#CondéNast International Luxury Conference

Jeremy Scott and I in MOSCHINO



April 23rd, Florence Condé Nast International Luxury Conference: 


Jeremy Scott in conversation with Suzy Menkes and Anna Dello Russo.

Pop culture’s most witty, outrageous and inventive designer

shares the sources of his inspiration and imagination.



Humour is something that Scott has brought to Moschino in abundance – an aesthetic that

regularly clocks up column inches by the girls who wear it well. “Of course I have a serious

side, but you can communicate something much stronger when using humour,” he

revealed. “If you look at US political TV shows that use humour and satire

to get views across – they pack a punch.”


“Rihanna, Miley, Katy, all those girls are my friends and people I have close relationships

with,” he told Menkes. “They are inspirational to me because they are a part of my

life. They are organic relationships, though. They are there for me and vice versa.”

But it’s not just the celebrity world that adores Scott. He has a cult following in Japan too, a

place that he called home in his teens, and a region that he feels very connected to, as he told

Anna Dello Russo. “I grew up with six Asian female friends; they were strong females and

very inspiring.When I was 16, I moved to Japan and started learning the language. I love the

culture and the creativity there – they were some of the first people to embrace my work.

They’ve always had an appreciation for something new.”


When it comes to his own style, he practices what he preaches, but he’s no fashion victim.

“I am a fan of fashion – it’s like high school and I want everyone I fashion to do well. I fell in love

with it watching it through the early Details magazines. I loved how diverse fashion was, but now

it has become quite homogenised and that makes me sad. I’m a popularist – even if people aren’t

going to wear the clothes, that is not a concern of mine. I’ll be fired for saying it, but I don’t care

if it sells.I feel very fortunate, I have a strong fan base, they send me pictures and send me

dolls that they‘ve made. When I see them getting excited and posting online about it, that

excites me because my aim is to touch other people’s lives and that’s what I’ve done.”


It is undoubtedly his enduring optimism that keeps him, and his designs, at the cutting edge

of fashion, something that comes completely naturally to him, but he is not averse to being

encouraged by enthusiasm for his work. “The greatest compliments I get are from people who

knew Franco Moschino personally. When I went to Jean Paul Gaultier’s show, I was backstage

congratulating him and he told me, ‘I love what you’re doing with Moschino – it is exactly what

Franco would have wanted you to be doing under his name.’ That was the closest that I will ever

come to Franco telling me that I’m doing well. As Franco LOVED Jean Paul, I take it very

seriously, as I have a large appreciation for what Franco did and I want to continue

his legacy in that respect.”


Suzy Menkes, Jeremy Scott and I in MOSCHINO 



Suzy Menkes and Jeremy Scott



Jeremy Scott and I in MOSCHINO




 Jeremy Scott





Suzy Menkes and J W Anderson


April 23rd, Florence Condé Nast International Luxury Conference: 


Jonathan Anderson, JW Anderson Creative Director,

Loewe in conversation with Suzy Menkes will explore the influence

of the digital world on fashion design, construction and communication,

as well as how the perception of luxury is evolving with younger generations.




Alber Elbaz


April 23rd, Florence Condé Nast International Luxury Conference: 

Computers can never replace designers!

Alber Elbaz, Artistic Director, Lanvin, in conversation with Suzy Menkes

Can computers ever replace the creative mind of a fashion designer?

 They will discuss factual reality versus science fiction




Jonathan Newhouse, Alber Elbaz and David Lauren  




Karl Lagerfeld and Suzy Menkes



 April 22nd, Florence Condé Nast International Luxury Conference: 


Karl Lagerfeld in conversation with Suzy Menkes will discuss

his 50 years at Fendi, being Coco Chanel, his vision for KL

and why he never, ever looks back.



“It’s a very healthy thing to live a high-speed professional life. Ideas come when you work.

I don’t believe in sitting around waiting for information,”Karl Lagerfeld said, adding, “I live by

not giving credit to the past and believing in ‘no second action’ – you have to think first before

you propose something.My life and my job is to forget myself,” he told Menkes. “You want me to

take inspiration from my past? No. I don’t have to take note of my past. I don’t want to see

who’s had success in the past – I don’t think like this. I have never gone into the Chanel and

Fendi archives. It’s unhealthy for me, but I can see it’s interesting for other people.”


In the spirit of pushing things ahead, he revealed that was exactly why he started his eponymous

brand. “I need the idea of freedom – that I could leave if I wanted as it’s bad for a designer

to be in an ivory tower,” he said. “I started the Karl Lagerfeld business because I wanted to put

my name behind a label. I was tired with the Chloé management. But I’ve never owned

a business as I don’t want responsibility. I want to be free.” Being free affords Lagerfeld the

opportunity to change his mind, (when asked about his on-off love affair with fur, he told Menkes,

“I’m a fashion opportunist, if I feel the movement is out I go out; I come back when I feel the love

is coming back”), as well as adopting the newest technologies.


“Look at how digital I am,” he said, proudly showing off his Apple Watch.  “I have the first one! I

am very proud and very happy and Mr Ive did very well to make sure I got it first,”

although he admitted that he hasn’t had time to figure out how to use it yet – “I only got it a

week ago.” “People have to find their own way,” he advised. “I had to create, as what I wanted

to do didn’t exist.I don’t think that my advice is that important to them. They have to work,

work, work, and I’m sorry but there’s no other way.” Responsible for easily the most animated

session of the day, Menkes wrapped things up by asking Lagerfeld how he felt to be the last of the

Mohicans? “I never compare myself to anyone else so I don’t know,” he replied, not missing a

beat. “I’m here, nobody knows from when to when and I’m pretty happy with it

because I can do what I want to do under marvellous conditions.”




Karl Lagerfeld and Suzy Menkes




Suzy Menkes, Gaia Repossi, Eugenie Niarchos,

Delfina Delettrez Fendi, and Nadja Swarovski


April 22nd, Florence Condé Nast International Luxury Conference: 

 Power Jewellery, Power Women

Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Executive Board, Swarovski

Delfina Delettrez Fendi, Founder, Delfina Delettrez 

Eugenie Niarchos, Founder, Venyx Gaia Repossi,

Artistic and Creative Director, Repossi

in conversation with Suzy Menkes.

The shift in traditional gender roles across the jewellery industry plays

a large part in the conference agenda, as women jewellery designers

challenge male dominance. They will explore feminist sentiments,

and show how women are putting their needs and desires at the

forefront of a new generation of modern jewellery creation.



Celebrating Swarovski‘s 120th birthday on stage with the dynamic Nadja Swarovski, a

woman who embodies the glamorous brand that she represents, was the ideal way to start such

a discussion, since Swarovski herself is so instrumental in encouraging young female talent.


“Being in a family business it’s easy to get things done because it corresponds with your core values

your name’s attached,” she said. “We are in so many countries we can have an impact internationally,

and it was so important that we set up Wellbeing, under the Swarovski Foundation, which aims to

empower women,” she explained to Menkes, paying tribute to her inspiration, Rosita Missoni,

who was sitting in the front row. As well as a sharp business sense, Swarovski possesses an allure

of her own that she brings to the table with gusto, something that Delfina Delettrez has also done:

“The great experimentation that I saw in my family really inspired me – they always rose to

incredible challenges, melting boundaries,” Delettrez explained. “Even the way I present

my jewellery is connected to my family’s history. I love to build an installation, and

create more of a theatrical fashion show rather than a classic jewellery approach.

That’s what I learnt from them: the great importance of the human

touch and a focus on beautiful and strange materials.”


Gaia Repossi hails from a luxury background – famed jewellers Repossi – and has forged

ahead, creating a clear identity for her ancestral brand by balancing femininity with high fashion.

“It was a double challenge entering the family business,” she told the crowd. “To begin with

I didn’t want to do it at all, I wanted to be a painter. But my role was to renew the brand and

also move the family business forward respectfully. The product always needs to be ahead

of its time, but relevant to what people want today. Jewellery is a language

with the signs on your body.”


Eugenie Niarchos, founder of Venyx, agreed that a relationship between the wearer and what

they’re wearing is the most important thing. “For me, the gemstones that I work with are a gift

of nature that you won’t forget. The formation takes millions of years, and I really believe in the

energy and vibrations that they create.Because of so many inspiring women, like Coco Chanel

and Diane von Furstenberg, more women like myself have been able to create these beautiful

pieces and build their own businesses,” Niarchos explained. “It’s a great moment for us. We

have to develop that dream and make pieces for women that are working and travelling,

and needs something for day and night.”


Empowering women is what the session’s final speaker, Caterina Occhio of SeeMe,

has used to do good. Her heart-shaped necklaces are made by female victims of

violence around the world, who are given the opportunity to escape and create.

“There are too many women that need a new chance in life, and in dignity,” Occhio

explained. “I strongly believe – not in charity – but in work, and I wanted to create a fairtrade

company, making things that are beautiful for people everywhere see,” she continued. The

fact that her business model is working is a sign of things to come. “It’s an indication that

a new trend is here – more luxury clients are asking, ‘Who makes your products and

where are they made?’ Fair luxury, as I like to call it, is here to grow.”




YouTube Preview Image 



Gaia Repossi



Nadja Swarovski




Suzy Menkes, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, and Nadja Swarovski



Suzy Menkes and Eugenie Niarchos



Caterina Occhio




Rosita Missoni,Angela Missoni and Tory Burch


April 22nd, Florence Condé Nast International Luxury Conference:

 Tory Burch, Chairman, CEO and Designer in

conversation with Suzy Menkes Suzy Menkes.

American dream maker Tory will discuss entrepreneurship,

how technology and fashion are converging, and Tory’s plans

for the further and continued growth of her brand.





  Suzy Menkes, Jony Ive and Marc Newson



April 22nd, Florence Condé Nast International Luxury Conference:


Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President, Design, Apple and

Designer Marc Newson in conversation with Suzy Menkes.

In the opening conference sessions, speakers will share their thoughts on

how the luxury world is being reshaped by a variety of external forces and

developments, how CEOs should be navigating the new luxury landscape

and where future commercial opportunities lie. 


By Suzy Menkes


Since its announcement last September and subsequent release earlier this month, it is safe to

say that the Apple Watch has caused less of a stir and more of a tidal wave, straddling the fashion

and technology industries like no other product before it. So who better to open the inaugural

Condé Nast International Luxury Conference – fittingly staged in Florence, the birthplace of

the Renaissance– than man of the hour Jony Ive, senior vice president of design at Apple.

Joined onstage by one of his most revered contemporaries and friends, designer Marc Newson,

who helped to create the Apple adornment,Ive explained to the conference’s host,

Suzy Menkes, how the company’s approach to 21st-century luxury compares

with traditional luxury as we know it.


“At Apple we don’t look at the world through predetermined market opportunities. What we’ve

done fairly consistently is try to invest tremendous care in the development of our products,” Ive

explained. “It’s not so much about things being touched personally – there are many ways to craft

something. It’s easy to assume that just because you make something in small volumes,

not using many tools, that there is integrity and care – that is a false assumption.”

“Machines for us are like tools for the craftsman,” Newson agreed. “We all use something

 you can’t drill holes with your fingers. Whether it’s a knife, a needle or a machine, we all

need the help of a device.”cAs Ive and Newson’s creations directly compete – both in price

and the marketplace – with other coveted items on the luxury spectrum, bags and

jewellery among them, how does the new compare with the old?

“We don’t think about what we do in those terms,” said Ive. “Our focus has been doing our very

best to create a product that’s useful. When we started on the iPhone it was because we all couldn’t

bear our phones. The watch was different. We all loved our watches, but saw that the wrist was a

fabulous place for technology, so there were different motivations. I don’t know how we can

compare the old watches we know, with the functionality and the capability of the Apple Watch.”

Apple is, without a doubt, well placed to cater their latest product to what they know

customers want, thanks to another of its revolutionary inventions: the iPhone.

“One of the things that we have learnt through the iPhone is that there are fundamental things

that people use all of the time. And what we’ve been struck by is that people use it for different

reasons. With the watch it is the first time that we can assume someone has something

intimately connected with them for most of the day – you can’t do that with

the phone, so it opens up new ways of communication.”


But they weren’t always creating the latest must-have in technology. Both men

come from artisanal backgrounds – silversmithing to be exact.

“Both Jony and I love and appreciate the skill that it takes to put something together,” said

Newson. “We’re not just designing in our heads and then on a computer. We both have the

ability to understand certain materials; we come from a standpoint of being taught manually.”

This is something that, in a world where a click can outweigh craft, they are keen to impart

to the digital generation. “We both grew up making things ourselves, and I don’t think you can

design in materials without understanding their exact attributes,” said Ive. “For the watch we

developed our own gold because we loved how it felt. It’s that love of the material that drives

so much of what we do.” Bringing a concept like the Apple Watch to fruition takes

ambition, patience and serious guts – lucky then, that Ive and Newson have plenty of both.

“We’ve known each other for 20-odd years. Practically everything we’ve worked on we’ve talked

about the challenges faced, so the step towards actually working together was an organic thing,”

explained Newson. “What inspired us enormously is what we didn’t like. We knew what irritated

us – and as a designer you’re always inspired to work by what you’re unhappy with.”

“One of the reasons we became friends very quickly all those years ago, is that we perceived the

world in a very similar way,” added Ive. “It’s nice that the conversation started and we sat down

together and began to draw, and sculpt prototypes. I’m not one of those people that

finds technology isolation seductive – I’m excited about what it can do.”

As to the more traditional brands, many of which are well represented in Florence for the next

couple of days, should they be intimidated by this dream team and what they have created?

“I think that we’re on a path that Apple was determined to be on since the Seventies, which was to

try and make technology relevant and personal. If people struggle to use the technology then we

have failed,” said Ive. “The consequences of that path? I don’t know. Sadly so much of our

manufactured environment testifies to carelessness – something that was built to a price point

or a schedule. The products that we have developed describe who made them.

I hope that people will like the watch and find it a beautiful item.”



  Suzy Menkes, Jony Ive and Marc Newson





 Jonathan Newhouse and Suzy Menkes



April 21st, Florence Condé Nast International Luxury Conference

curated and hosted by Suzy Menkes kicked off with a

welcome cocktail reception at the Four Seasons.


 Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman and Chief Executive of Condé Nast

International, announced today that the inaugural seminar,

entitled “Hard Luxury,” will run on the 22nd and 23rd April

in the historic Palazzo Vecchio.


“Through magazines and websites like Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ, Condé Nast is the

luxury industry’s leading media partner,” commented Newhouse.“The Condé Nast

International Luxury Conference will animate our brands in a new way, bringing

together top luxury players in a stimulating event to provoke new thinking, forge

connections and make things happen. It will be a ‘must’ rendezvous for luxury business.”



Curated and hosted by Suzy Menkes, International Vogue Editor, the Conference

will bring together a diverse mix of world-class speakers from both the creative and

business sides of the luxury industry. ““Hard Luxury” refers to both the traditional

description of high-end watches and jewellery. And to the fact that it is tough out

there in the global market place,” said Suzy Menkes, adding “luxury

today is as much about high tech as high heels.”


The Conference will be held in Florence, Italy, under the patronage of Mayor

Dario Nardella, in the Salone dei Cinquecento, part of the Palazzo Vecchio.

“Home to spectacular Renaissance artworks and a centre of Italian craftsmanship

and tailoring, Florence is an ideal meeting location for the luxury and fashion

industry,” commented Mayor Dario Nardella. “I am delighted to extend my official

patronage of the very first Condé Nast International Luxury Conference. As a recipient

of the City’s Fiorino D’Oro Award, Suzy Menkes has a real passion for Italian fashion

and craftsmanship. On behalf of the City, I look forward to the enlightening discussions

and stimulating debates which will take place in the historic Palazzo Vecchio,

which has been opened up especially for this occasion.”


The Condé Nast International Luxury Conference offers the opportunity to network

with senior business and creative leaders from the global luxury industry, stimulating as

much debate off-stage as on, setting the agenda and providing a unique platform

from which to engage with the future of luxury.







source:  Conde Nast Luxury