What are the true foundations of luxury?
Luxury is often believed to rely solely on marketing, creating value through marketing, branding, international development and selective retailing. We all have images in our heads of celebrities drinking champagne, red carpets, wonderful department stores windows. These clichés are seen all around the world.
But limiting luxury to these everchanging glittery images would be forgetting where luxury actually comes from. What are the true foundations of luxury? For us, excellence is based on exceptional products, born from a « terroir » – unique places and traditions, priceless knowledge and craftsmanship, and innovation.
The gorgeous leather handbag on the red carpet finds its roots in the pastures where the animals are raised and cared for by dedicated people. You have to know the ecosystem feeding the calf well, and the breeds that brings the best leather. Then comes the many skills of the leather tanning sector, the specific processes, pressure, and pigments.
All these steps, the resources, skills and time it takes is what makes an exceptional product. These are the roots of luxury. From the person birthing the calf to the person selling the handbag, from thegrass feeding the animal to the fashion designer’s inspiration, all elements are crucial to bring out the best quality.
Master the entire chain of value
This is why we need to envision the value chain globally, from field to plate. Tomorrow’s managers have to understand very clearly where the products come from, the whole agrofood system behind it. With this knowledge only will they be able to tell the story behind the product, create true engagement with their teams and clients, and build trust and loyalty in their customers.
We believe this systemic approach is the best path to create sustainable agrofood systems and strong brands. New luxury managers will scrutinize every steps of the process, analyzing the product life cycle, creating better practices, stabilizing the supply chain, assessing the impact the business has on different levels. This new balance will respect all stake holders and hopefully improve the wellbeing of all living being involved.