In a series of articles Priority explores the future of luxury – and how premium brands can keep up with the changing consumption landscape.
Earlier this year the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate LVMH – home of megabrands like Dior, Louis Vuitton and Fendi – founded their first new high fashion brand since the eighties. While that itself may not be unique, the launch has immense symbolic value in the world of luxury: it is the first time the prestigious company turns to a celebrity to create an original brand from scratch, and the first time a woman of color will lead an LVMH maison – pop culture icon Rihanna.
A new era for luxury
Luxury was long defined by quality and craft, and the most influential luxury brands are deeply rooted in a European cultural heritage. Rihanna’s Fenty Maison marks a new era for luxury, driven by digitization, globalization and changing consumer behaviors of Millenials and Generation Z. According to industry website Business of Fashion, Millennials (born 1981-1996) and Generation Z’ers (1998-2006) will account for 45 percent of the luxury market by 2025. At the same time, the consumer base is becoming increasingly diversified, with domestic luxury consumption on the rise in China and other parts of Asia.
Luxury brands will soon be catering to a diverse, impatient and critical generation of consumers who have never experienced a world without internet and are used to immediate access to any product at all times. Unlike their parents and generations before them, many young consumers also make their purchase decisions within a clear set of values that reflect their identity – such as being environmentally conscious.
How Rihanna is cracking the code
Fenty Maison gives us a glimpse of the future of luxury. While quality and scarcity will always be valuable factors in the world of premium, tomorrow’s luxury consumers demand more; they will favor story-driven brands who truly understand and connect with their interests and concerns – and are authentic in their efforts to do so.
By taking influence from street wear, rethinking traditional collections in favor of exclusive online “drops”, using social platforms as a primary tool for communication, and making inclusivity a part of the brand’s DNA from the start, Rihanna is leading the way of how to build a global luxury brand of the future. Watch and learn.
Next: Five forces driving the luxury consumption of tomorrow
Priority Insights explores current topics within business and branding.
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