As I write I am super excited, on route to Miami for a best friend’s hen do, swatting up on my Wallpaper Guide to Miami with a bucks fizz in hand. It is my first trip to the undisputed party capital, the Ibiza of the United States, and I thought I would share my experiences of the trip.
We will also be reporting from the FT Luxury Summit in Marrakech that is happening at the same time, my roving reporter Brett (husband to be more specific) is speaking on a panel during the conference and has agreed to document his experiences. The ‘Lifestyle Revolution’ is the focus of this year’s summit, and the programme will explore the increased intermingling of luxury with lifestyle, including the risks and rewards associated with traditional luxury brands as they pursue new product routes and cross into new sectors.
Brett spoke on a panel chaired by Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Editor of the FT with Tamara Mellon, co-founder of Jimmy Choo, Richie Notar, CEO of Nobu, Armando Branchini, Executive Director of Fondazione Altagamma, which is an Italian version of the Walpole Group and Lachen Haddad, Minister of Tourism for Morocco, to name a few. The subject was The Democratisation of Luxury: A View from Emerging Market Economies.
“The Marrakech event is the eighth annual Luxury Summit co-ordinated by the FT and reportedly the biggest to date,” said Brett Gregory-Peake, Head of Strategic Services at Adoreum Partners. “Hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel & Resort, which opened just last year, it provides a platform for debate and discussion about the business of luxury and where it’s headed. Amidst the usual concerns over the economy and the plight of the Euro, the biggest players in brand building and luxury governance provided inspiration, insight and advice to the attendees. Leading the pack was PPR Chairman Henri-Francois Pinault who gave the opening statement and addressed the luxury lifestyle acceleration in emerging markets, which currently make up 38% of their worldwide business. The star of the show was Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo Chairman of Ferrari, whose flirtatious speech divided opinion amongst some who proclaimed it sexist; hardly shocking coming from an Italian who heads up the biggest supercar brand in the world. The overriding topic seemed to rest on the growing adoption of lifestyle marketing amongst brands to extend their influence over consumers. The networking extravaganza that following was held within sumptuous palaces complete with fabulous food and outstanding performances; Morocco stood out as the summit’s most compelling brand.”
At the other end of the scale, Miami is a sight to like no other, with awe-inspiring Art Deco architecture, roof top restaurants and parties, oozing fun, sun and masses of sex appeal. By day silicon-filled bikini babes and ultra-pumped hunks flaunt their bronzed bodies on the sandy shores of South Beach, and by night the stiletto heels and big-wheeled SUVs paraded the strip in what can only be described as bling on steroids! We actually managed to make friends with a couple of locals called ‘Prince and Princess’, and despite their outrageous street style, they were very sweet and warm characters, just embracing the spirit of this crazy city.
Staying at the uber cool Shore Club, we were in the heart of the action, so cool in fact that Rihanna even popped in for a drink one evening! With it being Memorial Weekend, Miami was in professional hip-hop party mode, and boy do they party hard! And we happily engaged fully in the excesses of Miami life for the 5 days we were there. We ate in some of the city’s most divine restaurants including the new super chic Juvia, located in the penthouse of the iconic car park (111 Lincoln Road) designed by famous Swedish duo Herzog De Meuron, we had first class views of Miami’s skyline, surrounded by the beautiful jet set. We drank many cocktails and indulged in a modern and innovative Japanese menu. We hit the best hotspots including Nikki Beach and my personal favourite Soho House, where we were lucky enough to spend our last 24 hours, which was like a mini retreat amongst the Miami madness.
Miami was an absolute success; we eventually got our tired bones back on the flight back to the UK, as we reminisce fondly of our adventures. Until next time!
Video of Brett’s panel discussion - https://www.ft-live.com/ft-events/ft-business-of-luxury-summit-2012/sessions/the-democratisation-of-luxury-a-view-from-emerging-market-economies