It’s been a very long time since I last posted but alas, I am ready to give a sign of life.
What have I been doing all this time, you might ask?
I have been writing a book. Yes, again! I didn’t have enough plight writing one, no. I decided to write another one. But, seriously speaking, this is something that is important to me as it shares a huge amount of knowledge, research and teaching experience with the wider audience on one, no two of my favourite topics: Luxury and Sustainability.
In the last years, whenever I taught luxury brand management or similar courses at university, sustainability was embedded in the module almost as a default topic. This is because my students are eager to learn more about the topic and I am eager to share this knowledge – exploring it together.
However, if you know me or have read some of the posts on this blog, you know that I am not going to promote any topic because it is popular and in demand. Quite the opposite, the approach is to be honest and critical. Thus, the book will surely provoke some thoughts and emotions on the subject – which is a positive effect.
What topics will the book cover?
- The history of luxury. Understanding what the word actually means, how it is perceived in different cultures (i.e. Western Bias) and where is has influenced history is so important. Did you know that in ancient Rome, this was an immoral way of living? Or that men and women might enjoy luxury because it is tied to mating and procreation? Luxury in fashion is equal to couture, bespoke and tailoring, which is a very sustainable way of making clothes – albeit expensive ones.
- The luxury designers. We love them, we celebrate them. But what do they do all day? And are they happy? Creating a collection and being a creative director who is in charge of a heritage luxury house is a huge responsibility. The collection is then shown at a fashion show. But how sustainable is a spectacle set up at the Palais de Tokyo or Grand Palais in Paris?
- How to understand the luxury brand if it was a living entity? In this chapter I present new theory models to analyse a brand. Exciting geeky charts and geometric forms!
- How to manage luxury portfolios and what the big conglomerates do. Lots of theory (it’s a must in an academic book) and then applied case examples of the largest luxury behemoths: LVMH, Kering, Richemont and – can you fill in the gap for the last one? I also add a bit of spite about private equity investors who buy luxury houses.
- Internationalization and luxury around the world, especially in emerging economies. This is a topic I truly love. The chapter will take the reader through emerging economies, billionaires from around the world and show all the theory of how to enter a foreign market correctly. There are some tricky bits in this chapter which will rub some readers the wrong way: Did you know that current globalisation is the same as neo-colonialism?
- What causes brand decline and how can brands be resuscitated? I loooooove this topic so much! Based on theories by leading authors such as Kapferer, the chapter explains all details and has two superb case studies to show application of theory.
- SUSTAINABILITY – deep dive into all that is wrong in the fashion industry and what options there are to get it right. This chapter makes up about 40% of the book. There are some more controversial topics hidden here, such as criticism of the Triple Bottom Line and a very honest appraisal of the leather and fur industry. It’s not a green-wishy-washy sort of chapter but more concerned with the truth of the matter.
- The future of sustainability: New designers, street wear, resale and couture but also the unsustainable metaverse and bad bad NFTs are part of this final cherry on the cake.
In each chapter features interviews with experts on these topics and there are beautiful images throughout. The line-up consists of experts such as The Fashion Roadman, Dara Huang, Angela Farrugia, Ellen Pabst von Ohain, Besma Whayeb, Ed Mendoza (!), WMTV London and many more. I am forever indebted to these wonderful and brilliant individuals who let me bother them for their deep insights into their specialisms.
Last but not least, I have added TONS of images. I wonder if the publisher will let me get away with them, but I do think that they should ALL be in the book. You should really enjoy reading it, I am certain!
*Lots of love for Karl in my book!
Now, that the manuscript has been sent, the production process begins, which will hopefully remove any type-os. Don’t worry, I have great excuses: English is my third language of 5 and the book was written under duress (= school holidays; mums will understand).
I will update again when I have a provisional publication date (possible end of this year) and hopefully you will not have to wait as long as it takes to make a bespoke suit or hand-made shoes! xx