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Brief Published: 4 Jun 2020

Luxury Brands Embrace Remote Culture to Drive Lockdown Sales

Extra
Prada's Possible Conversations; Juergen Teller and Lars Eidinger

As we dissect in Virtual Exhibitions, high-culture events have become beacons of engagement for consumers during Covid-19 lockdowns. Luxury lifestyle brands are joining in, spinning insider conversations, star-studded networks and editorialised e-commerce into intellectually ostentatious activations that stimulate sales. Here are three examples to note:

  • Virtual Huddles with Creative Industry Insiders: Building on its cultural programme that’s been rumbling for some time – see Prada Mode at Art Basel Miami 2018 – Italian megabrand Prada launched Possible Conversations in mid-April. This weekly live-streamed seminar series offers a digital alternative by gathering creatives, academics and media insiders to discuss the state of the creative industries. Topics range from fashion’s role during the crisis to post-pandemic narratives, while guests feature high-profile experts like US actress and film director Olivia Wilde, and Alexander Fury, men’s fashion critic for the Financial Times. Events are initially streamed on Instagram, then archived on the company site.

  • Step into My World – Haute Cultural Networks: French luxury fashion house Celine gives brand fans a peek into the star-studded cultural network of divisive head designer Hedi Slimane. Consumers can watch informal clips of Slimane’s artist friends on Instagram, like Joan Jett hosting a living room concert and American sculptor Charles Harlan taking an art-finding nature walk. Slimane also partnered with UK movie-streaming service Mubi, where followers can see designer-endorsed films, such as Apocalypse Now and Michelangelo Antonioni’s Red Desert
  • The Artist-Led Department Store: British department store Selfridges has launched an editorialised e-commerce platform The Mood Board to share articles about everything from fashion designers’ creative processes to photo tours of artists’ homes, paired with products to purchase. Currently, shoppers can flip through sketchbooks from Australian fashion designer Christopher Esber or learn how to set a table with London design duo Bompass & Parr, then buy the featured dress or dish set.

For more on luxury brands driving sales through intellectually fuelled activations, see Raising the Archives: Exhibition-Style Brandships, Rethinking the Fashion Flagship and Art Meets Fashion (Again). 

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