Opinion

The explosive cocktail of cool, avant-garde and profit

Cristina D’Agostino

By Cristina D’Agostino02 décembre 2022

For the past few days, the luxury industry has been under pressure. The two flagship brands of the Kering group have monopolized the attention, with one shocking announcement after another and bad buzz. Alessandro Michele, the GenZ's adored artistic director, took off at Gucci and Balenciaga decided to apologize twice for bad advertising choices. Two brands that until recently were united in an experimental project called the Hacker Project. Among other iconic objects revisited, the project featured a monogrammed Gucci bag sprayed with a provocative "This is not a Gucci Bag", inspired by the bold universe of Balenciaga's artistic director Demna Gvasalia. Two brands that have been very profitable for years, but whose race for avant-garde and profits is running out of steam, at least for Gucci. Counterculture and inclusion taken to extremes in very distinct worlds are slippery slopes in times of crisis. The current context does not favor extreme risk-taking, because mistakes are nowadays very expensive. The times want profit, consolidation and asset value.

It is therefore interesting to note how LVMH has occupied the news field this week: the launch of a new platform for the sale of archival pieces, Heristoria, which capitalises on history and heritage; the acquisition of a group of subcontractors in goldsmithing and jewellery, which consolidates the supply chain; and the launch of a Bulgari capsule collection with the Phillips auction house for heritage value.

Between consolidation and flamboyance, the luxury sector has split this week…

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