#CNILux Day 1: Keeping Up With the New Generation on the Move
Alice Newbold, Vogue Daily Editor, reporting live from the CNI Luxury Conference in Lisbon
As the 25-year-old co-CEO of Rimowa, Alexandre Arnault is firmly integrated in one of the industry’s most important consumer groups, and well placed to share his thoughts on the millennial view of luxury. He took the helm in October 2016 alongside Dieter Morszeck – the grandson of Paul Morszeck, Rimowa’s founder. Since then, Arnault – the son of LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault – has been spearheading a revamp of the 80-year-old luggage brand with the stamina of someone running a start-up business.
From restructuring its distribution network and reworking the layouts of its existing and new stores, to redefining its branding through collaborations with cult brands Off-White and, most recently, Supreme, Arnault has managed to put Rimowa on the map with the next generation.
But what do the next generation want apart from must-have streetwear tie-ups? Are they even interested in luxury?
“I am part of the first digital native generation that have lived with constant internet access since birth,” the millennial explained. “We have access to the world’s entire memory whenever we wish, and we have externalised our own memory to social media.”
“Social networks have redefined the balance of desirability,” he said of his Supreme coup, which made it more desirable than any other suitcase on the market, because of the social media currency it garnered. “Snapping and sharing images makes them valuable,” he added.
For Arnault, “A beautiful piece of luggage is the first accessory to any great experience, and it plays a fundamental role in the autobiography we write on Instagram.” But the brand must continue to work on intensity and quality in order to keep evolving. “The next generation is seeking a more intense life than the last one, so we must service this,” he told the conference. “If we manage this, I am certain that the consumers will follow us in millions.”
The fourth annual Condé Nast International Luxury Conference is in Lisbon, on the 18th and 19th April. For more information, visit www.cniluxury.com/2018