Luxebook Jan-Feb 2024

Karl Lagerfeld and other high-end designers was a clever move, tapping into the 37% of consumers who want a luxury lifestyle but can’t afford it. Shift towards inclusivity However, Ramabhadran emphasizes that revenue is not always the primary goal. He categorizes collaborations into three types, each serving a distinct purpose, from increasing credibility to increasing client bases. He argues that sustained, well-executed collaborations have the potential to break through market clutter and influence revenue streams over time. And lastly, he says, “a well-thoughtthrough brand collaboration can serve to showcase a new facet of either or both brands.” The allure of limited editions and exclusivity further fuels the popularity of luxury collaborations. With the introduction of such pieces, brands have recognized the consumer’s desire for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, and collaborations offer an opportunity to fulfil this craving. This move can hence be interlinked with the changing dynamics of consumer behaviour – a world where the modern consumer is aspirational.“Limited-edition collaborations are perceived as exclusive and desirable, contributing to a boost in sales and fostering a sense of urgency among consumers, “ adds Sally. But Ramabhadran asserts that collaborations alone cannot serve as a source of long-term differentiation. However, the art and science of selecting and executing collaborations can provide a competitive advantage. This shift towards inclusivity is not merely a matter of market strategy; it is a reflection of changing societal norms and a conscious effort by luxury brands to stay relevant in an era that values diversity and inclusiveness. Collaborations enable these brands to reach beyond their traditional customer base, fostering a sense of connection with a wider demographic. Giving us an opposing standpoint, Vivek says,“In today’s day and age, collaborations are viewed as a short-term tool to gain attention for a short period. However, in this, a lot of them don’t generate meaningful value, as consumers are also fatigued. By and large, most collaborations today would not be recalled by consumers after a couple of months. Very few break the clutter. Hence, these aren’t very strategic decisions. He continued to say,“At Aulerth - our relationships with designers are not mere collaborations. They are partnerships - since they are much more strategic and deep in involvement. For us, a designer with a distinct design language, a complementary client following, and who truly shares an aligned working vision across the two teams – devises the foundation of a good partnership.” Clinique X Kate Spade Brand Philosophy V/S Creativity: The Challenge While collaborations undoubtedly offer a plethora of advantages, they also present a unique challenge – the delicate balance between authenticity and commercial viability. Luxury brands must navigate the fine line between staying true to their heritage and embracing the innovative spirit of collaboration. The risk of diluting the brand’s philosophy or alienating loyal customers is ever-present. Giving us an insight into the world of collaborations from the brand side, Sally sheds light on the decision-making process behind pursuing collaborations, emphasizing that it must align with the brand’s overarching strategy and vision. She notes, “Factors such as brand compatibility, shared values, and the potential to create something extraordinary are carefully considered. Collaborations must not only resonate with our brand identity but also bring a fresh perspective that adds value to our product offerings.” Maintaining a delicate balance between exclusivity and accessibility is a challenge faced by luxury brands engaging in collaborations. Mahajan concludes, by saying “Exclusivity is crucial, yet embracing a diverse audience is equally important. We maintain a luxury standard, opting for limited numbers and selecting certain products for limited editions. This ensures both a broader audience reach and a sense of exclusivity. Our goal is to maintain the brand’s essence while exploring new dimensions. Collaborations are a means to achieve this, allowing us to push boundaries, embrace diversity, and offer our consumers an enriched brand experience.” While exclusivity remains a hallmark of luxury, collaborative projects present an opportunity to make designer products accessible to a broader audience. Thus, we can say that the rising allure of luxury brand collaborations mirrors the changing desires of modern consumers. However, collaborations must not only align with the brand identity but also inject a fresh perspective. As the luxury landscape continues to evolve, collaborations will undoubtedly remain a pivotal strategy for brands. Ramabhadran emphasizes that revenue is not always the primary goal. He categorizes collaborations into three types, each serving a distinct purpose, from increasing credibility to increasing client bases. He argues that sustained, well-executed collaborations have the potential to break through market clutter and influence revenue streams over time. And lastly, he says, “a well-thoughtthrough brand collaboration can serve to showcase a new facet of either or both brands.” Regarding the differentiation strategy, Ramabhadran asserts that collaborations alone cannot serve as a source of long-term differentiation. However, the art and science of selecting and executing collaborations can provide a competitive advantage. Supreme’s luxury collaborations and H&M’s early exploration of designer partnerships are cited as examples of brands that have successfully navigated this terrain. The strategic decision-making process behind pursuing collaborations is examined through the lens of short-term attention gain. Ramabhadran notes that, in the current landscape, collaborations are often viewed as tools for grabbing attention for a limited period. He acknowledges that while some collaborations may not generate lasting value, those with novel concepts, like the Indigo x Mokobara collaboration, can break through consumer fatigue and leave a lasting impact. Navigating the delicate balance between exclusivity and accessibility in collaborative projects is a crucial consideration. Ramabhadran outlines Aulerth’s approach, emphasizing that their relationships with designers go beyond mere collaborations; they are strategic partnerships. These partnerships are based on shared vision, complementing client followings, and a commitment to a mindful, low-footprint approach to jewelry. Ramabhadran asserts, “Aulerth’s associations are strategic partnerships as opposed to collaborations,” showcasing a unique approach to maintaining exclusivity while fostering accessibility. Indigo x Mokobara 34|LUXEBOOK |JAN/FEB 2024 JAN/FEB 2024 |LUXEBOOK|35

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