Conde Nast Recap

Conde´ Nast International held their second luxury conference in Seoul this year. The purpose of this conference was to discuss the future of luxury markets and how Seoul is becoming the world’s next big luxury hub. Suzy Menkes, International Vogue Editor, and Conde´ Nast International publications helped to form this collective conference. The luxury conference had over 500 attendees from all over the world. There were two common themes among all of the speakers: the wired world is transforming the luxury industry and Instagram is at the heart of it all.


We now have the ability to let “the velvet rope down”.
  • Eva Chen is the Head of Fashion Partnerships at Instagram and has over 500,000 followers on the social media network. She targeted several key ideas. The future of luxury is the ability to connect directly with our audience.
  • People are able to feel connected to the luxury market. Every designer uses Instagram differently. The perfect example of this was the next speaker, Olivier Rousteing, Creative Director at Balmain.


Olivier has over 2.9 million Instagram followers. He is the “King of Fashion Instagram”. He chooses to show his life to the world through the use of social media. He believes that working hard and sharing his passion is what enabled him to achieve his goals. 98% of his inspiration is depicted and achieved through Instagram. Runway shows depicted on social media inspire desire. 70%-90% of his fashion is spread through friends on Instagram.

We believe in the “See now, buy now” culture. Both Olivier and Eva believe that there is an integral relationship between social media, technology, fashion, creativity, and modern luxury. The next speaker, Aimee Kim, Lead Partner, Retail, McKinsey & Co., spoke of the demographics of the luxury shopper.

  • Aimee explained that Korea is the hub of duty free retail. There are many growth opportunities. There are 7.8 million shoppers. 30% of the annual growth rate is from luxury airport shops. The luxury shopper is the globetrotting Asian shopper.
  • 60% of the luxury market is tourists. 90% are Chinese and spend $43k per year. After Aimee’s insightful statistics, Sophie Hackford, Director of Wired Consulting, spoke of the new technology advances.

Sophie mentioned that the Virtual Age is now. Businesses now must have perfect information available for the consumer. New technologies are being developed such as facial recognition, and advertising drones. Ads will be dictated depending on who is watching. Handheld DNA sequencers will be available thus allowing consumers to test products for their origins. Orbital insights will determine the traffic in malls. As a result of all of these new technologies, anti-drone hoods and anti-facial recognition fashion will develop. Technology is not separate from luxury. We are in the age of entanglement where machines and humans meet. The next speaker, Seohyun Lee, President and CEO of Samsung C & T, explains how Samsung is supporting Korea’s designers.

Seohyun explains that Korea is the most wired country in the world. Artificial Intelligence will be crucial to the development of new designs. Wearable technology and IoT will become part of our daily lives. Virtual reality will maximize experiences. Luxury is timeless, but the way we experience and consume is changing. The future of luxury is limitless. Stuart Vevers, Executive Creative Director at Coach Inc. explained how the consumer is changing and how critical it is to be attuned to the tastes and desires of the customer. He has transformed and revitalized Coach by getting inside the mind and heart of the Coach customer.

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