This year’s theme is focused on academic and commercial perspectives on luxury with particular attention to craftsmanship, the luxury retail environment, technology and theoretical approaches to luxury. The aim of the conference is to explore the concept of luxury from a variety of academic and commercial perspectives.
Delegates come from a global constituency and bring a correspondingly wide range of perspectives to the subject. The conference also provides an interdisciplinary forum to examine the subject of luxury and delegates come from the disciplines of design, history, cultural studies, retail, architecture, business, communication studies, marketing and economics.
While we know a great deal about luxury management within the creative industries from the corporate standpoint, far less is known about the conditions, experiences and challenges surrounding the creation and production of luxury by designers, crafts persons, and factory workers. Our knowledge of the experiences and constraints placed on those who work in sales and management within retail environments is also largely invisible to those outside this domain.
Our delegates will bring these perspectives to life and in doing so we will learn a great deal about how work is structured, the hierarchies in place, and ways in which we may rethink ideas surrounding luxury. Our international industry and academic delegates from a variety of disciplines and sectors bring a wide range of perspectives to the subject of luxury and will address key questions concerning the history of luxury as a concept, practice and product; luxury as a craft; and, luxury a force in the global economy, taking on forms ranging from the non-profit benefice to the conglomerate.
These questions related to the meaning of luxury, its evolution, the reality of luxury today and its future direction will be explored in the six themes selected for the conference:
1. Craft and design
2. Cultural capital, work and production
4. The luxury retail environment
5. Contemporary notion of luxury
For this year’s conference, we have deliberately changed the format and kept it small to provide all attendees with the opportunity to have discussions and engage with the presenters and panel members in an open forum. Our goal beyond the conference is to build a network that is sustainable and to continue this important dialogue both in a special issue of a journal, a book with chapters written by the delegates, and new research projects and initiatives which will help shape the form of the third international In Pursuit of Luxury conference.
We would like to thank Jacqui Jenkins, Dean of Graduate Studies for her enthusiasm and kind use of LIM to host the conference. We would also like to thank her for offering her expertise in the subject to host the industry panel on the future of luxury. We hope that you enjoy the conference and that our mutual interests in the subject of luxury will provide a springboard for further debate and research.
Dr Shaun Borstrock and Dr Veronica Manlow