Thursday night was the second of three presentations that make up the “Fashion Insider” speaker series. Laurent Levasseur, currently the Chief Operating Officer at Catherine Malandrino, came to LIM College's FashionOpolis to speak about luxury goods in the current marketplace and how their role and definition have changed drastically since they first came into the market.
Mr. Levasseur has worked in the fashion industry for the majority of his life. He went to school in his home country of France at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce business school in Paris and then came to the United States to live. After going to school to become an investment banker, Mr. Levasseur became the CEO at Yves Saint Laurent America. As you can tell by his resume, Mr. Levasseur is the right person to talk about luxury goods.
As a part of the presentation, Mr. Levasseur came armed with a PowerPoint on the changing role of luxury goods and how that industry is responding to these drastic changes. One thing that I noticed was how hard it is to really define what a “luxury good” is these days. In these times, a luxury good could really be anything. Pretty much anything can be considered luxurious to someone, somewhere. What we consider luxury goods are usually items from the businesses we deem “luxurious” e.g. Coach, Chanel, Louis Vuitton. They all come up with products that will keep their business going, but they still have very expensive, very exclusive items at the top that are only really sold to less than 10% of the population.
The presentation was very educational and really made me think about what I consider to be luxurious in my own life and how that has changed over a lifetime. Now I am looking forward to seeing Stephen Burrows, who will be the final speaker in the "Fashion Insiders" series on Nov. 4.