An old pic of me at another conference at Uni, since I can’t find any pics from yesterday (photo by Nagendra Pratap Singh)

Yesterday was an interesting day. It started off rather slow with me having a terrible headache from the impromptu previous night party, yet continued with some quite noteworthy events. At the call of a friend I realised that my plan to procrastinate and stay in front of the telly all day was not going to become a reality for I was about to be late to a conference held by the founder of the Jean Paul Gautier fashion house, Donald Potard. So after putting my hair up and (literally) throwing on a dress (that I bought at the vintage fair from the weekend btw) I was off to hear all about Luxury: Mith or Reality?

L’Institut Francais de Bucarest, as always I might add, did a wonderful job organising the event. Still, regardless of how the organisation might have been Mosieur Potard would have made the conference worthwilde. Or at least that was my opinion which however seems not to have been shared by all that were present at the event. Let me be clear from the beginning. I am not bringing any criticism to any part of the event or to the speaker. My frustrations go toward the state of the Romanian fashion industry. And yes, I’m saying fashion because although the conference was on luxury I for one didn’t see any representatives of other luxury domains other than fashion. A very indulgent person could say that the reason for this might be the fact that the speaker was representative of a fashion house. Yet the conference was on luxury. And one of the first things I was told while doing my Masters is that the characteristics of, for example, a luxury car are more similar to those of a luxury bag, than those of an average price car (marketing wise that is). 
It seems that luxury is still very abstract here. Without being biased, the only pertinent question which required a practical answer and also one which was not already stated in the presentation came from my friend Ingrid. Again, although the efforts of such institutions as the French Institute are commendable, they do not seem to resonate with the Romanian audience, for which the notion of Luxury continues to remain a mith.

On a more positive note, the clear and well-organised speech was a treat. With heavy emphasis on creativity, Potard talked about the need for both marketers and economists behind a luxury and/or fashion brand to be creative. While exemplifying the 10 characteristics of luxury, he mentioned its almost deific nature; with the sacred, ceremonial and the initiation playing an important part in the creation of luxury. Even in such a fast moving world such as ours Potard pays respect to time, as any luxury product or brand needs time to take shape. Still, maybe more than anything, the view of luxury as a story is what remained in my head.

Let me go back in time for a bit. As part of the portfolio for the end of the Masters in Luxury that I finished last year we were requirement to create something (a ppt, a video, a collage) to present our views on luxury. What I ended up doing was a video collage with parts from Signe Chanel (the behind the sceens documentary of how a Chanel collection is made) and Disney’s Cinderella. My aim was to illustrate how luxury is a story and we (as in the people working to create and promote luxury) are the storytellers. Not necessarily a new idea, but a beautiful one I think.

So just imagine my joy when Mosieur Potard stressed that “Le luxe dit une histoire, et spécialement une histoire belle.”

Later Edit: read Ingrid’s view on the conference 🙂