Luxury, art & Foundation, the unfailing link
From Elsa Schiaparelli, who collaborated in the 1930s with Salvador Dali, to Christian Dior, who was a gallery owner, to the legendary art collection of Yves Saint Laurent, luxury has always had a privileged relationship with the artistic world. More than a link, it is the very essence of certain houses, whose creations are classified as absolute art.
Although the era of Medici style patrons is over, corporate patronage today translates into investments by the great names in luxury in private foundations, artist retrospectives, dedicated showrooms, and the presence of the brands at the biggest international art fairs...
There are the discreet ones, such as the Boghossian Foundation, and the Villa Empain in Belgium (a hymn to Art Deco architecture and Eastern and Western cultures) or the Hermès Corporate Foundation, which supports craftsmanship, and the more media-oriented ones, such as the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, La Fondazione Prada in Milan or the pioneers, such as the Fondation Cartier, created in 1984 in Paris. A place for meeting and exchange around contemporary art, it has paved the way for French cultural patronage.
As Thibaut de La Rivière, director of Sup de Luxe, points out: "Luxury and art are inseparable and it is necessary to continue to create bridges between these actors". For luxury brands, patronage or the creation of their own foundations is like a logical and natural extension of the experience of excellence that they offer their customers.
Today, the product alone is no longer enough. More than ever, the luxury industry and brands must embody their own character, their own identity, to convey values to which the customer adheres.
Art is a perfect vehicle for emotions and messages, and subtly reflects a brand's position, especially when it comes to contemporary art. Indeed, this artistic trend can even be defined as "the art of communication". It drains with it an elitist image because "intellectual" while freeing itself from established principles and codes.
A "rebel luxury" in short, an ideal terrain for large houses, always looking for new channels of communication. On the other hand, it allows them to acquire an innovative image with an international clientele, especially in a context of globalization.
The choice of art and culture is therefore part of a global communication policy, where heritage preservation, legacy, passion and strategic investment are one and the same. The marriage between luxury and the art market still seems to have a bright future ahead of it.