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The Debrief: How Luxury Woos the World’s Biggest Spenders

BoF’s Chavie Lieber dives into the elaborate and secretive way luxury brands court their high-spending clients with trips to exotic locales and entry to exclusive events.
How Luxury Woos the World’s Biggest Spenders

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Background:

In the midst of a post-Covid luxury boom, brands are going the extra mile to lavish top spenders — known as very important clients, or VICs. To court and keep VICs, who often account for the majority of their sales, names like Givenchy, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Chopard fly clients out to ritzy charity galas and film festivals, organise exclusive runway shows and extended stays in five-star hotels and even grant access to designers and executives.

“It’s really about access to a designer, keeping them in the inner rings of the fashion world, so they feel seen and appreciated,” said BoF correspondent Chavie Lieber. “And then, obviously it leads back to more sales.”

This week on The Debrief, BoF’s Chavie Lieber takes Lauren Sherman inside the cloistered world of luxury clienteling.

Key Insights:

  • VICs, who can range from being very private to Insta-influencer status, are the engine powering luxury. Luxury e-commerce platform MyTheresa said 3 percent of its customers account for 30 percent of its business.
  • In response to consumer appetite in the wake of Covid, brands have upped the ante on experiences for VICs and potential new big spenders.
  • Much focus has been on the US, where spending in tertiary cities like Palm Beach and Austin — rather than New York and Los Angeles — is redirecting luxury’s attention.
  • In the midst of economic turbulence, VICs are becoming even more important to brands, as entry level consumers hold off on spending-up.

Additional Resources:

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