Luxury industry business insights from the 2014 AMEX Summit

The 2014 AMEX Publishing Luxury Summit which took place last week and was themed Luxury Without Borders, debated how global luxury has become.

Emmanuel Perrin, President CEO Cartier“When I came to Cartier in 2010, I promised I would go to all 250 Cartier stores in the world to see how they worked. And I did. It is important for me to understand best practices everywhere. Cartier is different because I like to think we are associated with the right thing. When you need the right thing — birthday, anniversary — you go to Cartier. And that also relates to different parts of the world, with different celebratory rituals. But even that is changing. Five years ago, we had no iPhone. Young people are really connected and they can buy and learn from the iPhone. They do not need to go into a store. If I had one suggestion, it would be focus on what you can do and serve the client with great respect.”

“If I worry about anything it is that Cartier is a family business, it has been in business 167 years. And like a test drive, or babysitting, you want to give the business, or the car or the baby, back in the same shape as you found it. Hopefully even better.”

Carter Cleveland, CEO Artsy: ”All I really wanted to do was to create some way of accessing art for everyone. I believe that Artsy technology can create deep connections between commerce and education. Also, because of Artsy, a new generation of collector is being created, both high end, and high end later on. There will be Millennials and then generations behind them. We have the largest database of contemporary art ever; and our stat is that 97 percent of those that earn over $500,000 do NOT collect art, and only three percent are art consumers. We feel we can change that.”

Dennis Freedman, Creative Director, Barneys: ”As I am a member of the LGBT population, I realize how little we have worked with the “T” part of it, and I wanted to make the lives of the transgender teens more accessible to everyone. We are a visual population, and seeing things — from our moving windows at Barneys to seeing films like this — allows greater understanding of social issues and consequences. Giving the consumer a chance to see action helps make them more aware, seduces them in a way, to change perspective from passive to active. A good thing! Of course we have had some failures, but I embrace failure, as it is a step in the education process to greater success.”

Arianna Huffington, President Editor-in-Chief The Huffington Post: ”The first two metrics are the acquisition of money, the second is of power but the third is most important, the acquisition of well-being. We live in a collective delusion. Great success, without more balance, can lead only to great burn out. We must become more mindful, more giving — we will be better, more mindful people, and will achieve a greater, more sensitive work/life balance”

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