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Luxury leaders debate brands and lifestyle at FT Business of Luxury Summit in Marrakech

Marrakech: More than 400 guests gathered at the Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit on 30 May–1 June 2012 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Marrakech, including luxury sector executives, business consultants, brand experts, financial services professionals and retail analysts from around the world. The theme of this year’s summit was The Lifestyle Revolution. Previous summits have taken place in Las Vegas, Lausanne, Los Angeles, Monte Carlo, Shanghai, Tokyo and Venice.

Now in its eighth year, the conference was chaired by FT editor Lionel Barber and gathered some of the biggest names in luxury to share their thoughts on the state of the industry and predictions for the future. Speeches and debates were focused around the definition of lifestyle in luxury terms, the emerging market effect on brand extension and the global macroeconomic outlook.

Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, said: “A list of top class speakers at the FT Business of Luxury Summit in Marrakech has made the event a tremendous success, and the audience feedback has been extremely positive. The role of new markets, e-commerce and how far to push brand extensions are questions that most luxury companies are grappling with.”

In his opening keynote speech, François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of PPR, said: “Luxury is more a style symbol than a status symbol. It should be appreciated for what it is: exceptional and almost anachronistic attention to the quality of materials, innovative style and real craftsmanship.”

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, chairman, Ferrari SpA, said: “At Ferrari, we are selling a dream, not a car. For us, the most important thing is to have great relationships with our people, suppliers, research centres and partners. The culture of the brand is crucial, as is passion. When you have passion, brains and focus you deliver excellence.”

Other distinguished speakers included:

  • Chris Blackwell, Founder, Island Records and Island Outpost Hotels & Resorts

  • Sidney Toledano, President & CEO, Christian Dior Couture

  • Tory Burch, CEO and Designer, Tory Burch

  • Aerin Lauder, Chairman and Creative Director, AERIN and Style and Image Director, Estée Lauder

  • Remo Ruffini, Chairman, Moncler

  • Martha Stewart, Founder, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Guests enjoyed the fine surroundings of the Four Seasons Hotel during the welcome reception and conference, followed by a gala reception and dinner at the newly built Selman Marrakech.

Select sessions were live-streamed and recorded for ft-live.com where they will be available for viewing after the conference.

For more information and for a full list of the speakers, please visit http://bit.ly/JV5QcO

Twitter: @FTLuxury360, @FTLiveTweets and #ftbizlux12

Photographs: http://on.fb.me/LPtD0t

Storify: http://storify.com/FTLiveTweets/ft-business-of-luxury-summit

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For further information please contact:

Emma Gilpin-Jacobs
Global Director of Communications
T: +44 (0)20 7873 3883
E: emma.gilpin-jacobs@ft.com

Kristina Eriksson
Head of Communications, EMEA
T: +44 (0)20 7873 4961
E: kristina.eriksson@ft.com

Ryann Gastwirth
Communications Coordinator, Americas
T: +1 212 641-6360
E: ryann.gastwirth@ft.com

Azmar Sukandar
Head of Communications, Asia Pacific
T: +852 2905 5519
E: Azmar.Sukandar@ft.com

About the Financial Times:

The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of over 600,000 (Deloitte assured, 2 January 2012 – 1 April 2012) and a combined print and online average daily readership of 2.2 million people worldwide (PwC assured, November 2011). FT.com has more than 4.5 million registered users and 285,475 paying digital subscribers. The newspaper, printed at 21 print sites across the globe, has a global print circulation of 305,685 (ABC, April 2012).

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