Prestigious luxury brands set up first luxury association in Germany

MEISTERKREIS, Germany’s first luxury association joins the European league of luxury associations – Italy’s Altagamma, France’s Comité Colbert and UK’s Walpole.

Members voted the chairman of the board of porcelain manufacturer Meissen, Christian Kurtzke, as its president. Further board members include Thomas Schnädter, managing director of Montblanc Deutschland, and the management consultant Clemens Pflanz, forming the executive committee. Among the inaugural members of the new forum are A. Lange & Söhne, Comtesse, Gaggenau, KaDeWe, Leica, Porsche Design, leading hotels like The Adlon or Brenners Park Hotel, German vintners like Robert Weil, and international luxury brands such as Chanel, Dior and Estée Lauder.

The role of the MEISTERKREIS is not only to promote networking within the sector, but also campaign for a new pleasure and luxury culture in Germany. The initiative is encouraged by the results of a recently published survey by the opinion research institute TNS Emnid, according to which 76 per cent of all German people describe themselves as ‘hedonists’; among 14–29 year olds the figure rises to 88 per cent. The dreams of luxury among Germans centre on travel (36%), cars and living (both 20%), according to the sampling on behalf of MEISTERKREIS.

For nine per cent of Germans, luxury is very important to them personally. President Christian Kurtzke wants to gradually increase the size of this group: ‘Through our work we would like to create a new awareness of the unique nature and variety of the luxury landscape in Germany and help to shape a relaxed luxury culture based on pleasure and values.’ In this regard, the initiative has already linked up with museums, universities and further partners from the cultural and creative industries. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and the communications agency Scholz & Friends are supporting the MEISTERKREIS as strategic partners.

The recent study by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants shows, that sales of luxury goods in Germany in 2010 add up to 11 billion euros. The potential of the German luxury market is said to be far higher when measured against the size of the population and its purchasing power. They say annual growth of nine per cent is realistic, which translates into an increase in sales to around 24 billion euros by 2020.