Luxury heavyweights hit L.A.
The Financial Times’ annual Business of Luxury Summit is the kind of conference where Prince Albert II of Monaco mixes with LVMH chief Bernard Arnault, or the CEOs of Burberry and Gucci swap trade secrets. And the venues, which change every year, tend to match the glitziness of the attendees: last year it was Monte Carlo, and in 2007 the confab was held in Venice.
Now in its sixth year, the summit next week comes to Los Angeles, and organizers have picked a theme that’s undoubtedly on the minds of many heavy hitters in the luxury industry: how brands communicate with their customers, and how they can do it better. Expect social media to figure heavily in the rotation of topics. “There’s a real question about jumping on the bandwagon of new media,” says Vanessa Friedman, the FT’s fashion editor. “Burberry has a million Facebook friends, but they’re not selling a million raincoats because of it.”
That particular quandary may not be solved over the three days of the conference, but judging from the list of speakers attendees should have plenty to mull over: Tamara Mellon will expound on the risks and rewards of working with celebrities; Diane von Furstenberg and Google’s Marissa Mayer will focus on reaching consumers via different media. Happily, there will be ample time to schmooze along with the panels and keynote speeches: a gala dinner at Paramount Studios is planned for the second night, and Monocle magazine editor Tyler Brule – known for hosting a good bash – is throwing the after-party at the Chateau Marmont.
Photos courtesy of the Financial Times