3 QUESTIONS for Paul FEDERICI – Consultant and specialist in luxury watches and Vestiaire Collective jewellery
As part of their NEOMA BS curriculum, the students on the IM'Lux programme enjoy a "week in Paris". This week allows the students to experience some of the capital's most prestigious luxury hotels and to work with a number of renowned professional lecturers, some of whom are graduates of the School. Paul FEDERICI, for instance, is an expert in luxury watches and jewellery and who spoke to us about the future of the luxury sector and his career as a Neoma graduate.
How has NEOMA Business School helped you?
NEOMA Business School allowed me to acquire the basic knowledge about how a company operates. A macroscopic vision, coupled with a methodology that makes it possible to understand the market and how it operates: having a place on the market, knowing how to sell oneself, not in the short-term but sustainably.
Plus, a further important element: the network!
Moreover, I try to remain faithful to the notion of transmission. When a student contacts me, on LinkedIn for example, I am always open to sharing experiences or passing on advice.
How do you see the future of the luxury sector?
In my opinion, the luxury market will be broken up. My feeling is that a division will appear between a new form of "mass market" luxury and a form of luxury I would call "elite".
A third path is certainly opening up with Vestiaire Collective. Which, for me, is a little outside this context, given that its value is based on vintage. Vintage is at the heart of their strategy, it is also their driving force and the validation of their activity. This in-between, which is also a "grey market", has become an integral part of the luxury sector, which has also been affected by the concept of "economy sharing", in the same way as car-sharing!
However, I am convinced that we are losing a part of what we consider luxury. Geographical segmentation, which seeks to offer products adapted to a target group, has lost its notion of luxury. In some cases, it is no longer a simple question of selling expensive products to a particular target group. It is a complete turnaround when the "targets" dictate to the major luxury brands what they should do. Besides, who wants to buy mass-market luxury products? I am well aware of the growth imperatives that companies have to meet, but I do think that the major brands in this sector need to question this point further.
Maybe I have a vision that is too purist, but for me, luxury must amaze, surprise, fascinate and even go further: and question. I like to refer to the Latin origin of the word "Lux" which means 'light'.
Luxury must be free to impose its trends. And I do say ‘impose’ and not ‘propose’.
What advice would you give to students?
I want to tell them to come into this sector for the right reasons. Be passionate about it, be driven by excellence, by quality, and have the will to give the best of themselves, be humble, open, and have the desire to learn and share with compassion and understanding.
In this bright and shiny world, with all its lights, there is no room for misplaced egos. Because it is far easier to destroy someone than to help them advance. I would talk about experience, but we only admire people who behave as well with their teams as they do with their managers.