On January 20 and 21, 2011, for the second year in a row, a group of IUM’s MonacoMBA and Masters in Luxury Goods & Services students attended the influential Luxury Briefing Conference, which this year was dedicated to the subject of “Future Luxe 2011”. Also participating in the conference, held in London’s Royal Institute of Great Britain, were the MonacoMBA Program Director Dr. Marika Taishoff and Dr. Laurent Bergeruc, Dean of Studies at INSEEC, IUM’s parent company.

Speakers, coming from a wide spectrum of companies such as Land Rover, St. Regis Hotels, Harrods, Earth London, and Soho House, addressed such diverse yet highly topical and provocative issues as “why luxury is still failing to embrace the digital world, and what it needs to do urgently”; the role of design in customer desirability; invention, innovation, and why the game is changing for luxury brands; luxury retailing: the perspective from three women of influence, including Marigay McKee, Fashion & Beauty Director of Harrods; and lessons for luxury following the crash, presented by journalist Dana Thomas, author of the seminal book “How Luxury Lost Its Luster”. The conference ended with a thought-provoking reflection by the cutting edge consulting firm, The Future Laboratory, on the subject of “Brave new world: the trends you must incorporate in your strategic thinking.”

While IUM’s students had much to learn and reflect on during these presentations, equally engrossing for them was the possibility to meet and exchange ideas, and business cards, with some of the leading players in the luxury arena. Professionals representing a broad range of luxury brands, including Vertu, Estee Lauder, LVMH, Burberry, Richemont, Moet Hennessey, and Mandarin Oriental Hotels, to name but a few, as well as executives from N.M. Rothschild, J.P. Morgan, Deloitte, and Lloyds Private Banking, comprised the majority of attendees at the conference. Ample opportunity was provided for networking, be it during the lunch and coffee breaks and, especially, at the gala dinner and dance held at the Dorchester Hotel. All in all, a thorough luxury experience for IUM’s students!