Top Picks from BoF 2023: When Luxury Transcended Fashion

December 26, 2023
Top Picks from BoF 2023: When Luxury Transcended Fashion
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Amid fluctuating global demand, brands increased their visibility at concert tours, Formula One races, tennis championships, and other events. Fresh creative directors made their debut at Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, and Tom Ford.

Luxury and fashion duked it out in 2023, making us wonder if luxury was pulling ahead in this catwalk of competition. Louis Vuitton, that bigwig of luxury, made jaws drop by enlisting Pharrell Williams as the men's creative director. Yep, you read that right—the hitmaker turned trendsetter got the nod, showing that brands are hunting beyond the seams of fashion, diving into the worlds of sports, music, art, and media for their new playbook. It's like watching fashion evolve into this multiverse extravaganza!

Brands weren't just strutting down runways; they were crashing concerts, zooming around Formula One tracks, and casually serving looks at tennis championships. It's like they decided, "Why limit ourselves to catwalks when there are stadiums waiting to be styled?"

But hold your stylish horses! The luxury realm wasn't all sipping champagne and waving from the front row. Nope, siree. It was a rollercoaster of ups and downs. The party post-pandemic? Over. Europe and the US experienced slower beats, and China’s dance moves were a bit wonky, causing some uneven market rhythms. And guess what? The once-favored logos took a backseat while this "quiet luxury" vibe started booming. Gucci even had a makeover under Sabato De Sarno. Talk about a wardrobe revamp!

In this high-stakes game, size matters. Tapestry, the proud owner of Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman, said, "Hold my purse," and swooped in to buy Capri, which houses Michael Kors, Versace, and Jimmy Choo, for a cool $8.5 billion. Kering, the parent of Gucci, thought, "Why not?" and snatched up 30 percent of Valentino. But hey, even with all these fancy moves, it's like they discovered that size isn’t the only fashion statement.

And here comes the plot twist! Farfetch, the e-commerce golden child, went from "darling" to "uh-oh" in no time. Reports spilled the tea about their shaky financial situation, making it feel like the world’s most expensive designer shoe was about to drop. Coupang swooped in to buy them out in a deal that left more than a few stakeholders twiddling their thumbs. They tried to score big with Richemont for a partnership, but that couture dream turned into a fashion nightmare. It's like watching a luxury soap opera, and the cliffhanger's got everyone anxiously awaiting the next episode!
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