LUXURY PRESS DIGEST 23RD APRIL

Luxury Fashion, Retail & Consumer Goods

BURBERRY BROUGHT BRITISHNESS BACK INTO FASHION
The Telegraph reports that last week, Burberry, arguably the brand that has most mined its Britishness, posted the kind of fourth quarter results that many other international luxury brands, squeezed by the rouble’s recent tumble, would sacrifice their current CEOs for: nine per cent up, with double digit growth in North America, bringing total revenues for the last financial year to £2.33 billion. A day later, Burberry staged a fashion show in Los Angeles, where it recently opened a large store on Rodeo Drive. The Burberry LA show was brimming with British iconography – from Naomi Campbell to the Grenadier Guards.

IN HONG KONG REAL-ESTATE WAR, IT’S LANDLORDS VS. LUXURY BRANDS
The Wall Street Journal writes that falling sales of luxury goods are setting up a battle between landlords and retailers in the world’s most expensive real-estate market. Retailers have had the upper hand in mainland China for the past few years amid a glut of shopping malls, the anticorruption campaign and a slowing economy. Landlords there lowered rents and helped to pay for renovations to attract top brands. Recently, the market has stabilized, and even started to improve. But in Hong Kong, the former favoured destination for mainland shoppers, the battle between retailers and landlords is just starting.

APPLE'S JONY IVE SAYS GOLD LUST DROVE WATCH MATERIAL SELECTION
Bloomberg reports that when it came to picking 18-karat gold for the Watch, Apple's first new gadget in five years, the company's top designer went with what felt best. "The choice of gold wasn’t driven by some notion of predetermined price point—that absolutely wasn't the reason we chose that material," Jony Ive said Wednesday, April 22, at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Florence, Italy, during a rare public appearance. "We chose that material because we loved it, and we didn’t just buy it off the shelf; we developed our own gold." Apple's gold alloy is as much as twice as hard as standard gold, according to the company's website.

THE CONNAUGHT’S HÉLÈNE DARROZE WINS WORLD’S BEST FEMALE CHEF 2015
Harpers Bazaar writes that Hélène Darroze, the head chef at her eponymous restaurant at the Connaught, has been named the 2015 Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef. “As much as the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef is an accolade for me, it is also an accolade for my team at the Connaught in London and Hélène Darroze in Paris,” she said of her win. “I am honoured to win the award because there are talented female chefs all over the world and I imagine choosing only one is challenging. I think it is important to celebrate women and their achievements.

NEW V&A EXHIBITION: WHAT IS LUXURY?
The Evening Standard writes that while we all have personal views on what is luxurious, we have all, to some extent, been “persuaded” by popular views of splendour. Recent American research has shown that if we know something is expensive and branded as luxurious, our brains perceive it as more lavish. High-end brands have fought long and hard to persuade us that buying their products confers exclusivity.

Luxury Travel, Culture & Leisure

WHO'S DRIVING ASIAN YACHT DEMAND? NOT CHINA
CNBC reports that Southeast Asia is fast emerging as the yachting hub of Asia, with industry watchers highlighting the potential in markets like Thailand and Indonesia as the 5th annual Singapore Yacht Show kicks off this week. To be sure, there isn't a widespread yachting culture in Asia despite the region's growing billionaire population. Only 4.3 per cent of the world's super yachts are based in Asia despite the region boasting twice as many ultra-high net worth (UNHW) individuals as the Middle East, Latin America and Africa combined.