Luxury Briefing : The Power of Partnerships

David Attenborough is an iconic barometer of changing times. He is our moral compass, our sainted sextant and guide. Through his great technicolour oeuvre, Sir David has shown us that the natural world would not function so beautifully without the symbiotic interplay between animals. There is an understanding between the pilot fish that quietly cleans the shark in the deepest oceans. Between the Egyptian plover that plays dentist to the wily Nile crocodile. There is a coexistence and harmony between species, saying: ‘I’ll scratch your back; you don’t eat mine’, which continues to allow their world to thrive.

In our brave new world, still unfurling its wings, working together has never been so important. If it is true that we are all weathering the same, strange storm, it makes absolute sense to bring our vessels together to form a stronger, united flotilla. When we all row in the same direction, we can help each other get to where we want to be. When we pool our resources, it is easy to see just how wealthy we are. Rich in ideas, in talent and creativity. We are the sum total of the people we work with and people are by far our greatest achievement. Those people with a discerning eye, a zealousness for quality, those with a free spirit and passion for life. They are the storytellers and shoemakers, the dreamers and the doers.

In the luxury market, we all work to the same inherent principles, interpreted through our own unique visions. We set our own standards. We lead, we pioneer and innovate. We challenge and delight. We, like Robert Frost, take the road less-travelled and that makes all the difference.

In an industry that has always taken the rule book and thrown it in the nearest waste paper basket, there are many opportunities for change and growth through partnership. Out of adversity comes creative verve and new ideas, like the phoenix born brighter from flames. Mutual support can, almost immediately and very perceptively, make challenges feel less overwhelming. When we work together, there is scope not just to do more but to be more.

In partnership, there are opportunities to expand into adjacent markets. In partnership there are opportunities to develop targeted approaches to a shifting consumer mindset. Well-thoughtout collaborations will always keep the consumer at the centre, whether to the road less-travelled, tailored experiences or on bespoke craftsmanship.

Customers are doing less but there is a desire to it better. There is a yearning for more meaningful connections, an increased social conscience and focus on sustainability. Customers are more mindful of Nile crocodiles and pilot fish and of their own impact on a global scale. There is much scope to do the right thing, for the right reasons.

On this great raft of ours, great work is already being done. Gucci’s Off-the-Grid campaign, in a genius digital partnership tie-in with the iconic The Sims 4 game, has recently been launched for those mindful of their environmental impact and of their responsibility towards our planet. The entire collection uses recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials and is at the heart of Gucci’s mission to bring about positive change in order to secure our collective future.

Vivienne Westwood, punkgirl doyenne of the fashion world, always was and always will be at the avant-garde. She is partnering with Canopy, whose work focuses on the protection of trees, species and the climate. The campaign, appropriately featuring smouldering models reading poems about a smouldering earth, focusses on the impact of deforestation and the need for fashion with a conscience. Within the collection, packaging only comes from responsibly managed forests. The brand is also working toward making sure that 100 per cent of its wood pulpderived fabrics are certified within the next year.

In the luxury market, those inherent principles we work within are expanding. We are breathing out, breathing in. Today, we count empathy as one of our strongest assets. As we continue to navigate a changed world, compassion, affinity and flexibility will all be key to a thriving sector. Naturally attained partnerships will enable us to keep on rowing, helping each other get to where we want to be.

When we get there, perhaps we will marvel as Shakespeare’s Miranda did at her own brave new world:

‘How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is!’

From Luxury Briefing – December 2020