Madonna Declared Ultimate Luxury Icon

Deepak Ohri, CEO, le bua Hotels and Resorts, Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products and User Experience, Google Inc., Edgar Huber, President, Juicy Couture and Diane von Furstenberg, CEO & Founder, DVF Studio

The 2010 Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit was recently held in Los Angeles, with a theme of “The Medium and the Message.” It brought together distinguished leaders in media, technology and fashion to discuss the current state of the luxury business.

The Summit, chaired by Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, was attended by over 350 senior luxury, media and entertainment executives, consultants, brand experts, fund managers and securities and retail analysts from around the globe.

William Powers, Author, Hamlet’s BlackBerry

During the conference Madonna’s career was singled out by both Marissa Mayer (Vice President, Search Products & User Experience, Google Inc.) and Dov Charney (Founder & Chief Executive Officer, American Apparel) as a model luxury brands should follow. They cited her ability to maintain a strong core identity while constantly reinventing herself.

Leonard A. Lauder

Leonard A. Lauder (Chairman Emeritus, Estée Lauder Companies Inc.) put his spin on how to achieve career success, saying “the key thing is this: You start high and you stay high. You start low and stay low.”

Tamara Mellon, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Jimmy Choo

Debate on the role of digital media was quite lively at the conference. Robert A. Iger (President & CEO, The Walt Disney Company) asserted that traditional marketing has been “eviscerated” by digital forms, while Jean-Christophe Bédos (President & CEO, Boucheron) contended that brands should “rethink their preconceptions that the internet necessarily equals a mass market. It’s like a city full of streets, and some are high streets and some are luxury destinations.”

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer offered further advice to digital architects, saying that luxury websites should be orchestrated for a simpler and faster experience by employing “less flash” and automatically defaulting to the “view all” option when revealing search results.

Andre Leon Talley, Vogue

Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman, Conde Nast International

Other distinguished speakers included Bryan Lourd (Managing Partner, Creative Artists Agency), Tom Murry (President & CEO, Calvin Klein Inc.), Diane von Furstenberg (CEO & Founder, DVF Studio and President, CFDA), Jonathan Newhouse (Chairman, Condé Nast International), Tamara Mellon (Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Jimmy Choo), Sebastian Suhl (COO, Prada Group) and Tim Murphy (Chief Product Officer, MasterCard Worldwide), who unveiled MasterCard’s new premium brand mark during his presentation at the Summit.

John Ridding, CEO, Finacial Times and Leonard A. Laude attend the cocktail reception