Monday, February 14, 2011

Biometric Dunhill

Digital luxury has made yet another forward stride, this time with the launch of Dunhill's biometric wallet, one of the first digital (physical) products to make its way into mainstream luxury and fashion. With the exception of a few and far between examples like the Louis Vuitton Soundwalk and the much discussed but yet-to-be seen digital diary rumoured to be in development by Hermès in 2009, the luxury and fashion segments' recent  romance with digital media hasn't gone much beyond frantic Twitter and Facebook activities and most recently short movies, most of which are yet to reach high quotient rates in their conception, direction and entertainment (but this is another story for another day).

This introduction of a digitaly-powered "real" product drawn from an existing product portfolio and subsequently re-intergrated as part of the product vocabulary of a luxury brand is a first by all standards in luxury fashion.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Borderless Luxury at Club e-Luxe (Part 2)

The relationship between luxury and technology reminds me of a story I once read about two neighbours who famously disliked each other, only to find out several years later that they were half-sisters.

As everyone who is linked to both tech and luxury knows, the rapport between these two "neighbours" is peppered by friction to say the least. As mentioned in earlier posts and also in Luxury Online, luxury for a long time observed technology and digital media from a suspicious distance before eventually joining the digital gig. Despite this, luxury and technology still don't speak the same language and the dialogue remains challenging and almost non-existent. This is the "gap" that Luxe Corp strives to fill through Club e-Luxe; and the advancement of this dialogue between luxury brands (Chanel, Gucci, Boucheron, RémyMartin, Lanvin etc) and technology companies (Microsoft, Cisco Systems etc) was very much evident at the last Club e-Luxe Breakfast Seminar held on 13th January 2011 at the Ritz Hotel, Paris. 

As mentioned in the first part of this post, the theme of the event was Borderless Luxury with an emphasis on integrating interactivity in the luxury retail experience (both online and offline). The event brought together key players of both the luxury and tech worlds to dissect how luxury brands could benefit from several groundbreaking tools, applications and techniques that defines today's digital landscape.

The Vice President of Cisco Systems who flew in from California for the event, took the audience on an immersive journey of how Cisco's Borderless Networks could work magic across the entire value chain of a luxury business, from retail to client services, communications, operations, logistics, production and cross channel multi-media marketing. Microsoft's Global Digital Director gave an eye-opening presentation and DEMO of the power of Cloud Computing and its value as a multi-media tool particularly the across the tri-channels of offline, online and mobile. Its extended benefits through 3D (think of the movie Avatar, which Microsoft helped to develop by the way) were also explained and luxury brands were able to understand how these core technologies could be integrated within their operations.