As Livein Style’s Special Correspondent I had the honor to attend, with many senior executives, at the second annual Women in Luxury 2018 Conference, an event hosted on May 9th in New York by Luxury Daily that is designed to reflect the expertise and smarts of women leaders in the luxury business, and discuss on the future of women in luxury industries. The theme of this year’s conference is Making History with Her Story.


The conference agenda is geared to addressing the opportunities and challenges that women executives face in the luxury business, with tips and best practice on how to forge ahead and lead, and inspiring attendees to learn from some of the most successful women executives in luxury. In attendance are senior executives from luxury brands, luxury retailers, ad agencies, publishers, market researchers, platforms and service providers. The invited speakers shared experiences, tips to breaking the glass ceiling and getting ahead, their accomplishments in the face of market challenges, and how they are making a difference in the growth of their brands.


Topics under discussion include an in-depth look at the state of luxury, role of women consumers in the luxury economy, leadership and career strategy and tips, capturing the attention and wealth of women, respect and dignity in the workplace, entrepreneurs in the business and how they got started and kept going, and career trajectories and snapshots of successful women executives at the leading luxury brands.


Some takeaways from the Women in Luxury Conference:


Female executives are essential to sales, yet still face obstacles in path to high-level luxury leadership roles – A debate at the conference suggested that there is a long way to go before many luxury brands can truly understand the mindset of their biggest group of consumers. This is in large part due to the lack of women in managerial roles at many of the luxury industry’s biggest companies and China lags even further behind in the ranks of senior leadership equality.


Digital disruption – “The digital revolution continues to disrupt business as usual for luxury brands,” says Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief Luxury Daily, “This year, however, the survey shows more luxury companies have embraced the potential that Internet marketing and ecommerce represent.” According to the newly released “State of Luxury 2018: The Insider View” report from Luxury Daily and Unity Marketing that social media advertising and promotion is where the largest number of luxury goods and services brands will invest their advertising and marketing budgets in 2018, followed by Web site enhancements and Internet advertising such as Google Adwords. And women are shaping the future of luxury fashion, jewelry and beauty care such as the growing popularity of online retail platforms such as Net-A-Porter, Farfetch, MatchesFashion, Rent the Runway and Moda Operandi.


Chinese consumers are more sophisticated than ever – as the wealth of China’s growing middle-class continues to stabilize, brands are seeing a much more considered approach to luxury spending. Annastasia V. Seebohm, CEO at elite concierge service Quintessentially made the remarks that they’ve seen a growing maturity in the type of luxury requests from Chinese clients, “Our Chinese members are now looking for more than just well-known luxury brands. They want meaningful experiences. They want to learn about the history of a brand and be educated.”


The conference is a timely one in the current economic and social climate in the year of women for gender equality and social justice. Look forward to attending the next conference on this important topic.


Article and photo by Cathy Han

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