Articles

The artification of luxury: From artisans to artists

J.-N. KAPFERER

Business Horizons

May 2014, vol. 57, n°3, pp.371-380

Departments: Marketing

Keywords: Luxury; Art; Culture; Fashion; Growth; Status; Masstige

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2013.12.007


Growth is the biggest challenge for a luxury brand in that volume dilutes the brand cachet. In addition, it violates the credo of rarity on which the luxury sector is originally based. This article reveals how the current leading luxury brands use ‘artification,’ a process of transformation of nonart into art, to circumvent the volume problem. Artification takes time and substantial investment. It cannot be undertaken by the brands alone: It requires the active collaboration of art authorities and renowned artists. The goal is to change the status of the brand, of its founder and products, and in so doing, to reinforce the idea of a better-than-ordinary brand whose price and symbolic power are undisputed. It is also strategic for the globalization of luxury: Art is universal


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