Interview with Ms Uche Okonkwo

Face2Face
Ms Uche Okonkwo
Ms Uche Okonkwo
Director & Co-Founder
Luxe E.t.c.
Luxe E.t.c.

All alluring and booming luxury industry operates in a complex fashion. Its management systems require an intricate blend of business know-how, aesthetic appreciation and creative talent. Neither transferable nor generalist, business strategies, techniques and procedures are unique to luxury, whose application requires a skill - a challenge in itself. Playing a crucial role in luxury industry and its allied sectors - Luxury Goods, Luxury Travel & Tourism, Selective Retailing, Wines & Spirits and Arts & Entertainment, Luxe E.t.c. is the pioneer Business Strategy & Management Consultancy Company providing advanced services in Brand Management, Marketing Strategy, E-Business, Business Planning, Research, Retail Management, Investment Appraisal, Change Management and Interim Management. Based in Paris with a worldwide client portfolio, Luxe E.t.c. offers additional value of access to the convergence point of the luxury world. Ms Uche Okonkwo, the Director and Co-Founder, has extensive cross-sector experience in Luxury Goods Management, Strategy & Management Consultancy, Commercial Aviation and Travel, Telecommunications and Academics. A regular conference speaker, Ms Okonkwo also guest lectures at the Department of Marketing, Ecole Superieur de Commerce, Rennes, France. She has an MBA from Brunel University, London and is a Doctorate candidate at Ecole Superieur de Commerce, Rennes, France. Ms Okonkwo has authored many luxury business magazines, Luxe-Mag.Com, as well as the Luxury Business Series - a collection of business texts on Luxury, being written by industry experts. This year, she launched her book ‘Luxury Fashion Branding - Trends, Tactics, Techniques’, published by Palgrave-Macmillan. Luxury Fashion Branding is a groundbreaking text addressing the business of luxury fashion from a strategic viewpoint through tracing the origins of luxury fashion, assessing its consumer behavior, retailing tactics, branding and marketing strategies, e-business, business modeling, new luxury, customization strategies and best & worst practices. For her remarkable role in the strategy development of luxury and fashion companies, Ms Uche Okonkwo was approached by Face2Face team to offer some insight on the luxury industry and her book. Presented below are the expert's observations.

What are the main characteristics of the luxury fashion industry today?

The luxury fashion industry remains highly lucrative and intriguing but is currently undergoing an important evolution both in the competitive business environment and the consumer landscape. In terms of competition, factors like the internet, digital communications and private equity financing have contributed in lowering the entry barrier, making competition rifer. On the consumption end, the luxury market has broadened to include a mass of wealthy individuals with different characteristics, expectations and attitudes towards luxury goods. These are some of the challenges that luxury companies currently face.

How do you see the global luxury retail industry evolving in the coming years?

In terms of overall evolution, the global luxury industry will remain lucrative in the coming years. The key markets for luxury goods currently show healthy economic growth and the emerging markets like China, India and Russia are even more promising. Several brands are achieving revenues of between 20% and 50% higher than forecasts and this trend is likely to continue. Luxury retailing will also take a new dimension through e-Commerce as several brands will be driven to retail their products and create intimate relations with consumers through the internet.

How about the evolution of luxury consumers? Are there any trends that will define their future behavior?

The landscape of the luxury consumer has definitely changed in the last few decades and consumers will continue to evolve even more rapidly than in the past. Luxury consumers will become more demanding and have higher expectations from luxury brands as a result of their increased access to information and brand offerings. The internet, digital communications and the opening up of international territories will play a key role in this evolution.

Published on: 02/07/2007

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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