The 2020 Luxury Bravehearts Manifesto
Bernard Arnault once said “luxury is the only industry granting luxurious margins”
This belief, and the traction that most recently luxury brands had at the stock exchange, has attracted talents, investors and executives aiming at the spotlight as well as money, fame and prestige.
It seemed that luxury was an easy business made by expensive products sold in flashy locations to customers eager to show off their wealth.
The 2010s decade saw clear trends:
- the concentration of brands in the hands of some happy few
- the bankrupt of renown brands
- the marriage between high-end fashion and street style in an attempt to modernise the first and to dignify the latter.
This decade highlighted the lack of innovative spirit in the industry.
The often abused word “disruption” has defined the likes of Gucci and Balenciaga as well as the stunning success of relatively unknown brands like Off-White and Supreme.
Most of the brands just developed revenues instead of focusing their own brands on strong foundations.
The greatest part of the luxury industry went after the easy business way chasing Chinese customers, eager to share their own lifestyle and wealth to the world through social media
2020 opens a new decade.
And it needs a Manifesto for Bravehearts of Luxury and Fashion.
The 2020 decade will push for inevitable changes in the industry:
- it will force obsolete brands out of the industry,
- it will reward the ones taking advantage of an innovative approach
- it will see the creation of a new set of entities that will represent the state of the art of technology meeting luxury
How this will happen? How can we individually manage to steer our boat safely in this stormy waters?
What are the 2020 decade keywords for groundbreaking success?
Which is the Manifesto for reaching and keeping Success for Bravehearts?
Some iconic trailblazers showed their own way to success in life and management.
Here we can see the 10 keywords for the 2020 decade that help all luxury professionals find their own way to success in the industry.
Here it is a 2020 Decade Manifesto for Luxury and Fashion
- “Trust” by Lisa Simpson.
The fictional character of “The Simpsons” is a child prodigy, mistreated as an outcast because of her high intelligence.
Against all the odds Lisa is a heroic rebel against the social norms and she trusts so much her own talents that in the 17th episode of the 11th season she becomes President of the United States. An example of the power of self-confidence and the refusal to be an outcast.
She even predicted (it was year 2000) a Trump presidency.
Lisa is a precious example for all the luxury and fashion rebels willing to contribute to the industry in their own personal way and feeling neglected and misunderstood.
The industry needs them more than ever and, as Matteo Rizzi and Francesca Gino write in their own essays, they are precious assets for corporations.
- “Authenticity” by Banksy.
The British ground breaker is a provocative artist, an opinionated performer and one of the greatest critics of the capitalist environment.
Banksy is anonymous.
He speaks through his art in an effort to challenge the mainstream way of thinking and to raise questions if not to underlying the answers to many political and social matters.
Once he said “I don’t know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower.”
Many wonder whether he is an authentic artist or the best self-promoter.
There are not enough words to describe his approach and his passionate attitude.
His sharp eye and mind allowed him to be at the same time the best backer of social issues and the most sought-after artist.
Banksy is certainly not a people pleaser and his attitude is the most authentic because as he said “People either love me or they hate me, or they don’t really care.”
Luxury brands should get the Banksy attitude:
- make themselves distinguished and unique
- not care too much about chasing customers
- try to seduce them with their distinctive attitude and smart offer instead.
This is the only way to last.
- “Education” by Angela Davis
“We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.”
Angela Davis, in a famous talk with writer Toni Morrison, underlined the importance of education in our society.
“Education is liberation” said the American political activist, philosopher, author and academic to whom the Rolling Stones and John Lennon dedicated a song.
Education is a key matter for uplifting the society as well as companies and corporations.
Very often luxury brands look after talents with a “plug and play” attitude.
Learning by doing, workshops, masterclasses have to be part of the natural HR program supporting the Brand growth.
Working to elevate employees, instead of considering the talents as disposable is a key to organizationals success.
And keeping the pace with the state-of-the-art of knowledge is not enough.
Helping develop soft skills and emotional intelligence starting from the Board, to the executives and the whole community of workers is a target of smart brands.
When a Brand has worked well in order to enhance its own evolution, it won’t have to disrupt itself.
- “Believe” by Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson is a legendary football manager.
His style of management kept him on the Olympus of the industry for a long time.
Although his leadership was considered autocratic and he was often defined as a tough and feared coach, his achievements especially with Manchester United speak for themselves.
Sir Ferguson is a man of great self-confidence for which he is very grateful to his parents and this helped him keep the respect and trust of directors, players and fans.
He always encouraged his players mentally and made clear what was expected from them, holding them accountable.
Discipline and drive successfully led the team through the normal highs and lows never giving up on the ambitious objectives.
Every luxury executive should read his books and learn about this leadership style, even if not owning the same charisma and intelligence.
- Believe in yourself
- Motivate your team being transparent, clear and disciplined
are the starting points for a team success.
Any luxury brand should foster this kind of leadership instead of losing time around short-term players.
- “Imagination” by J.K.Rowling
J.K. Rowling is the author of the famous Harry Potter saga.
She made a commencement speech at Harvard on her life, failure, success and, most of all, of the importance of imagination.
“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”
Every luxury brand should foster imagination not just for its storytelling but also for its future development and growth.
Only a creative spirit can lead to the level of innovation that a brand needs to keep evolving and conquering new territories.
- “Leadership” by Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffinton Post and of Thrive Foundation as well as author of several best seller books.
She focuses on how bell being can improve work achievements and life.
As she said in a famous Ted Talk “A high IQ does not mean you are a good leader” and “Leadership is being able to see the iceberg before it hits the Titanic”.
Key insights about true leadership that luxury brands should fully embrace. Too often brands hire top managers that are mere “executives” and so short term focused that they become unable to see what’s going to happen.
Huffington adds, “To live the lives we truly want and deserve, and not just the lives we settle for, we need a third measure of success that goes beyond money and power, and consists of four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.”
For a fully rounded and most effective leadership.
- “Mindset” by Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek is the least known author among luxury and fashion executives. Try to ask your colleagues. Most of them will ask “Simon who?”
The luxury industry is so behind the state-of-the-art of management and, with a few exceptions, is lacking energy and dynamism as well as innovation and creativity.
There is too little curiosity.
Sinek is an author who wrote interesting branding and marketing books.
He knows very well the communication industry having worked in advertising agencies and he is the master of brand positioning, among others.
His books should be known by heart and the mindset he speaks about taken as a compass by managers and brands.
And his Ted Talks made history.
Last but not least: he speaks in a simple way.
He’s very far from all the consulting companies that sell complicated solutions with impossible names.
- “Long Term” by Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld passed away one year ago. And he will be deeply missed in the industry. He started his career at Balmain in 1955.
An example of great management. An inspiration for every brand expert and creative designer.
The reason why luxury brands should invest for the long term with the right recruiting instead of focusing on the “plug and play” mentality.
Motivation, passion, intelligence, focus, loyalty. These are the most important traits of a luxury manager.
And the Wertheimer family never regretted the hiring of such a genius for their French maison.
- “Grit” by Rita Levi Montalcini
Rita Levi Montalcini was banned to work in the Italian universities a century ago because she was Jewish.
She didn’t give up and she set up a laboratory in her bedroom where she made discoveries that many decades later made her win a Nobel prize.
She never surrendered to discrimination, nor to gender gap.
She went her own way. She immensely contributed to the development of medicine.
Her grit and focus are an example to follow.
1.”Courage” by Steve Jobs
“Apple succeeded by carefully choosing what horses to ride”…
“If you choose wisely you can save an enormous amount of work versus trying to do everything”
“Customers are paying us to make those choices. Because we want to make great products for the people”
Steve Jobs is still the king of courage. The symbol of what a leader should be and think.
And the question remains: why luxury brands are so unable to innovate?
Because they are resting on laurels and they do not have the courage to take decisions on behalf of their customers.
These 10 keywords 2020 manifesto embodied by key ground breakers of our era represent a path to success the luxury industry has to undertake if it wants to survive and thrive.
Evolution is unavoidable if luxury wishes to continue to drive not just its own industry but also the global business in the next decade.
The risk of being overwhelmed by China powerful market has to be faced smartly.
The luxury industry will survive (and thrive) only if it will keep the reins in its own hands and continue to drive instead of being driven or, even worst, crushed.
In our 2020 manifesto for luxury and fashion the key words are crucial:
- The courage of taking unpopular decisions for the brand sake
- The grit to continue to develop an old tradition with strength and vision
- The long-term vision and attitude
- The infinite mindset that allows to challenge the status quo to contribute to a bigger cause
- The strong and reliable leadership that make possible to see the iceberg before it hits
- The imagination that creates and nurture the dream of luxury
- The belief in the strengths of the industry and the will to continue to win forever in their own terms
- The education that allow brands to grow from the inside thanks to teams prepared, motivated, engaged and open minded
- The authenticity that makes uniqueness and brand personality a real and very precious thing
- The trust in their own power, vision and gut feeling
These are the key-words that open the Aladdin’s cave of the next decade for luxury.
Will the managers be brave enough to use them?