FOCUS Online: FOCUS Online: Mr Fastoso, you are a brand expert and the first Professor of luxury in Germany. Since September, teach at the Hochschule in Pforzheim, Germany. Start your Job in the middle of the Corona-crisis. This is not a very bad date?

Fernando Fastoso: I am a Professor and education is also in crisis times is important.

Many get through the crisis in economic Hardship, so that luxury back products in the Background. The theme is in a time such as this still relevant?

Fastoso: When people experience periods of uncertainty, to go back again to the Essentials. Luxury products are not essential. But luxury is always something Special. We live in a society in which many people delight in products. Among these luxury products. The joy of the Material will probably always be, just perhaps not for every to the same extent as previously.

“Social responsibility will play a bigger role” Fernando Fastoso Dr. Fernando Fastoso is the first Professor of luxury brands in Germany. On the first of September 2020 he took over the chair in Pforzheim. In this Interview, he talks about the change of values and brands, and how the Corona crisis changed our understanding of luxury.

Will change the Corona, with the crisis in our understanding of luxury? What is your prognosis?

Fastoso: definitely. People will consider now in more detail, with the luxury that surrounded them, as well as whether – and how – you present this luxury to the exterior. This could mean, for example, less luxury, but for this particular luxury. The Trend is in the direction of the “silent” or “discreet” luxury. That is, products with more discretely designed Logos that communicate luxury to the outside, but on a more subtle art. in addition, people expect more from luxury brands as high quality, exclusive products.

Social responsibility will in future play a greater role. It is a question of ethics, sustainability and “Accountability”. Many consumers today want to know where a product comes from, under what conditions it was manufactured, and what the manufacturer is taking to tackle the challenges of our time.

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How has luxury changed over the last few years?

Fastoso: ten years Ago, we would have been able to agree on the question of “What is a luxury product?” quickly on the products of brands like Chanel, Dior and Hermès. Today, there are different types of luxury. Traditional luxury is the opposite of the affordable luxury. One thing they have in common: luxury is always exclusive, and therefore, rar.

In the 15th century. Century were spices luxury. In the 19th century. Century, it was leisure. The range has become much wider, as more and more people throughout the world are becoming wealthy. When you think of the fashion area, so nowadays there are far more gradations of what view consumers as being luxury products: a Louis Vuitton handbag for 1000 GBP in addition to a Michael Kors handbag for 200 EUR.

here Runs the border between prosperity and luxury?

Fastoso: , you think of prosperity, wealth and purchasing power. Luxury must be expensive because he is also associated with quality. If you have a product that no fine quality, it can be a luxury product. The question is, of course, what is expensive? Purchasing power plays a role in the purchase of luxury products, because when you live on the existence minimum, it will afford no handbag for 200 Euro.

generations prefer different types of luxury

you spoke of different types of luxury. Different generations prefer a different kind of luxury?

Fastoso: we Look at Generation Y, the Millennials. This relates to the age group between 25 and 40. This target group has moved away prior to the crisis, their interest of products and experiences go. For example, a nice restaurant or a weekend in a special Hotel can also be a luxury experience. Covid will have on the demand for experiences. Firstly, because we are no longer able to move as freely as before. On the other, because it is in the present time, inappropriate can be to share your luxury experiences via Instagram with the other.

What is the meaning of luxury in comparison to a 70-Year-old and a 15-Year-old?

Fastoso: A 70-Year-old respects probably less on the Material he buys, perhaps, a little less luxury products, but for special pieces. I also think that for the older consumers to the origin of a brand plays a greater role, while it will arrive for the younger more on the authenticity and the uniqueness of the brand. For Older authenticity is also important, but is more associated with the Tradition.

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growing “brands say something about us”

you just spoke of uniqueness. People often identify with products and try to emphasize their individuality. Many brands use the promise of uniqueness in Marketing. Is confused the possession of luxury products here with your personal individuality?

Fastoso: luxury is something very Personal and brands a little about us, tell us. The American consumer researcher Russell Belk describes brands as a part of our extended self-understanding. Therefore, there will be already people, the individuality of luxury products, be confused, or better said, feel that luxury products could give them individuality. But individuality is created on many different levels and is always in the eye of the beholder.

We live in a society that is dominated by materialism. I own, therefore I am, might be the Maxim. Thus, there are certainly people who define themselves in terms of possession, but that is independent from the luxury. I can also define the possession of expensive Smartphones, TV’s or cars. Personally, I think that you will feel with luxury products necessarily individual or acts.

What does our understanding of luxury about our society? We are superficial?

Fastoso: it depends on how you define superficiality. Of course, we are a consumer society. On the road, you can observe people everywhere with Smartphones that cost a lot of money. This is superficial? It is not, in General, luxury products, but there are functional reasons why you should change every two years, the Smartphone?

I think, however, that the development in OECD countries goes slowly in the right direction. When I observe our society, I see an increasing Trend to move away from the “domination” of the Material and to the intangible questions of what is today called “Purpose”. Over the term, you can argue, but he plays on the social or societal “Benefit” of a company for the company. In the luxury report is dedicated to, for example, Gucci with their platform “Equilibrium”, the theme of inclusion.

But also in the fast-moving consumer goods, we recognize this Trend, as issues of ethics and sustainability are becoming everywhere in relevance. Unilever has launched the Dove brand is a global project for more self-esteem in women, and pursues a social Mission for the brand. Another example is McDonald’s, where there is only one type of coffee: Rainforest Alliance certified. These are small steps, you might say, but you are going in the right direction.

“time is luxury”

luxury looks for you personally?

Fastoso: For me, time is luxury. Probably the is also becoming more and more important, the older I get. Time, for me, is the absolute exclusivity and rarity. You do not get it back.

we Need luxury?

Fastoso: people don’t need a luxury. However, some people luxury treat yourself. Enjoy the Exceptional, the special thing about it.

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