I caught a wonderful interview on CNBC this morning with LVMH Chairman & CEO Bernard Arnault. He is a consummate gentleman and made a great differentiation between real and perceived luxury. I particularly liked his rather tame reference below, which can be extrapolated to many other items and brands that have been more fleeting than any in his portfolio.
“WORLD LUXURY MAYBE IS NOT COMPLETELY RELEVANT TO OUR INDUSTRY,“ is not a quote you’d expect from the leader of such brands ranging from Cheval Blanc vineyards to De Beers Diamonds. He went on to explain that luxury may be more fleeting in today’s mind. He focusses on “high-quality” products of artisan quality. Very interesting take. He added…
“I HAVE A GREAT ADMIRATION FOR APPLE AND FOR THE iPHONE. I HAVE MYSELF AN iPHONE. BUT CAN YOU SAY THAT IN 20 YEARS PEOPLE WILL STILL USE AN iPHONE? MAYBE NOT. MAYBE WE’LL HAVE A NEW PRODUCT OR SOMETHING VERY MORE INNOVATIVE. BUT WHAT I CAN SAY TODAY IS 20 YEARS FROM NOW, I’M QUITE CONVINCED THAT PEOPLE WILL STILL DRINK DOM PERIGNON.”
Now for my obligatory automotive note. We heard this bombshell from Detroit. “Chrysler is not a luxury brand,” said Sergio Marchionne as he announced Fiat Chrysler’s new 5-year plan. No real relation, but I found he juxtaposition rather catching. Now that I have that cleared up, I can get back to work.