In the course of the pandemic, Alain Bernard — the chief government officer and president of Richemont North America — felt a want to create a wider private influence on style, retail and consumerism. As a consequence, he stepped down from his position at Richemont on the finish of May and has based a brand new consulting agency, Abbey Road Advisory.
“The pandemic has been an intense interval for everybody. Definitely for myself, it has been a interval of disaster administration and a second, if you’ll, for corporations, manufacturers and leaders to evaluate what is actually essential and easy methods to strike the appropriate stability between folks, function and efficiency.
“I had a great run with Richemont, especially with two great maisons with Cartier and Van Cleef, and I’m very proud of that run and I felt like the time was now to act differently,” stated Bernard, who was additionally the president and CEO for Van Cleef & Arpels within the U.S. and Japan and had held senior administration roles at Cartier.
He hopes that Abbey Road Advisory, which relies in New York and opened for enterprise this month, will coach corporations on rising social and shopper tendencies that retail might want to scale in an effort to stay culturally related. He selected the title Abbey Road for the well-known crosswalk, which he thinks can characterize a bridge of types, “between two worlds: between the world of digital and physical, between the U.S. and the rest of the world, and between corporate companies and purpose,” all subjects that he hopes to broach in his new position.
Abbey Road Advisory will advise personal fairness funds on funding alternatives in style and retail whereas consulting instantly for manufacturers. Its operations can have a common goal to “combine people and purpose,” in issues of company accountability, sustainability, modern and experiential retail ideas, digital technique and focusing on the U.S. market.
These ideas, Bernard feels, are in a state of reset popping out of the pandemic. He thinks corporations will want an skilled and considerate thoughts on name to assist them navigate the brand new market.
“The world we live in is clearly fully completely different than what it was 18 months in the past. There has been a seismic shift in luxurious, in manufacturers, in retail typically.
“The world of exclusivity, opulence and extra I feel is over. It’s about inclusivity not exclusivity: the good manufacturers and maisons have noticed that and are already making unbelievable progress.
“It’s about inclusivity in all meanings of the word — it’s the experience over owning, recycling over excess and opulence. I see a quest for uniqueness — unique products, unique experiences — and that’s what brands need to do. Shoppers want to be surprised and delighted,” he stated.
While the position of advisor is commonly undefined, “my way of seeing it is that I just want to be a contributor to great projects with great people. That’s basically my aspiration and that’s what I want to do now — working with founders and investors who have a vision and want to expand their business with purpose being a part of it — that’s the best I can do,” stated Bernard, who hopes to leverage his huge expertise in arduous luxurious to advise manufacturers in conventional and rising luxurious classes.
While the previous government has been entrenched in jewellery, watches and style, he additionally counts house journey, lab-grown diamonds, private care and hospitality as “fascinating” rising markets that might change into a brand new norm on the earth of luxurious consumerism.
“Circularity, sustainability, pre-owned, rentals, consignment, sharing — whatever the category — that’s more than a trend. Then it’s a question of going back to humanity, which is something I really love about this period because we have lived at a distance for so long and our world became almost purely digital. Our way of shopping shifted to shopping from a distance. A great side effect is that there is more of a need for humanity and real-life experience and humans in the picture [than ever before],” stated Bernard.
He feels that in an effort to communicate extra on to buyers, corporations might want to “go more local or take more local approaches. Human experience and engagement will be at the center of everything. I’m a true believer that physical retail is not dead, but probably not in the same way, not with the same store and not looking at the same experience again.”
Bernard declined to disclose his preliminary roster of shoppers or plans to scale his new agency, noting: “It’s too early and very confidential but what I can say in the world of brands and world of retail is that it’s changing. But there are some recipes to be applied. We’ll see as we go, one step at a time. It’s in the making.” He plans to stay energetic within the New York group, notably by means of charitable work with the Bowery Mission.