News 16.05.2023

Need to Know

Bentley Home’s paper-based marble coffee table, Saint Laurent begins fine jewellery venture and why China’s big spenders are buying luxury at home

Bentley Home unveils minimalist marble coffee table made from paper

Bentley Home Collection, UK

UK – As part of its plan to be end-to-end carbon-neutral by 2030, Bentley Motors presented a new kind of coffee and side table from its home furnishing division, Bentley Home, at the 2023 Salone del Mobile in Milan.

The fake marble table, available as part of a set, is made of wood and covered with sustainable paper material in Lecce, Italy. The surface material used is a micro-cellulose compound mixed with natural pigments patented by Paper Factor. Its founder, architect Riccardo Cavaciocchi, defines it as 'an innovative evolution of papier-mâché’.

The carbon footprint of this paper material is nothing compared to the costly extraction and processing of natural marble. According to Cavaciocchi, his low-waste paper-derived compound completely avoids using plastics and fossil fuels, and only requires limited heating for drying compared to traditional ceramics.

In Automotive Accommodation, we previously analysed similar premium automotive brands looking to diversify their product offering while showing how their brand identity and values go beyond vehicles.

Strategic opportunity

As the automotive industry invests in sustainable research and development in the long term, consider how those innovations could be immediately applied to other markets such as interiors, home appliances, fabrics and furniture – building new revenues and strengthening a brand’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint

Saint Laurent launches fine jewellery line

Saint Laurent Fine Jewellery, France Saint Laurent Fine Jewellery, France
Saint Laurent Fine Jewellery, France Saint Laurent Fine Jewellery, France

Global – French luxury fashion house Saint Laurent has launched its first fine jewellery collection, Saint Laurent Haute Joaillerie. The line consists of bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings and cuffs in gold and diamond. The entire collection is already available on the brand’s website and was introduced in selected flagship stores on 2 May 2023.

The series includes several timeless accessories crafted in precious metals and diamonds, all carefully selected by creative director Anthony Vaccarello, while the campaign images were shot by the German photographer Juergen Teller. The brand’s iconic motif, including the vertical Cassandre ‘YSL’, are incorporated into the line without compromising on the functionality of the pieces. Notably, every piece is made with recycled gold in line with Saint Laurent’s commitment to exploring eco-friendly alternatives to conventional materials.

Saint Laurent’s new line follows similar moves made by Prada, Gucci and Balmain in the past few years, indicating a growing appetite for the luxury jewellery market. It also reinforces the importance of developing sustainable jewellery as consumer demand for alternatives is growing, as discussed in our Regenerative Luxury Jewels microtrend report.

Strategic opportunity

Brands should make use of optimisations in materials and manufacturing to elevate sustainability offerings, especially to shake up traditional industries such as fine jewellery

Viz Media introduces digital subscription to fight content piracy

US – San Francisco-based manga publisher and anime distributor Viz Media has launched its new subscription-based platform Viz Manga in a bid to tackle content piracy. The new service will include over 10,000 chapters of manga from genres such as action, horror, slice of life, and fantasy. Manga readership continues to grow steadily in the US, according to IVc2, but the waiting period between the Japanese release and the US English one has encouraged online content piracy. Some fans of the genre scan original graphic novels, translate them into English and share them free online – representing significant lost revenues for the industry.

Viz Manga aims to counteract piracy by giving North American readers new instalments of stories in English on the same day that they are released in Japan. ‘We want our world-class creators to reach as wide an audience as possible while reinforcing that manga should be read from the official source,’ says Viz Media CEO Ken Sasaki. The service will retail for £1.59 ($1.99, €1.83) per month.

In Inflationary Loyalty Market, we highlighted how as some consumers see their purchasing power decrease amid rising inflation, businesses must rethink their approach to retaining loyal consumers that could be attracted by cheaper competitors or illegal options.

Chengdu Xinglong Lake CITIC Bookstore by MUDA-Architects

Strategic opportunity

In the age of instantaneity and globalisation of content, consider how all of your new products and services could be promoted on different markets at the same time. How can Generative AI facilitate the translation of all your material, for instance?

Stat: China’s big spenders are buying luxury at home

The Balancing Store, Shanghai, China The Balancing Store, Shanghai, China

China – Although luxury Chinese consumers are starting to travel abroad again, they are doing more of their spending at home. According to sales data compiled by Sandalwood Advisors, 62% of luxury spending by Chinese consumers took place in China in April 2023, compared with 41% in the same month in 2019.

Pre-pandemic, China was the world’s fastest-growing source of tourists, with about 70% of their luxury spending taking place abroad. But the sophistication of domestic luxury offerings, the rising price of goods globally, and improvements to local shopping venues and customer service during the pandemic are all fuelling Chinese shoppers’ desire to stay at home.

‘They no longer want to spend three hours queuing outside a store in Paris,’ said Jonathan Siboni of Paris-based data intelligence firm Luxurynsight, ‘but [would] rather connect with a local sales associate who knows them and can advise them better.’

In our State of Luxury: Post-lockdown China report we revealed how Chinese consumers’ tastes have turned inwards. They are looking at luxury through an expanded lens that includes celebrating local artisans and seeking out local luxury experiences.

Strategic opportunity

To attract Chinese luxury consumers, global brands must understand that they are no longer looking to replicate a Westernised feel of luxury. They want to connect with brands that exhibit cultural intelligence and offer luxury with Chinese authenticity

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