, in some cases, a danger for the universe of artistic creation.

Christophe Rioux, a professor specialized in luxury and creative industries in Sciences Po and la Sorbonne, talks about this new business field with Luxury Tribune, which is destined to become ever more significant over the years to come.

Art and luxury intertwining is not new. Art history has connected with luxury concepts and scarcity from its beginnings. Can you confirm?

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