New Business Models in the Luxury sector

Next session, we will be discussing those new business models developing in the luxury sector, in particular second-hand luxury and luxury for rent.

Read Vestiaire Collective and Armarium cases. Describe the business models: how is value created through these platforms? Conduct a SWOT analysis of both brands. Describe the client profile. What are the competitive advantages of VC and Armarium (ie. study briefly the competitive landscape). What future do you foresee to both models?

You might find interesting reading chapters of the book Vintage Luxury Fashion: Exploring the rise of the Second-Hand Clothing Trade (2018), Palgrave: London, UK. I co-autored two chapters:  Chapter 6 “Emotional and narrative accounts of second-hand Luxury Fashion purchases” and Chapter 12 “Vintage Fashion: A cross-cultural perspective”.

Also interesting regarding second-hand luxury, two posts on my blog: 2017 Trends, Second Hand Luxury and Christie’s on Luxury handbags as an Investment (Feb 24, 2016 based on a conference by Christie’s, really interesting on the value of Hermes vintage bags).

Please reflect also on my interview in Trends&Tendance magazine

In addition please watch Sebastien Favre CEO of Vestiaire Collective on Youtube.



Onefinestay: Luxury in the sharing economy

Next session, we will be discussing Onefinestay concept. Onefinestay is a concept of luxury home rentals founded in 2009 in London. When it was acquired in April 2016 by Accorhotels, it was managing around 2600 private homes in London, New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Rome. Visit the webpage, watch Greg Marsh inspiring story on Youtube (below) and read all relevant information you will find on internet. Conduct a SWOT analysis and identify Onefinestay customer segments. Do you think Onefinestay has a product and service strategy adapted to luxury clients? Is it a serious competitor to luxury hotels?

YOOX and Net-a-Porter: The Place to Be?

During this session, we will be discussing the online distribution strategy of Luxury brands. To prepare for discussion, read the case “Is YOOX strategy a little Farfetched?” and the article based on an interview I gave to Trends Tendances April 2017 at

What are the advantages and disadvantages for Luxury brands to be present on these platforms? is there a difference between YOOX and Net-a-Porter? YNAP and Farfetch? Does the YNAP merger makes sense? Should online platforms open brick-and-mortar stores? What is the interest for NAP to develop a media platform?

You might find interesting to watch the following video published by FT on YouTube.

Omni-channel strategy at Tiffany&Co

During the next session, we will be discussing the benefits and pitfalls of luxury brands embracing an omni-channel strategy. Read the case Tiffany; based on the case and your experience with brands successful in omni-channel marketing, identify the brand touch-points against different stages in the Customer journey. What could be the different actions that Tiffany can undertake to propose a luxury experience to its customers? What are the challenges regarding store operations and customer service?

You might find useful to go to Tiffany&Co channel on YouTube:


Luxepack 2018 focus on GenZ

Great conference and workshop with Stéphane Truchi (Ifop President), Béatrice Marriotti (Carré Noir Vice-President) and Régine Charvet-Pello (Certesens, President and co-founder).

Read the summary of the conference below and try to identify packaging ideas that are emblematic of GenZ generation. If you go to Certesens corner, you will discover 4 interesting textures that match GenZ: Light (of smartphone, computer etc.), shine, flexibility and skin.

The new generation (born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) represents a larger cohort than the millenials or baby-boomers (around 1/4 of the US population). It is the first generation truly digital native. IFOP study identifies 4 characteristics to this generation:

  1. The importance of tradition: GenZ revives the fundamentals of Luxury, which are product and service excellence and ultimate creativity. They praise expensive brands that they would purchase as self-reward  and as a signal of social success. It is the revival of prominent logos and money display, with no inhibition. It is a generation that is transgenerational (72% prefer working with people of all ages) and very anchored to local roots (eg. the revival of iconic brands Champion US, Lacoste, Fila, Fusalp, Kway). It is a generation that is into “authenticity revisited” with fun (Hermesmatic ).
  2. Showing off success: GenZ is a generation that does not feel ashamed showing off money. In non-Calvinist countries such as France, the oldest generations had less problems talking about sex than about money… (the perfect illustration: comments in French tabloïds on DSK driving a Porsche car). GenZ is very comfortable with both. GenZ wants to make money but also wants a balance with personal life. In contrast to other generations, they aspire making money on their own, being entrepreneurs (45% see themselves being entrepreneurs). They have plenty of examples of Young people success on YouTube, Instagram or heading start-ups with great ideas. They want to make money fast and display their success. In relation to luxury, they aspire owning brands that signal very strongly financial success (Rolex number 1 aspirational brand in France, Britain and China).
  3. A new form of experiential Materialism: Materialism is reinvented, and becomes experiential that way. 83% want to live a unique experience. They want a blend of physical and digital. Phygital in the stores is key. In addition, although they are connected to virtual friends on social media, they want to do things physically with others. The motto is being able to share. 58% enjoy doing things they can share with others  (Gucci Hub is a good illustration They also praise products that are parodies and collaborations based on fun (Supreme x LV).
  4. Engagement with concrete, day-to-day actions and personal involvement.  They would fight for gender and ethnicity equality. It is the generation who talks loud (Génération sans bâillon), #metoo. 68% try to stick to a more ecological lifestyle. 59% try to live in great harmony with nature.
  5. Protecting Mental Health: GenZ is in a quest for better personal relief. The motto is feeling good with myself. 80% of GenZ women believe  that real beauty is to be truly oneself. It is the first generation of women confortable with their bodies (59% feel good with their body). They really appreciate diversity on the catwalk, including showing handicap and skin diseases like vitiligo (beautiful Winnie Harlow). They are also aware that overexposure to social media is a danger to their mental health. Particularly in China where AI is a political engagement, 40% of GenZ are concerned about self-protection. Detox, Me me me, and hyper-personalisation are trends born on these grounds.

Oberoi Hotels: Extreme personalisation at the heart of Luxury

This week you will discover the true meaning of personal attention and extreme personalisation, at the heart of Luxury. The case of Oberoi hotels is a perfect illustration. Think about the following questions:  How is customer experience orchestrated at Oberoi? What is the relation between customer experience and customer satisfaction? What are Oberoi’s competitive advantages? What strategic and operational factors contribute to Oberoi’s service excellence?

Watch the YouTube video below India by Oberoi (you could refer to our discussion on Taj)


Chanel cruise backstage with Edhec Master students

In Fall 1919, Gabrielle Chanel presented for first time a collection, destined to yatching, resorts and sunny destinations.

Gabrielle loved yatching with Duc of Westminster. In 1929, she accosted at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and settled a house there: La Pausa. In 1983, Lagerfeld revived cruise collections, the incarnation of travelling, real or imaginary.

Edhec Master students had the unique opportunity to visit the 148-metre-long replica boat installed at the Grand Palais for the Chanel Cruise Collection 2018-2019, named La Pausa after Chanel’s villa on the French Riviera. The boat took a month to install inside the Grand Palais and it will be “recycled, upcycled or repurposed” along the words of Chanel managers. It was the stage for the revival of the Chanel of a Breton stripe-wearing Coco on holiday.

Inside LVMH: Creating the luxury experience of tomorrow

Sarah Femenia and Manon Petillon (on the picture) and Laetitia Rocca (Msc Marketing students) represented Edhec during the finals of InsideLVMH program. Amazing experience for students. Imagine the luxury experience of tomorrow! Sarah and Manon presented in front of a team of LVMH managers, including Alexandre Arnault. Great job Edhec!!! You did not win but you made an impact!

Le Scribe by Sofitel, a visit with EDHEC BBA4

Le Scribe duplex suite (before renovation) source: MC.Cervellon

ACCOR is a Creator of memorable experiences for customers but also for our students. After Novotel Monaco on November 9th, EDHEC BBA were invited on December 1st to Le Scribe Hotel in Paris, an iconic 5 stars hotel managed by Sofitel. Le Scribe spirit is much influenced by its location at the art of Paris, next to Opera Garnier. The Haussmanian building was the home of the Jockey Club from 1861 to 1925. The hotel was named after the dramatic writer Eugène Scribe; its soul is much influenced by Parisian artists. The Art Deco interior signed by Jacques Grange will be renovated over the next two years by famous designer Tristan Auer (Hotel de Crillon, Hotel du Louvre). Le Scribe is managed by Sofitel; customers benefit from an exceptional service, the Cousu-Main experience.

Le Scribe 2017 Christmas tree in the lobby (Source: MC.Cervellon)

Thank you Le Scribe Hotel staff for this Christmas gift.

Ruinart and Van Cleef & Arpels on Digital Luxury

Very interesting to contrast the world of jewelry and wine and spirits in their digital strategies. Great presentation and discussion between BBA 4th year students and Aurélie Doré (International Digital Manager, Ruinart), Marine Baudin (International Omnichannel Manager, Van Cleef & Arpels) and Laetitia Mathon (Social Media Project Manager, Van Cleef & Arpels). Thank you to help us understand the digital strategies of your Maisons.

Create a student’s blog and share your passion for a luxury sector

You are passionate about a luxury sector? Have a parti-pris. Create an educational blog and share your passion! Your students’ blogs have to be uploaded before the end of the month. Make sure you use your own pictures or pictures labeled for reuse. Becareful this should not be a lifestyle blog or a diary on your enjoyable life at EDHEC… Readers should find information, and learn, on the sector of your choice.

You will have to defend your blog in front of your peers. In class, present your marketing strategy: your blog audience? benchmark? blog positioning? what content? why would brands be interested in collaborating with your blog? how will you communicate on your blog? Show what you learnt from studying the Harvard case on “The Blonde Salad” Chiara Ferragni blog.

And enjoy…

To brands and institutions, these blogs are designed by students as a pedagogical exercise. If you notice copyright infringement and unfair use of pictures, please contact me and we will take actions.

Going through the mirror at Chaumet

Joséphine de Beauharnais with a Chaumet tiara

October 18th, 2017. Amazing “professor experience” proposed by LVMH. Visit of Chaumet museum on Place Vendôme. A Discovery of the history of Chaumet house and its relation to French History.

Chaumet was founded by Marie-Étienne Nitot in 1780. In 1802, Nitot was appointed court jeweller to Emperor Napoleon I and his wife Joséphine de Beauharnais. Among the beautiful jewels and diadems created for the royalties, the most famous piece is probably the sword of Napoleon coronation,  crowned with the huge 141-carat Regent Diamond.

A famous resident of the house was Chopin who wrote his last composition, the Mazurka in G Minor in the majestic Grand Salon with a view on Place Vendôme and died in the house on October 1849.

In the evening, I was invited to the Christian Dior exhibition at Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Blessed to be the LVMH Professor Ambassador at EDHEC.

Hyatt Palais de La Méditerranée with EDHEC Hospitality students

Sea View from a Suite (source: MC.Cervellon)

On October 11, twenty students (EDHEC BBA 4th year specialized in Hospitality and Event Management) visited the iconic Palais de la Méditerranée on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. This 5-star hotel opened on January 1929 as a “Palais des Plaisirs” targeting the wealthy foreigners that visited the French Riviera during the Golden Age. When the building, designed by the architects Charles and Marcel Dalmas in the 20’s, was renovated from 2001 to 2004, the front was protected as part of the “20th century heritage” label. The interior of the building was decorated with respect to the Art Deco style, but modernized to align on the most stringent standards of the hospitality sector. In 2013, Qatar investors Constellation Hotels Holdings purchased the Palais de la Méditerranée, together with Hotel Martinez in Cannes, Hotel du Louvre and Concorde Lafayette in Paris. The Hyatt group is in charge of the management of the Hotel, and as such Palais de la Méditerranée integrated the Hyatt Regency portfolio. Students visited the magnificent ballrooms, a suite with a view on the sea and the swimming pool and restaurant areas.

Terrasse over the sea (Source: MC. Cervellon)

Next, Laurence Dozol (Senior Event Planning Manager) and Laurent Drouard (Director of Operations) gave a talk on the creation of a luxury experience, the importance of wowing the customer and paying attention to details. Students were immersed in Hyatt organizational culture, caring for customers and staff alike, through a series of videos, many of them created internally by Palais de La Mediterranée employees. Watch the video “The World of Hyatt” on YouTube that encapsulates the Hyatt Human-Centered approach to doing business. Thank you to the Hyatt team for sharing your passion with our students! Great employer branding!

With L. MENVIELLE, Dir EDHEC BBA Hospitality and Event Management and students



Luxe Pack Monaco 2017: tradition and innovation

EDHEC BBA students visited Luxe Pack Monaco today, the occasion to discover and comment packaging innovations in different sectors, like Fragrances and Cosmetics or Wine and Spirits (read the comments they make to this post). This year, two new spaces provide a source of inspiration.

First, a “Living Heritage Hub” is dedicated to the best craftsmen in France (Entreprises du Patrimoine Vivant) with Ephtée, Maison Fey, Crézé, Fonderie d’Art Macheret, Atelier Philippe Martial and Cristallerie Saint-Paul, all compagnies having in common excellence and traditional manufacturing.

Second, a multisensorial space proposes an immersive experience “Test your senses” in partnership with Mat&Sens. The space is organized around four major trends in luxury (source S.Truchi, IFOP) and their translation into emotions, sensations and packaging materials that we can touch:

  • Engagement with brands that truly commit, which leads to revisit The Nature through vegetal moss, mushrooms, sand, and wood composite
  • The reign of Singularity and self-expression with materials such as 3D textile or mix of acrylic and metal
  • Non-conformity and opposition to social codes and social expectations, translated through unusal materials such as cow stomach or ray skin
  • A New Vision of Time, a slow-time which allows consumers to enjoy the moment, through bamboo silk and translucent alabaster

Among the many conferences which were organized this year,  the conference “Creative Packaging for a drinking experience beyond the ordinary” explained the process leading to the launch of DIAGEO’s Tanqueray Gin Cage, an amazing bottle much discussed by students (read comments below).

TAG Heuer: Digital transformation in Swiss watchmaking

In March 2015, TAG Heuer announced the launch of a connected watch at the Baselworld show. It was considered a paradigm shift in the traditional Swiss watch sector. Describe the challenges that TAG Heuer had to overcome to develop this connected watch. Are connected watches a threat or an opportunity to the (mechanical) Swiss watch sector? To provide rationales to your answers, watch both videos below, the first one introduces TAG Heuer  connected watch in November 2015; the second one introduces the modular 45 watch in March 2017.

Brunello Cucinelli: a lesson from a humanistic businessman

Brunello Cucinelli is an italian luxury house specializing in cashmere. The philanthropic founder Brunello Cucinelli has a humanistic approach to doing business that contributed to build the worldwide recognition of his ethical fashion brand. After reading the case and watching the YouTube video below, explore Brunello Cucinelli website and code of ethics

Are they different from other traditional luxury brands (eg. competitor in cashmere Loro Piana)? In what is Brunello Cucinelli a humanistic business? In your opinion, does this ethical positioning influence consumers’ buying habits? What are the positive and negative implications of building a business on values?

EDHEC Research on Sustainable Luxury

You will find below the abstracts of all articles I published on sustainable luxury and sustainable beauty which I present during the course on Sustainable Luxury. You will find them all on EDHEC databases. Of particular interest to the discussion on PETA’s actions against DKNY, please read the article Victoria’s Dirty Secrets in Journal of Advertising.

CERVELLON, Marie-Cécile & CAREY, Lindsey, “Sustainable, Hedonic and Efficient: Interaction effects between product properties and consumer reviews on post-experience responses”, European Journal of Marketing (2014), Vol 48, Issue 7/8, pp.1375-1394

Abstract “This paper aims to investigate the influence of consumer reviews on the evaluation, post-experience, of products with a combination of sustainable, hedonic and utilitarian properties. […] Findings show consumers are significantly less influenced by reviews for hedonic products compared to utilitarian products. In particular, they rely on reviews when evaluating utilitarian
ambiguous properties (e.g. anti-aging properties) which they find difficult to judge on their own. Second, consumers are more resistant to the persuasive effect of reviews when the product focus is on sustainable (organic or fair-trade) credentials, in particular when judging ambiguous properties.”

CAREY, Lindsey & CERVELLON, Marie-Cécile “Ethical fashion dimensions: Pictorial and auditory depictions through 3 cultural perspectives”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management (2014), Vol. 18 Issue 4, pp.483-506

Abstract “The purpose of this paper is to provide the results of an exploratory study comparing attitudes of young fashion conscious consumers towards ethical fashion in Canada, France and the UK. […] Results indicated that there were notable differences in the perception of ethical fashion between the respondents from these three cultures. In the representation and appeal of this fashion
segment, in terms of its perceived availability, the transfer of meaning connected with the observation of higher price points and in the use of ethical purchases in the fashion arena as an offset or redemption for unethical behaviour in other contexts.”

CERVELLON, Marie-Cécile & SHAMMAS, Lara, “The value of sustainable luxury in mature markets: A customer-based approach”, Journal of Corporate Citizenship (2013), special issue Sustainable Luxury, 52, pp.90-101

Abstract “This paper presents an exploratory research on the value of sustainable luxury across four ‘mature’ cultures: France, Italy, UK and Canada. In order to unravel the deep meaning of sustainable luxury for consumers, we use a visual elicitation technique, the ZMET technique. Our results indicate that the value of sustainable luxury encompasses three categories, socio-cultural values (conspicuousness, belonging and national identity), ego-centred values (guilt-free pleasures, health and youthfulness, hedonism, durable quality) and eco-centred values (doing good, not doing harm). This framework expands Hennigs et al.’s framework which is focused only on luxury as well as frameworks on the value of sustainable goods and services which emphasise the collective dimension, society’s welfare, and often exclude the individual dimension to such purchases. Several luxury values are enhanced through sustainable luxury (durable quality, conspicuousness); other values originate from the sustainable nature of sustainable luxury, such as eco-centred values and some egocentred
values (guilt-free pleasures and health/youthfulness). Our findings indicate
that these values are present across our four samples, yet, with nuances in meaning and different centrality between cultural groups. Individual drivers to the purchase of sustainable luxury might be central in several cultures (Southern Europe) while collective environmental and social drivers might be determinant in Canada and in the UK.”

CERVELLON Marie-Cécile, “Conspicuous Conservation: Using semiotics to understand sustainable luxury”, International Journal of Market Research (2013), Vol 55(5), pp.695-717


Abstract “This paper investigates the meaning of sustainable luxury among the wealthy, who are the primary target group of luxury brands. In doing so, it highlights the interest of using a combination of semiotics tools (Peirce’s and Greimas’ paradigms) to analyse consumers’ discourses. Indeed, understanding the signvalue of a brand in relation to the natural environment and society is Paramount to the development of CSR activities, in order to avoid, on one side, being perceived as greenwashing and, on the other, losing the brand meaning and authenticity. Findings indicate that the luxury clientele opposes ‘ascribed luxury’ (discreet and emphasising traditional manufacturing techniques) to ‘achieved luxury’ (conspicuous and marketed). The contribution of luxury brands to society welfare should be located on a continuum between sustainability in ethos and along the supply chain, and pure philanthropic actions, both being worthy in consumers’ views, and both being expected from luxury brands to different degrees, depending on the brand ascribed or achieved status.

CERVELLON, Marie-Cécile, “Victoria’s dirty secrets: Effectiveness of Green not-for profit messages targeting brands” Journal of Advertising (2012), Vol. 41(4), pp.137-149

Abstract “Donna Karan Bunny Butcher,” “Bloody Burberry”: Not-ior-profit (NFP) campaigns regularly take brands hostage. These shock tactics are meant to bring publicity to targeted companies’ practices that are deemed socially and
environmentally irresponsible. The aim is to coerce such firms into complying with NFPs’ demands, for fear of consumers’ backlash. Surprisingly, there is scant evidence showing the impact of these messages on consumer behavior. This paper examines consumer response to messages targeting brands in the context of the luxury fashion industry. Two experiments, involving repeated measurement and between-subjects message manipulation (framing and target), were conducted. Results show that eco-involvement and product involvement are moderators of consumer response.”

CERVELLON, Marie-Cécile & WERNERFELT, Sophie “Knowledge sharing among green fashion communities online: Lessons for the sustainable supply chain”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, special issue on Green fashion (2012), Vol 16, Issue 2, pp. 176-192

Abstract “The purpose of this paper is to investigate the knowledge content on green fashion and the expectations regarding the sustainable supply chain held by consumers and shared within online communities. In sustainable and eco-sectors, the supply chain is of outmost concern for consumers, as most benefits derived from the eco-purchase are linked to the green and ethical credentials of the supply chain. A netnographic approach is used. Discussions on green fashion
were collected in two green fashion forums over two periods (2007-2008 and 2010-2011) and were content analyzed. Results show a switch in knowledge content between the two periods, from a focus on sustainability to a focus on fashion. Also, there is an evolution in the nature of knowledge content,
being initially subjective and becoming more objective and showing expertise during the last period studied. As the communities gain maturity, members are interested in sharing precise knowledge on a variety of aspects linked to the sustainable supply chain, including fabric, materials, manufacturing
processes, transportation, distribution, and recycling or re-use of fashion items. In addition, the role of the members evolves toward educating newcomers and sustaining the development of the green fashion sector.”

CERVELLON, Marie-Cécile & CAREY, Lindsey “Consumers’ perceptions of ‘green’: Why and How consumers use eco-fashion and green beauty products”, Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty, special issue on green fashion (2011) Vol 2: 1+2, 77-98

Abstract “The market for green products is expanding worldwide in a variety of industries, such as food, fashion and cosmetics. However, there is little research about consumer behaviour regarding green fashion and beauty, or consumers’ knowledge of green labels and certifications. This article explores these issues through a qualitative research approach, using in-depth interviews and focus groups. Results suggest that consumers do not understand the meaning of all terms and labels used to describe and guarantee green products, such as, for example, eco-labels on organic cosmetics. Regarding the motivation of consumers for consuming eco-fashion and green beauty products, protection of the environment is not a priority. Respondents’ motives for purchasing these products appear to be egocentric and related to health. Also, such purchases constitute a ‘license to sin’: they relieve the guilt of non-environmentally-friendly behaviors. Lastly, motivation for consuming eco-fashion is based on self-expression (mainly a North American motivation) and status display (mainly a continental European motivation). For several continental Europeans, purchasing green products appears to be a new form of conspicuous consumption.”





Valuable Resources on Sustainable Luxury

We are not discussing anymore “is sustainable luxury an oxymoron?”… Responsible luxury is luxury. All luxury houses have stringent CSR policies, but several companies apply those rules better than others. In two different sectors, watch the videos on Kering sustainable luxury philosophy and ITC hotels, which is leading sustainable innovations in the hospitality sector.  Last, watch the talks on sustainable luxury at New York Times International Luxury Conference 2016.