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Opinion

Why luxury is moving from being an aesthetic product to an artistic curator

Cristina D’Agostino

By Cristina D’Agostino30 septembre 2021

The cultural dimension of luxury brands is growing. If art foundations are the most visible institutions, outside artistic curations are increasingly important. Musical creations, animated films, short films, operas, performances, artistic commissions and other cross-cultural encounters between worlds that are, on the face of it, far removed from luxury, offer the public a wide range of artworks that would not have seen the light of day without the support of brands. But rather than continuing the tradition of patronage, luxury brands are occupying the field of culture. And they are allowing themselves to broaden their scope of competence, pushing the envy to the point of becoming an authority in the field.

More and more brands are institutionalising their aesthetics, claiming their status as cultural players for the entire community. In art, societal issues, science and even education, the brand is broadening its scope, dictating its aesthetic and proposing a thought process. Gucci is developing its Gucci Vault platform, and endorsing as yet unknown artists. Cartier supports film-makers on socially committed themes and is inaugurating the pavilion dedicated to women at the Dubai World Expo in the coming days. Audemars Piguet is bringing artists and musicians together to bring to life an innovative creative space. Bulgari is financing research by setting up a fund to support the Jenner Institute at Oxford University. Through this support, is luxury taking a social stand? In any case, consumer questions are becoming increasingly pressing.

It is clear that the power of luxury is growing. Its value is no longer measured solely by its economic and patrimonial performance, but also by its capacity to be part of our lives. Only the field of politics seems complicated to invest. For the time being. But we can also understand this increase in the implications of luxury as a diplomatic response.

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