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American Express Publishing Luxury Summit to focus on evolving needs of affluent consumers

American Express Publishing’s Luxury Summit 2014 “Luxury without Borders” will take place April 6-8 at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, FL, and will focus on the changing world of luxury and its effect on wealthy individuals.

Now in its 12th year, the summit will be lead by senior executives of global brands to analyse current trends in the luxury sector. Brand speakers include Cartier, Gucci, Barneys New York and Marriott International. Curated by Time Inc.’s Departures editor in chief Richard David Story, the summit will begin with a sit down chat with Emmanuel Perrin, president and CEO of Cartier North America.

“This year’s agenda will address a range of issues affecting the luxury industry today, such as what drives the luxury experience for consumers, the importance of authenticity, the role philanthropy plays for luxury brands and what’s next in the global luxury marketplace,” said Jill Davison, vice president of communications at Time, Inc., New York.

“The theme of this year’s Luxury Summit is Luxury Without Borders,” Ms. Davison said. “From exploring the relevance of the Made in Italy brand to examining whether Asia is losing steam or just getting fired up, the Luxury Summit program will cover the current issues of this business around the globe.

“Norman Pearlstine, chief content officer of Time Inc., and Departures editor in chief Richard Story, are co-hosting this year’s Luxury Summit. This year’s roster of speakers is stellar. We consider it to be the summit’s strongest lineup of panelists and speakers yet.”

Owned by Time Inc., American Express Publishing produces the Departures, Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine magazines.


Outside the walls of luxury
Titled “Brave new Worlds,” Mr. Story’s post-welcome dinner interview with Cartier’s Mr. Perrin will set the tone for the three-day summit.

The following two days consist of keynote presentations and panel discussions from luxury brands representing the fashion and retail, automotive, travel and real estate industries. Researchers will also present current findings relevant to the luxury market and affluent consumer.

From the fashion retail category, Barneys New York’s creative director Dennis Freedman will discuss how the use of photography elevates efforts in “Picture this: Is an image worth a thousand words?” Mr. Freedman will be joined in conversation with founder and director of creative agency Leitzes & Co., Cary Leitzes.

Also, in the fashion sector is menswear brand Caruso’s president/CEO Umberto Angeloni. Mr. Angeloni will be discussing the idea of products “Made in Italy” and if this branding is still relevant.

On the final day of the summit, Gucci’s chief marketing officer Robert Triefus will sit down for a conversation with Global Philanthropy Group’s president Trevor Neilson. The pair will discuss the role of philanthropy for luxury brands in “Is philanthropy the new black?”

Gucci is a fitting brand for this discussion as the Italian label has active charities such as Chime for Change, Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund as well as its work with UNICEF.

Representing automotive brands will be Global Cadillac, whose chief marketing officer Uwe Ellinghaus will discuss with summit attendees about the potential of luxury electric cars. As more luxury automakers unveil electric models, this topic reflects current market trends.

In travel and hospitality, Arne Sorenson, president/CEO of Marriott International, will be in conversation with Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief of Travel + Leisure magazine.

Mr. Sorenson will discuss Marriott International’s move toward reworking the brand’s image in “Reinventing the iconic: The next edition of Marriott International.”

Also, Corcoran Group president/CEO Pamela Liebman will moderate a panel on the art of storytelling with Cherri Briggs, president of luxury travel agency Explore Inc., and Rodman Primack executive director of Design Miami.


Shared knowledge
Also presenting will be research findings that are concurrent to luxury trends.

For instance, Consumer Psychology’s Dr. Peter Noel Murray, Ph.D., will discuss the psychology of buying and spending while Kissinger Associates vice chairman Joshua Cooper Ramo will talk about the Asian market in “Is Asia losing steam or just firing up?” and Harrison Group will present its 2014 Survey of Affluence and Wealth.

American Express Publishing’s Luxury Summit will also have the opportunity to network with activities such as Speed Networking sessions, a golf tournament, wine tasting, fitness classes and a dinner hosted by Italian automaker Lamborghini and prepared by Top Chef winner and owner of Ink in Los Angeles, chef Michael Voltaggio.

The full program for American Express Publishing’s Luxury Summit 2014 is available here.

“The summit’s unparalleled networking opportunities and exclusive research findings are always key standouts to this 12th annual event,” Ms. Davison said.

– by Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York

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