Highlights from the International Luxury Conference in Oman: examining Mindful Luxury

Natalie Hanson   |   06-04-2017

The third annual International Luxury Conference opened yesterday in Muscat, Oman. The theme of the conference this year is to examine the thought-provoking concept of Mindful Luxury.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv

Oman is a fitting venue for the Luxury Conference as the country has a deep connection to luxury and trade. It has been involved in the luxury goods industry for more than 1,000 years; its roots lie in the trading of frankincense. Today, at the heart of the new silk route being mapped, His Excellency Sayyid Badr Bin Hamad Albusaidi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sultanate of Oman, spoke of the noble goal of connecting cultures and bringing people together through trade and cultural exchange. His Excellency spoke of an open trading nation, acknowledging its openness to trade has helped reinforce culture tolerance, mutual respect, authentic hospitality and friendship, fed by a thirst for connecting continents and cultures.

Below we bring you some key highlights and takeaways from the opening day of the conference.

Elie Saab

Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv
Elie Saab highlighted the changing global world, making it easier for the younger generation to succeed today with the assistance of social media and technology. “Every talent can find his place if he has the right product,” he said, “couture is having a renaissance – I believe women always like to be unique when she has an very important occasion and especially now, when we have a big demand from young people for haute couture, another level of luxury”.

Sophie Hackford

Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv
Futurist Sophie Hackford discussed mindfulness in the digital universe, painting a vision of a future through the virtual reality lens, predicting a time when emotions will inevitably be an increasingly important part of the digital world, warning we need to be “mindful as to what we’re moving into and not sleepwalk into the future”.

Dr Phillippa Malmgren

Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv
Economist Dr Philippa Malmgren, author of Interpreting Signals, suggested three bold tenets; Mexico will be the ‘next China’, inflation will affect us all, and the markets are set to get much stronger, in spite of reports suggesting the opposite.

Alber Elbaz and Frédéric Malle

Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv

Alber Elbaz spoke of his collaboration with perfumier Frédéric Malle to turn a fashion vision into a fragrance, revealing he wanted a perfume “that smells of a dress,” and that the creation of the scent came about so Elbaz had a gift to give on receipt of his Legion d’honneur recently. Elbaz commented “Perfume is about love, memories, loving and being loved,” and he enjoyed the simplicity of the process of creating it, wondering if “small can be the new big.” Elbaz also commented on Oman, saying “Everything inspires us, every word, every story, everything that we are going through is a source of inspiration. Oman gives me the time to reflect, to love, to be.”

Guram Gvasalia

Photo: Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv
Guram Gvasalia, CEO of Vetements, discussed their place “outside the Establishment” together with their strategy of luxury through scarcity. Gvasalia also revealed that his “biggest dream and goal since being young was to become CEO of Chanel”, noting that the reason Chanel is so strong today is because of Karl Lagerfeld, a consistent presence delivering a concentrated vision over a significant period of time.

Giambattista Valli

Giambattista Valli created a highly personal film exclusively for the Conference, allowing delegates the opportunity to see inside his creative mind, taking influences from Italian film, French culture and modern art.