LUXURY PRESS DIGEST 20TH APRIL

Luxury Fashion, Retail & Consumer Goods

HOW CAN TRADITIONAL CRAFTSMANSHIP SURVIVE IN THE MODERN WORLD?
Business of Fashion reports that around the world, the beauty and cultural wisdom of age-old craftsmanship is on the verge of extinction. Highly-skilled craftsmen and women have become an endangered species as more young people have chosen other career options. This, and the proliferation of mechanised, globalised production has brought many traditional, craft-based businesses to their knees. Those that remain are often small, family-run enterprises, without the financial resources to attract and develop new talent and without the skills to create sustainable business models. How can traditional craftsmanship survive in the modern world?

HOW CHRISTOPHER BAILEY MADE BURBERRY THE COOLEST (AND MOST LUCRATIVE) BRAND ON THE PLANET
Following the opening of the new Burberry flagship store in Beverley Hills, the Daily Mail asks how Christopher Bailey has turned Burberry into the world's coolest brand, notching sales for the six months to April up to £1.42 billion? An ability to reinvent trends, an eye for the hottest talent and the most charming demeanour: that's how. Christopher Bailey's meteoric rise through the ranks at Burberry hit new heights after the Yorkshire-born designer was named CEO at just 42-years-old back in October 2013. The designer had been a key part of Burberry's creative team since he joined the label as creative director in 2001, and took the reins as chief creative officer in 2009.

APPLE’S WATCH IS A MUST-HAVE. BUT IS IT A MUST-KEEP?
Jo Ellison for the Financial Times reports that the Apple Watch is so perfectly utilitarian as to be utterly desirable: its uses infinite, its function sublime: "I could foresee a future in which myself and the Apple Watch might never be parted. But would I invest the watch with the same lasting affection as its analogue antecedent? Does it have heirloom potential?"

GRAFF DIAMONDS' SALES HIT A RECORD $1BN THANKS TO STRONG DEMAND FROM THE MIDDLE AND FAR EAST
The Daily Mail reports that luxury brand Graff Diamonds said sales hit a record $1 billion (£670 million) in 2014 as profit sparkled 41 per cent higher, buoyed by demand from the Middle and Far East. Graff, which pulled its planned $1 billion Hong Kong IPO in 2012 due to lack of investor demand, also said sales from its retail division were up nearly 30 per cent to £619 million.

Luxury Travel, Culture & Leisure

NATIONAL THEATRE CHIEF EXECUTIVE TESSA ROSS STEPS DOWN AFTER JUST SIX MONTHS
The Telegraph reports that Tessa Ross, who joined the National Theatre from Film4 just six months ago, has announced she is stepping down as chief executive, admitting the new management structure does not work. Ross, who announced her first season at the theatre with artistic director Rufus Norris in January, said "it had become clear" the leadership structure is not right for the publicly-funded organisation.