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In Episode 2 of Transforming Luxury, BoF’s new podcast presented by Klarna, we investigate what will inform the luxury product mix of the future.
Indeed, the definition of a luxury good has expanded dramatically in recent years to now include a host of disruptive new categories, from the luxury sneakerhead culture that dominated the past decade, to collectibles, curios, NFTs and even some mass produced products capturing attention in the luxury market.
Evolving consumer sentiment is also increasingly influencing luxury’s manufacturing process. Today, customers demand brands and businesses authentically represent global cultures in a way that serves the communities themselves and not the industry’s shareholders. They also hold brands accountable for the impact of their supply chains and production processes. Yet, workers’ rights was among the worst-performing categories in BoF’s Sustainability Index.
To discover what this means for the future of the luxury goods industry, BoF assembled four global authorities to share their insight.
Aaron Levant is an entrepreneur working at the intersection of fashion, culture, events and media. Levant co-founded streetwear and music festival ComplexCon, and streetwear trade show Agenda Today, Levant is CEO of NTWRK, a mobile-first video shopping platform — backed by Drake and LeBron James — that hosts events and exclusive, limited-edition product drops available to purchase immediately within its app.
“For the last hundred years, luxury was easily defined as European couture — fashion houses who own the luxury space — and now, seemingly newer brands not only create luxury in their own right, but then collaborate with true luxury brands. I think the definition around luxury is ever evolving as for who fits in that category.”
Zerina Akers is an American fashion stylist and costume designer. She is the founder of the self-funded e-commerce site Black Owned Everything and has worked as Beyoncé Knowles Carter‘s stylist, as well as costume designing the 2020 visual album, Black Is King, for which she won an Emmy in 2021.
“Generally, many of these companies have benefitted from rap culture and imagery that we’ve created for them. We’ve created so much marketing for these companies and I’m just hoping that there continues to be real, sustainable change for them in the way that they shine light on our community.”
Bethany Williams is a UK-based menswear designer with a focus on affecting social change. She founded her namesake label in 2017, won the Queen Elizabeth II Award in 2019 and the British Fashion Council and British Vogue Designer Fashion Fund in 2021.
“For me, luxury is about having a product that you don’t feel guilty owning. Luxury is about beautiful craftsmanship and the slowing down of the manufacturing process, working with artisans and supporting local community projects.”
Fewocious is the youngest artist ever to be featured by Christie’s — and the first to crash its site. He is one of the most successful and visible members of a growing community of crypto artists finding success in the NFT market, launching a shoe collaboration with design studio RTFKT earlier this year, with more than 600 pairs selling out in seven minutes and netting around $3.1 million.
“With the NFT space, art can move. You can interact with art. There’s programmable art, you can programme layers so that someone can change how your art looks [...]. There’s so much I probably don’t even know about yet, just because you can kind of do anything and figure out a way to attach an NFT to it, which I think is so rad and the future.”
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