Hosted by Suzy Menkes, the conference will see industry leading figures including Marco Bizzarri, CEO, Gucci and jewellery expert Nicolas Bos, president and CEO, Van Cleef & Arpels; designers Jean Paul Gaultier and Christopher Raeburn; as well as South-African natives Laduma Ngxokolo, founder, MAaxhosa by Laduma and Hanneli Rupert, founder, Merchants on Long; creative director, Okapi.
The on-stage discussions will look at the meaning of luxury as the industry evolves; examining the promise and value of the African market for the global luxury and fashion industry, and the power of the continent as a creative, manufacturing and retail hub. In a series of panel sessions, keynotes and interviews, speakers will also discuss sustainable business and conscious consumerism, the importance of Afrocentric luxury, strategies for retail success and the ongoing influence of technology.
Suzy Menkes, editor, Vogue International and curator of the event commented: “Speaking of Africa and luxury in the same breath would have seemed unimaginable even at the new millennium. In the last two decades, both the continent itself and the world’s perception of high-end goods have changed dramatically. The two apparently opposite worlds have grown closer – completely naturally.
“Nature is the essence of luxury today, which is why we have named the fifth CNI Luxury Conference, ‘The Nature of Luxury’. I have often talked about the power of human hands, and sewing, dyeing, and embroidery. What the West celebrates as essential skills for the highest levels of couture have been part of daily life for centuries across the countries of Africa.”
Further speakers include business leaders Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Founder & Executive Chairperson, African Fashion International and Wendy Yu, Founder and CEO, Yu Holdings. Additionally, there will be a strong sustainability and environmental focus from speakers Jochen Zeitz, Co-Founder and Co-Chair, The B Team, Rosario Perez, Director, Kering Foundation and Sylvie Bénard, Environment Director, LVMH. Architect Thomas Heatherwick will also host a special session at the conference.
Suzy Menkes continued: “’The Nature of Luxury’ is a bold attempt to dream the not-so-impossible dream: To make clothes, accessories, and jewellery that promote the protection of our planet; to meld age-old traditional talent with a digital future. And, above all, for the luxury industry to continue to grow in a changing world – with a focus on contemporary values and a belief that invention is essential.”
Exploring ‘The Nature of Luxury’, speakers at the event will include leading creatives, innovators and entrepreneurs from the world of luxury. ‘The Nature of Luxury’ conference will take place in Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 April 2019.
Condé Nast International is a member of FIPP.
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