Creativity and innovation will sign the revival of luxury

June 2003

Creativity and innovation will sign the revival of luxury
The fall in the value of the dollar, war in Irak and the SARS outbreak have strongly shaken the luxury industry this year. The recent announcement of a plunge in profits for Richemont, number two among the luxury conglomerates and considered by analysts as the perfect indicator of the sector's health, is the sign that the economy's luxury branches are in troubled times.

Richemont, who owns prestigious names such as Cartier, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Baume & Mercier, has seen its sales drop by 27% in April and May, reports Le Monde, stressing the fact that only a wind of creativity and innovation can be salutary. On June 5th, Richemont's Chairman Johan Rupert had announced 2002-03 results down by 43% for a turnover decreased by 5%. Now Richemont disavows what it calls its « feelings of contentment », the fact of resting on its laurels during years of economic boom. A series of restructuration measures are undertaken and will notably affect employment, such as the closing down of the Cartier manufacture in Villeret (Canton Neuchâtel).

At the same time, renowned groups and brands now bet on creativity to instil a new drive into their business. Designers John Galliano, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jil Sander take command of houses Burberry, Christian Dior, Hermès, Prada. In the stride, Richemont announces the launch of its Creative Academy in Milan, stating that it has « perceived a need to nurture and develop creativity and new talent in the industry. ». LVMH has made this creative attitude its must and is one of the few luxury holdings to boast two digits growth figures . 6000 watches of Louis Vuitton's Tambour are on a waiting list, while twelve Louis Vuitton boutiques are to be inaugurated -among them one in India and one on Moscow's Red Square- and a new jewelry line designed by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton will be launched this year.

Read our recent reports on the subject :

- Richemont announces the launch of its Creative Academy in Milan

- Richemont announces a plunge in profits
June 2003