Contemporary art and luxury have always evolved in a common universe. Yet today, major luxury brands seek to strengthen the link between contemporary art and luxury.
Before establishing himself as a great world-renowned couturier, Christian Dior was a gallery owner in the 1930s. When he created his fashion house in 1947, he was inspired by the great artists of his time, with whom he rubbed shoulders. Thus, when making his first collections, he borrows the name of contemporary artists to name his models: Matisse, Picasso, Braque …
In addition, many couturiers were inspired by artists and their works to develop their collections. Like Yves Saint Laurent and his famous Mondrian dress, created in homage to the painter.
In addition, the managers of large luxury houses such as Louis Vuitton and Cartier have always had a definite taste for contemporary art. Thus, for many years, these business leaders have been collecting and storing in their premises works of art acquired from all over the world. Contemporary art therefore constitutes a real heritage specific to certain luxury houses.
Association of contemporary art and luxury: strategic to move upmarket ?
For several years now, many partnerships between contemporary artists and luxury houses have emerged. The main interest for these brands is to give their product lines a very strong artistic and therefore visual dimension.
Moreover, each association between contemporary art and luxury gives brands a singularity and a clearly definable identity. Like the partnership between Hermès and many contemporary artists for the famous square. In fact, the traditional and historical know-how of Hermès is mingled with the creative genius of the artists. This is evidenced by the daring collaboration between the painter Hiroshi Sugimoto with the luxury house. Like moving paintings that you can wear.
In addition, many exhibitions organized directly by luxury houses have multiplied in recent years. Thus, in 2015, the Guerlain store located on the avenue des Champs Élysées in Paris, organized its own exhibition, in parallel with the FIAC. About fifteen artists were exhibited there, to give the boutique a dimension that was much more artistic than commercial. The message: Cartier does more than sell, it makes art.
Through this multiplication of collaborations, luxury houses tend to unite a real community of faithful around their brand. Thus, in a world where competition is proliferating, and where fashion and luxury are increasingly reaching a very large audience, the big luxury houses are trying by all means to preserve their image of excellence.
Consequently, through its partnerships, they seek to regain and preserve a high-end clientele, demanding and having the means. In light of the major transformation of the world of fashion and luxury since the rise of the Internet and social networks, luxury brands are redoubling their efforts to try to stand out and preserve their community. This is why more and more brands are taking risks and sometimes starting collaborations that end up flopping, so misunderstood by the public are they.
Thus, it was noticed that the most fruitful collaborations between contemporary art and luxury were those where the link between the artist and the universe of the brand was almost similar. Indeed, such an association must be coherent and sincere in the eyes of the public. Partnering just for the sake of the buzz can sometimes be unwise for brands.
To be continued…