Splitting the atom of heritage to respond to luxury’s challenges and crises | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 2, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 2635-1609
  • E-ISSN: 2635-1617

Abstract

What role does, and can, heritage play in the challenges and crises that confront brands operating in the luxury industry? Are heritage and luxury the same thing, or are they separate concepts? In this brief reflection, I explore what heritage means for luxury brands and how heritage might most impactfully help luxury brands as they create new products, enter new markets and continue to operate as heritage brands. The two main case studies I briefly highlight to spotlight the symbiotic and, at other times, challenging relationship between heritage and luxury are Hermès’ contestation of the creation of MetaBirkins by the artist Mason Rothschild and Schiaparelli’s Haute Couture collection inspired by Dante’s . Through these cases I propose that luxury consider splitting the atom of heritage into brand heritage and cultural heritage to more fully understand how brand heritage supports its luxury positioning while, at the same time, acknowledging the times that brand heritage, when improperly translated for contemporary consumers, might fail. I also propose that cultural heritage offers opportunities for luxury but also a responsibility to more fully acknowledge luxury brands’ role in our cultural discourse by permitting certain commentary on their designs and products, notwithstanding legal rights they might have in their arsenal. I conclude by proposing that educational offerings, especially in fashion and luxury law, should more fully embrace a cross-pollination between luxury and heritage.

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2023-09-01
2024-03-04
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