Luxury Leader | Raphael Aflalo, CEO, My Love Affair

Today we hear from Raphael Aflalo, Founder of My Love Affair, the company he founded with Grammy award-winning DJ/Producer David Guetta. Raphael shares his top tips for success, his vision for the company, and why fish & chips are his favourite luxury for under £10.

Raphael Aflalo formed his own Digital Agency Pure Player in 1999, working with major national and international brands. In 2007, his agency was acquired by the Digital network of Publicis Group (Digitas). During that time and until 2009, Raphael served as Managing Director of Digitas France. From 2009 to 2011, he acted as Managing Director in charge of Digital at Omnicom Media Group, France

In 2011, Raphael ventured down a new business path with Cathy & David Guetta. Together the two forces combined to launch what is now known as My Love Affair. Linking brands directly to talents of all kind, the company has already secured various campaigns and partnerships between high-profile talents such as David Guetta, Avicii, Lenny Kravitz, Iggy Pop, Alicia Keys… And internationally known brands like Tag Heuer, G.H.Mumm , HP, Renault, Sony Mobile, P&G, IWC, Alcatel, Nestlé, etc.

What does British luxury mean to you?
What amazes me about British luxury is its dual connection to both the past and the future. From whisky to leather goods and fashion, British luxury is tinged with tradition. But this tradition is allied with the diversity and richness of the country, which is completely unique. This creativity is, to me, typically British and people here do not hesitate to go beyond census and rules, in classic Vivienne Westwood style.

What’s your vision for My Love Affair?
The question that drives my company in its evolution is how to deliver more authentic and spirited campaigns to brands? We believe that well-known talents convey passion and emotion, whereas campaigns with nameless faces (ie. models) do not. Therefore, my vision is to broaden this statement to build a more feelings-centric marketing approach.

What do you see as the future of luxury?
The real challenge for the luxury industry nowadays is to offer high-end and unique experiences to each of its consumers. It is a big challenge indeed, but the digital revolution might be an opportunity to rejuvenate the luxury market. The innovation through connected experiences and goods, allied to the traditional savoir-faire of luxury brands might be where its future lies. Moreover, luxury companies could play an important part in the development of sustainable goods and experiences.

What inspires you? OR What was your big break?
I have worked in the communications industry for over 20 years and I saw, from the start, social media becoming the new way of communicating. I then realised it was high added-value content that people and, therefore, brands as well, were looking for. That’s when I knew I needed to work with talents of all kinds to achieve this mission.

What piece of advice would you give to someone entering the luxury industry now?
Trust your instinct and convictions. You will be alone when you start but if you have faith in yourself and your project you will gain the trust of the best teams and brands, who will end up believing in your vision too.

In a parallel life, what would you be doing?
I would have loved to become a chef, to create and assemble.

What’s your best luxury under £10?
As a French expatriate, my luxury is a simple fish & chips (unavailable across my home country). This notion of ‘having access’ to specific products is also precisely what luxury can mean to me.