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Madonna is luxury icon at Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit in Los Angeles

At the 2010 Financial Times Business of Luxury Conference, Marissa Mayer (Vice President, Search Products & User Experience, Google Inc.) and Dov Charney (Founder & Chief Executive Officer, American Apparel) singled out Madonna’s career as a model luxury brands should follow, citing her ability to maintain a strong core identity while constantly reinventing herself. Leonard A. Lauder (Chairman Emeritus, Estée Lauder Companies Inc.) put his own spin on how to achieve career success, saying “the key thing is this: You start high and you stay high. You start low and stay low.”

Debate on the role of digital media in the luxury industry was also lively, with Robert A. Iger (President & CEO, The Walt Disney Company) asserting that traditional marketing has been “eviscerated” by digital forms, while Jean-Christophe Bédos (President & CEO, Boucheron) contended that brands should “rethink their preconceptions that the internet necessarily equals a mass market. It’s like a city full of streets, and some are high streets and some are luxury destinations.” Marissa Mayer offered further advice to digital architects, saying that luxury websites should be orchestrated for a simpler and faster experience by employing “less flash” and automatically defaulting to the “view all” option when revealing search results.

Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, chaired the Summit, which convened over 350 senior luxury, media and entertainment executives, consultants, brand experts, fund managers and securities and retail analysts from around the globe.

The theme of the conference was “The Medium and the Message,” providing exclusive and inspired insight from industry leaders around the world on how the global luxury sector should adapt communications strategies in an era of social media, as well as the general challenges the luxury and entertainment industries face amid a shift in the traditional consumer’s buying habits.

Other distinguished speakers included Bryan Lourd (Managing Partner, Creative Artists Agency), Tom Murry (President & CEO, Calvin Klein Inc.), Diane von Furstenberg (CEO & Founder, DVF Studio and President, CFDA), Jonathan Newhouse (Chairman, Condé Nast International), Tamara Mellon (Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Jimmy Choo), Sebastian Suhl (COO, Prada Group) and Tim Murphy (Chief Product Officer, MasterCard Worldwide), who unveiled MasterCard’s new premium brand mark during his presentation at the Summit.

For more information and to hear keynote speaker interviews please visit http://www.ft.com/reports/business-luxury-2010

Photographs of the Summit can be viewed at:


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Jayne Van Hoen, Global Director of Conferences and Events, said, “This year’s Summit was our most successful in the six years since the series launched, delivering unrivalled content to our delegates through finely curated panels and discussions. It serves as another important milestone in the further expansion our conferences business in the US, which is now the FT’s biggest market.”

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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 newspaper, printed at 23 print sites across the globe, has a daily circulation of 399,862 (ABC figures May 2010), while FT.com has over 2 million registered users and 126,281 digital subscribers. The FT has a combined print and online average daily readership of 1.9 million people worldwide (PwC audited figures, November 2009).

For further information, please contact:

Darcy Keller Head of Communications, The Americas T+1 212-641-6614 darcy.keller@ft.com
Andrew Green, Communications Coordinator, The Americas T: +1 212-641-63 andrew.green@ft.com

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

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