Monday, 6 July 2009

A report from Milan - but not from the catwalk!

Fashionista's Italian sister has reported on the first Italian Luxury Summit which took place in Milan last Tuesday, 30 June. The summit was organised by ILSOLE24ORE, Italy's influential financial newspaper and was attended by representatives of many of the brand names on Fashionista's "must buy before I die" list. The discussion centred on the impact of the current economic climate on the spending patterns of the rich - and it seems that the new trend is to make lifestyle investment purchases rather than short term seasonal purchases.

This is the reason why brands like Hermès continue to do well according to Ms Di Carrobio, CEO of Hermès Italie. Classic items with a history built over generations are more "acceptable" than ephemeral vanity purchases. But also, it seems, the affluent fashionista is also looking for some additional form of justification or validation for her luxury purchase so it helps her to feel good about her shopping if her latest acquisition is also linked to something like green energy or the protection of the environment (or so said Sergio Loro Piano).

And another area of increased investment is in health and well being. (Fashionista is always up for a spa visit so this was definitely good news). Legal support in this growing area of luxury spending may move towards patents (for example, for new forms of cosmetics - suggested by a man who knows this area well, Mr Guillot-Boschetti, Lancome General Manager) or non-traditional trade marks (for example the sound of "silence" - a suggestion from Mr Agrati of Culti developers of a new "Day-SPA" concept).

Opinions on financial matters will always vary, but there was one thing that all the Summit attendees agreed on, namely the greatest luxury today is to have time to spend on yourself. So if patents are the new "must have" legal purchase, will the next step be for someone to file a patent containing the secret of how to manage life to achieve the perfect balance?