In recent years, the luxury industry has demonstrated its ability to endure and overcome crises.
This lends weight to market estimates that predict a return in 2022 to pre-COVID-19 levels of value creation as well as revenue growth of 6% from 2022 to 2026. In this environment, French luxury fashion houses have been playing their cards right. Now, more than ever, luxury is a source of national pride for the general public in countries where it is most highly developed. Research suggests that consumers view the luxury industry as being defined by quality, craftmanship, and creativity.
Consumers also believe that luxury brands bear a certain degree of responsibility for social and environmental progress. According to Laurent Boillot, president and CEO of Hennessy and the newly elected chairman of Comité Colbert (an association of major luxury brands based in France), the goal of luxury is “to preserve, develop, and pass on to future generations.”
Consumers agree—and their shifting expectations suggest that they are asking for even more:
Luxury players must respond to these emerging pressures individually and collectively. Given its flourishing economic success and excellence in certain areas—such as product quality and customer relationships—the industry should help drive a larger movement that extends beyond its sector. Because of their prominence and international leadership, French luxury brands are particularly poised to lead this charge.
After conducting more than 40 interviews with Comité Colbert members, luxury fashion house directors, and industry experts, we have identified five challenges, each of which doubles as an opportunity, for brands to address as they try to meet their social and environmental responsibilities:
A closer look at each of these topics suggests ways in which the luxury industry can act as a bold pioneer of change, generating positive impact worldwide.