The Wrap-up: week 42

PR & Sales / Publishing

What the new Celine has to do with porcelain from Meissen, the nonsense of social media, the must-have for spring summer 19 (at least according to the German Press Days) and the most contemporary concert ever. Here’s what happened last week

 

Meissen porcelain exhibition opening on Thursday

Since Hedi Slimane’s first show for Celine a couple of weeks ago, there’s been a lot of fuss about the new direction and the question why the designer stops dressing Phoebe Philo’s grown up, real-life woman who needs clothes for everyday life in favour of the clubbing twen. Even at Highsnobiety, generally reporting on street wear and not what is considered high fashion (whether that separation still makes sense is another conversation), the topic is being discussed: While Alex Rakestraw argues that Slimane’s commercially successful clothes deserve a break, Eugene Rabkin thinks that the designer simply lacks a vision. While I tend to agree with the latter, Jackie Mallon picks up the conversation and makes an interesting point on Fashionunited.

According to Mallon, in 2017 millenials were driving 85 per cent of growth in the luxury goods market. Gucci and Louis Vuitton are the most popular brands — 33 per cent of their growth comes from users aged between 21 and 33 years. 65 per cent of Saint Laurent’s growth comes from millenials. It is estimated that 45 per cent of all luxury spending will be made by millenials in 2025. Mallon argues that this might be the reason Slimane abandons the grown up customer Phoebe Philo addressed and turns to the younger. We’ll be watching closely if Slimane’s Celine turns out the commercial success he achieved for Saint Laurent.

Last Thursday the Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen opened their exhibition Modern Opulence in Berlin’s St. Elisabeth-Kirche. A majestic table that stretches along the entire length of the building and that reminded of the colourful Memphis style that was popular in the Eighties was the stage for an eclectic blend of the manufacture’s products, from tableware to decorative figures and ensembles. 

 

 

As beautiful as it was, one question remained: Who is Meissen’s future customer? There certainly are still many people around the world who invest in china as a status symbol. However with dowries being a thing of the past, what do these products mean to the younger generations? And what does this mean for a business like Meissen (see the Celine argument above)? 

What the tea time is for the English, is „Kaffee und Kuchen“ (coffee and cake) for the Germans. The households that were affluent enough to serve it on Meissner Porzellan were certain to be the most respected in the neighbourhood, at least until the Eighties. However, millenials have different status symbols that they mostly wear on their bodies, from sneakers to iPhones.

Last week I overheard a comment on Berlin’s radio station Radio Eins. The presenter said something along the lines of, „social media, that nonsense that’s not going to last very long“. Apparently there are still people out there who need convincing that people’s behaviour is changing, especially the way we use the media and shop. 

It seems that Meissen’s marketing department has acknowledged the importance of social media. Their exhibition is another proof of how important it is to re-establish the purpose of your brand for following generations — and give them visual fodder for their social channels. I don’t know how many millennial influencers were present at the opening of the exhibition, I couldn’t find that many posts on Instagram (maybe an omni-visible hashtag for the exhibition would have helped), but the motifs were certainly provided.

 

WHAT ELSE?

German Press Days on Thursday and Friday

Whoever said the fashion dictate is dead — if you’re not wearing a wind breaker in spring summer 19, you’re obviously nobody. 

 

 

Christine and the Queens concert on Monday

The Christine and the Queens concert last Monday must be the most contemporary stage show I have ever seen. Not only the wardrobe was on point (club kids dipped in colour). 

What was so modern about it was its message: „work with what you’ve got“. In this case an amazing performer (Chris), six incredible dancers and a clever choreography. There was a bit of fake snow and some confetti but basically the show was reduced to the physical representation of Chris’ music, modulated with the ensemble’s bodies and light.

There were two background changes (basically two curtain drops) each of which caused a stir in the audience. An effect Madonna must pay millions for in her elaborate stage setups. Chris’ show is not only a lesson in modernity but sustainability. Less is more. You just need the charisma to pull it off. (And I bet you’ll find a couple of Chris’ dancers in Madonna’s next live shows — at least Josh Wild, he’s just her type). 

 

A performance Christine and the Queens gave a few days after the gig in Berlin on the BBC, the choreography is the same as in the live show

 

 

 

The Author

Bjoern Luedtke is a freelance journalist, editor and writer specialising in fashion and marketing