“The New Definition of Luxury” – a Look Back at our Fashion & Luxury Summit

fashionYesterday, Mobile Marketing Magazine hosted our first ever Fashion & Luxury Summit in London, examining how mobile technology is impacting the fashion and luxury industries at every level, from design and manufacturing, to commerce and marketing.

Speakers at the event included Tammy Smulders, global executive director of Havas LuxHub, Fatema Hamdani, vice president of mobile engagement for Syniverse, and Simona Stabingyte, vice president of strategy & business development at StreetHub.

The presentations revealed some key insights, like the fact that less than 40 per cent of the designers present at London Fashion Week had eCommerce platforms in place, indicating huge potential for growth in the sector, and that 55 per cent of luxury purchases in the UK are made by international tourists, demonstrating how traditional marketing efforts like print can struggle to capture huge sections of potential shoppers.

One company that is helping to address that issue of targeting is Luxia Global, who specialise in reaching travellers at four and five-star hotels through branded wi-fi landing pages, enabling luxury brands to establish contact with key customers almost the moment they arrive somewhere.

“Its the first thing guests do as soon as theyre into their rooms – log into the wi-fi,” said Kenz Mroue, activation manager at Luxia Global. “Once theyve logged on, the first thing they see is a hotel branded page that we host, and on that we have third-party advertising. We work closely with brands on different sorts of campaigns, from proximity-based campaigns to short term events to long term sponsorships.

“Everything is moving towards mobile. Because we have first-party data from hotels, the brands know directly who theyre speaking to, who their campaign is reaching, and who theyre engaging with. Were seeing very high engagement from these guests in hotels because of the synergy we create between partners and hotels.

“Most of the brands here are people we would want to engage with if were not already engaging with them, so its been really useful to reconnect or to meet new people. Everyone in the room is looking at the same thing: mobile and digital, what are the steps forward, what are the options, what is out there?”

syniverse fashion luxury summitThe power of mobile to deliver the kind of experiences that luxury consumers are looking for was perhaps best demonstrated by Max Moir, head of strategy at Somo, who shared a quote from Emily Culp, senior vice president of omnichannel & eCommerce at designer Rebecca Minkoff: “The new definition of luxury is being able to be empowered to select the service level that she wants, when she wants, on the device that she wants.”

As well as speaking to technology partners like Luxia Global, Somo, GfK, Syniverse, Inmobi and Swrve, delegates heard from speakers working on more fringe combinations of fashion, luxury and mobile technology.

Alex Lambert, lead creative of Inition demonstrated case studies of how virtual reality is being used as a powerful branding tool that can be integrated into stores and events, how it can create longevity in otherwise short-lived experiences, and how advances in technology will soon enable customers to walk through digital store spaces that bend the laws of physics.

We also heard from Francesca Rosella, creative director of CuteCircuit, who shared her experiences and lessons from merging microtechnology and smart textiles to create garments that do amazing things, and Matthew Drinkwater, head of the London College of Fashions Fashion Innovation Agency, on how the fashion industry can improve its approach to technology.

“Theres a massive gap between traditional designers and the technology industry,” said Matthew Drinkwater. “What we want to try and start building is seeing designers coming through, working at a much earlier stage with smart materials and e-tech styles. The more they use that technology, the easier it will become.

“Were hoping that designers will begin to recognise new ways to market, and certainly (platforms like StreetHub) are going to make a difference, but theres also a mindset change that the fashion industry needs to adopt. When we begin to have designers thinking about who an end consumer might be, then digital becomes very relevant in how they reach that consumer.

“If wearable technologys going to take off, it needs to have more of a sensor-led environment for it to move forward. What fashion retailers could do to transform a consumer journey through technology, the opportunities are really big.”

You can see more from the day, and read reactions from delegates and sponsors alike by checking out the #MMSummits hashtag on Twitter.