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Bentley Motors is one of several luxury brands featured in the Luxury Women to Watch 2022 honor. Seen here: the pre-production Bentley Bacalar. Image credit: Bentley Motors Bentley Motors is one of several luxury brands featured in the Luxury Women to Watch 2022 honor. Seen here: the pre-production Bentley Bacalar. Image credit: Bentley Motors

Luxury Daily annually honors smart women executives who show the potential to make a difference next year in the luxury business. This year’s list features 26 honorees who have set ambitious goals to achieve in a luxury market that, while growing, is also challenged by the ever-present COVID-19 pandemic and rapid changes in consumer behavior and technology.

The Luxury Women to Watch 2022 roster includes executives from brands, retailers, agencies and design firms, among others. Please read through their responses below to get a sense of their 2022 strategy.

Judging process

Picking the 25 smartest women this year with potential was not easy. Readers were invited to send in their nominations. The Luxury Daily team also had its own table of candidates.

Once the deadline expired, the Luxury Daily team judged the nominees on their merits and whittled the list to those who showed the most promise to push the luxury envelope in 2022.

All judging was based purely on merit and potential to make a difference.

Many thanks as well to those readers who took the time to nominate candidates.

Please read this report from first entry to last, listed alphabetically by honoree’s last name. These Luxury Women to Watch are set to distinguish themselves even further in 2022, and raise standards even higher in the luxury business.

Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief, Luxury Daily

(Instagram @MickeyAlamKhan)


LUXURY WOMEN TO WATCH 2022


Adina-Laura Achim Adina-Laura Achim

Adina-Laura Achim

CEO

Achim Marketing Solutions

Tampa, Florida

“In 2022, China will continue to dominate the industry. Thus, luxury brands will have to localize their retail experiences and design their offerings to match the wants of the Chinese consumers”

What do you most like about your job?

I love the freedom that comes with my job. The freedom to constantly grow, discover new environments, learn from my peers, and connect with industry leaders. Every day, I’m given the chance to become a brand custodian.

Luxury executives entrust me with their brand’s story, and my responsibility is to create content that amplifies the voices of their creative teams. This responsibility involves immense trust, and it gives me the power to proactively pursue bigger goals.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

I was born in a time when the pursuit of a career in luxury business was a lofty goal. And despite my passion for luxury, I proceeded with a more employable degree.

Years later, I saw that focusing exclusively on job security was a mistake. Thus, I transitioned to luxury. The move made me feel like an outsider in the industry.

Today, I understand that my self-imposed limitations stopped me from seeking a career change. And while the new-job anxiety remains present, I learned to be flexible.

What is your work priority for 2022?

2022 is for me a year of value creation. Generating value for our clients, business partners and stakeholders.

I’m talking about going beyond revenue growth and maximizing sales, and building an ethical brand strategy that focuses on integrity, honesty and transparency.

We want to conceptualize innovative marketing campaigns that bring socially responsible companies closer to their customers.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

The most gratifying aspect of my job is building strong client relationships.

From the get-go, I tried to build a customer-centric culture, making sure our clients will get the highest level of services at every step of the customer experience lifecycle.

Seeing the success and growth potential of a business partner makes me proud. To me, reinventing brands and building a deeper connection with our audience are the most satisfying aspects of my job.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

In 2022, China will continue to dominate the industry. Thus, luxury brands will have to localize their retail experiences and design their offerings to match the wants of the Chinese consumers.

At the same time, the rise of a global generation of “woke” consumers will change the course of the industry. Luxury brands will have to take a stronger stand on social and political issues, and focus more on social movements.


Mona Akhavi Mona Akhavi

Mona Akhavi

CEO

VRAI

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

“Providing facts and information to make the diamond industry more transparent is a challenge we’ve been determined to tackle”

What do you most like about your job?

We are in a unique position to shape the future of diamond jewelry and to reinvent and modernize some of the standards and practices used in the luxury sector.

VRAI created diamonds to grow sustainably in our certified zero-emission foundry, which allows us to offer what consumers are seeking in luxury now, knowing the origin of their piece, the path it’s taken and its social and environmental impact.

One of my favorite things every week is to hear about customer’s joyful moments, how they are celebrating milestones with their loved ones and life’s everyday moments when they receive their VRAI piece.

We have an incredibly engaged customer base communicating on our social and Web channels with us. It’s most fulfilling when customers share their stories and why VRAI value’s resonate with them.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Many of our customers are informed, familiar with lab-grown diamonds and are seeking a sustainable option when they come to us.

Still, as we work to change the paradigm around lab versus mined diamonds, education is a key area of opportunity and challenge.

Both the Federal Trade Commission’s ruling and the National advertising division’s (NAD) recent release have been instrumental in providing facts around created diamonds being atomically identical to a mined diamond and graded in the same way. They asked for discontinuation of false advertising by mined diamond companies suggesting lab-grown diamonds are less valuable.

So providing facts and information to make the diamond industry more transparent is a challenge we’ve been determined to tackle.

As our team and brand have grown exponentially in the past year, a challenge for me as CEO is to ensure we stay true to our core values of transparency and sustainability in all areas of the company.

In the fast-paced environment of fashion and technology, we are constantly expanding and evolving, but it is imperative to stay true to our principles and what the brand stands for.

What is your work priority for 2022?

We are focused on growing and scaling our collections online and offline globally.

Luxury consumers are sophisticated and well educated, so we’re excited to create touch points at key offline locations for them to experience the brand and to strengthen the relationships and emotional connections we have with our clients.

On a global scale, we are focusing on our growth in the E.U. as we now offer VRAI in the U.K., France, Spain, Germany and have operations in Denmark.

A constant priority is to continuously innovate in cutting and polishing new diamond shapes for jewelry that pushes the boundaries of design and craftsmanship as we’re working on some unique and iconic collections.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

Our vision has been to define the standards of modern and sustainable luxury in the jewelry industry and to show consumers that they can incorporate pieces that have meaning into their everyday lifestyle without compromising their values.

Some of our best achievements have been tied to shining a light on our sustainably created diamond pieces and creating awareness that they are here to stay.

From international media coverage to red carpets at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Grammys, these are all moments that help to educate the market.

Also, partnering up with celebrities, activists and opinion leaders who align with our values has been incredibly rewarding. This past year our pieces have been worn by Jennifer Lopez, Rita Ora, Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani and more which really shows that VRAI is making headway in the lab grown space.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

For decades luxury has been about legacy, a history and beautiful stories that inspire a lifestyle.

From couture fashion brands to jewelry maisons to luxury travel and automobiles, modern luxury is evolving to be about transparency in addition to the history, story and quality.

Brands are sharing the story about the origin of the material, the technological advances and innovations used and more importantly about the impacts of their creations on the future of our planet and humanity.

Luxury consumers are increasingly making choices aligned with their values that inspire qualities that are beyond the craftsmanship and history of the brand, values such as the social and environmental impact of the brand.


Anna Brockway Anna Brockway

Anna Brockway

Cofounder/president

Chairish

San Francisco

“My biggest challenge has been rapidly scaling our business”

What do you most like about your job?

I’m an admitted compulsive redecorator, always transforming and reimagining my home.

With Chairish, my personal passion and my profession come together.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

My biggest challenge has been rapidly scaling our business.

Chairish operates in a $240 billion category which, even before the pandemic, was the fastest-growing U.S. ecommerce segment.  With COVID, online furniture shopping wildly accelerated, increasing expectations and attention on us.

What is your work priority for 2022?

Chairish just purchased Pamono, the premiere European marketplace for antique and vintage home furnishings.

In 2022 we will focus on integrating Pamono into the Chairish experience to create one global brand with region specific capabilities.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

I am proud to have created a beloved brand that delivers style and sustainability. Dreamt up in my dining room eight years ago, Chairish has grown to become the leading resale marketplace for the $240 billion home furnishings industry.

Having sold over 500,000 chic vintage and antique pieces, Chairish has made resale shopping – which is significantly kinder to the planet – fashionable.

We power a circular economy that extends the life of existing items and avoids the environmental impacts associated with the manufacture of newly made products. Our expert curation and inspired storytelling make sustainability stylish, sophisticated and wildly popular.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

I predict the luxury shopper will increasingly favor products that are sustainable and help her express her unique, one-of-a-kind style.


Erin Bronner Erin Bronner

Erin Bronner

Senior manager for communications and brand experience

Bentley Motors

Los Angeles

“I want to ensure that we maintain and build relationships with not only earned media but also like-minded partners in the Americas”

What do you most like about your job?

I appreciate that in my role as senior manager of communications and brand experience at Bentley Motors Inc. no two days are the same.

The challenges and opportunities around every corner are vastly different and unique. The brand image, experience and perspective can shift at the snap of a finger – and act as the neck that turns the head through message acceptance and repetition.

I find joy in sharing the details of what makes Bentley’s rich history and craftsmanship come to life by learning and creating Bentley content in new regionally-relevant ways.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

We are constantly finding new ways to keep ahead of the luxury trends, and looking to find inspiration both in and outside of the automotive industry. Additionally, the media and experiential landscape are ever-evolving.

In my current role, it is rewarding and challenging to find new ways to remain current while the media, automotive and luxury industries expand and evolve along with its clientele.

What is your work priority for 2022?

As 2022 approaches, Bentley’s Beyond100 messaging and strategy are at the top of my priorities.

Announced in 2020, the Beyond Beyond100 strategy targets sustainable mobility leadership, reinventing every aspect of the business – with a goal to be end-to-end carbon neutral by 2030, with Crewe [England] operations climate positive thereafter.

Here in the Americas, I want to ensure that we maintain and build relationships with not only earned media but also like-minded partners in the Americas.

Finding ways to adapt to the changes by creating engaging content and unique experiences for a variety of audiences in the Americas is top of mind.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

It’s hard to define just one achievement. However, the Bentley Centenary Year in 2019 highlighted two cornerstone events: the New York Centenary Celebration and Monterey Car Week.

At the Centenary Celebration, I led a hearty team who eloquently constructed and brought to life a 100-vehicle parade through the streets of New York City, displayed both historic and new vehicles at a Concours at Brookfield Plaza and capped the evening with a Grand Ball.

These three events resulted in new customer prospects, network engagement and impactful media awareness.

During Monterey Car Week, one of the most highly-anticipated and reported automotive events globally, I successfully led the planning, implementation and celebration including creating a Bentley embassy and private home takeover, Laguna Seca parade laps, press conferences and evening hospitality.

Managing colleagues throughout a one-year planning horizon, one-week move-in and multi-day execution was truly a career highlight.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

Experiences will again reign king as people are eager to engage and connect.

The challenges that the past few years have brought have geared us up for a resurgence of investment in time, travel, memories, not to mention interesting journeys we have yearned for throughout the pandemic.


Brooke Burdge Brooke Burdge

Brooke Burdge

Senior vice president of marketing

Attentive

New York

“Working in marketing is like running one continual experiment — you’re always testing out new ideas and building on past learnings”

What do you most like about your job?

As a marketer, I love how I get to help create a new marketing technology that’s changing the way brands and consumers interact.

Since we founded Attentive in 2016, it has been incredible to see how the platform has shaped the marketing tech ecosystem and helped businesses — including many luxury brands — grow.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

One of the biggest challenges that I face is combatting some of the common misconceptions around SMS, particularly that it’s only a channel for sending discounts.

What we’ve seen in working with thousands of brands is that text messaging works extremely well across all price points and demographics.

Brands are using our technology at every step of the customer lifecycle including brand-building campaigns, product recommendations, first access to new collections, behind-the-scenes exclusives, customer service and more.

What is your work priority for 2022?

Looking ahead, my priority is to keep staying agile and trying new things.

Working in marketing is like running one continual experiment — you’re always testing out new ideas and building on past learnings.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

I’m proud of how, over time, I’ve been able to help demonstrate to luxury businesses how personalized SMS can help establish authentic relationships with customers, and guide them in a way that best represents their brand.

Text messaging is a space that’s typically reserved for a shopper’s closest friends and family, so when they opt-in to hear from a brand, they are high-intent potential purchasers or loyal customers. This is a unique and effective communications channel, and it’s been exciting to see how luxury brands are adopting it.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

Luxury brands are approaching a turning point, moving towards closer connection to customers’ values and wants.

Traditionally, brands have set the tone of the relationship. Now, we’re seeing consumers voting with their wallets. They are deciding not just which brands they want to associate themselves with, but which values matter most for them to support, whether that’s sustainability or philanthropy efforts.

Luxury brands will do more storytelling and find ways to directly engage with their audiences to understand and better adapt to these evolving interests.


Stephanie Chung Stephanie Chung

Stephanie Chung

Chief growth officer

Wheels Up

Dallas, TX

“Hospitality will become an act of empathy, not just a form of service, and luxury will become less about material products and more about meaningful experiences”

What do you most like about your job?

Mentoring the next generation of leaders, especially young women looking to join the aviation industry.

I always start by giving two pieces of advice that is critical to anyone’s success. First, know that some of the most important decisions that will impact your career progression are made without you in the room, so always be focused on building a positive, personal brand for yourself. And, second, if you get a seat at the table, be prepared to participate – there is a reason you were invited. Speak up.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Ensuring that the future of our industry looks like the world that we live in.

At Wheels Up, we are committed to making sure that everyone knows that they have a seat on our aircraft, whether you are women, person of color or a member of the LGBTQ+ community. All are welcome at Wheels Up, and I hope the industry will follow our lead.

What is your work priority for 2022?

Growth. As the first company in our industry to be listed on the NYSE [New York Stock Exchange], we have a great responsibility to our members, customers, employees and shareholders.

To accomplish the expectations from these key stakeholders, our mission is simple: expand customer acquisition and maximize corporate growth through the development and execution of an inclusive strategy that amplifies values, while prioritizing cultural sensitivity and fluency across a diverse target audience.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

Redefining the definition of the luxury consumer.

At Wheels Up, our number one focus is democratizing private aviation by giving greater access to more consumers across all backgrounds.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

Hospitality will become an act of empathy, not just a form of service, and luxury will become less about material products and more about meaningful experiences.

At Wheels Up, this is a priority and we’ve added more meaningful experiences for our members to spend time with friends and loved ones in unique ways that are not available elsewhere.

Additionally, the pent-up desire to interact in person, give hugs and shake hands is real and felt by everyone.

If there is one thing we have learned from the pandemic, it is not to take time and loved ones for granted.


Georgina Coleman Georgina Coleman

Georgina Coleman

Vice president of retail

Mikimoto

New York

“Sales will continue to grow online due to convenience, but the retail boutique experience will be memorable and emotionally connecting”

What do you most like about your job?

What I love about my job the most is the opportunity to build and develop teams to achieve success. I am committed to the progress of each individual on my team, ensuring they are equipped to face the challenges presented every day.

I see my role as a problem solver at the macro-level, and I enjoy collaborating with various partners to develop the business while identifying key drivers that enable growth.

I also sit comfortably in the world of possibility, and attract a similar mindset: consistency and accountability is key.

In my role, no two days are alike.

I love the range of being present at our boutiques with the team, traveling to each market, and the strategic element while at the office.

Keeping pace in an environment that is constantly evolving, while focusing on what truly matters.

The team, a great culture and the needs of our clients are some of my favorite things.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Currently, retail is in a very interesting digitally accelerated arena, where online interactions have become a focus.

However, I feel there are in-boutique experiences that are certainly not replaceable, particularly with the tactile aspects.

Sales will continue to grow online due to convenience, but the retail boutique experience will be memorable and emotionally connecting, especially to our discerning high jewelry clients.

Staying relevant in the competitive landscape is always a challenge, which requires agility and ongoing commitment.

Mikimoto is not a brand that chases short-term trends, but stays true to its heritage, delivering on its assurance to quality.

Maintaining agility, the speed in which we can pivot and adjust to what is happening in the market, will enable us to find opportunities within the challenges.

Evolving with the expectations of our clients and ensuring consistency across all channels is crucial for success.

What is your work priority for 2022?

Retail excellence is always a priority to drive performance, which is why we are accelerating investment in clientele tools for our sales ambassadors and in digital marketing.

We are also investing in our people through learning and development programs, while attracting and retaining the best talent in the market.

We will continue to foster an entrepreneurial and collaborative mindset, constantly looking at new ways of working, streamlining processes and continuous improvement.

Empowering the team to deliver exceptional results through focused and personalized brand experiences is a priority, and raising brand awareness will continue to be a priority through a client-led strategy.

Our goal is to deliver exceptional client experiences through personalization, hosting unique experiences and continuously connecting with clients to ensure that we are cultivating authentic, emotional and long-lasting relationships.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

I have had the pleasure to be a part of several exceptional global brands in both Europe and North America.

I am most proud of the many incredible teams I have created and worked with along the way, as well as the networks which I have developed and performances that I have been responsible for.

In addition to the meaningful friendships that have endured, I am honored to have joined the Mikimoto team and my involvement in navigating the brand’s evolution over the past two years.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

The pandemic has left long-lasting consumer shifts with more people willing to buy online, including high jewelry.

Luxury will no longer be able to rely solely on in-boutique experiences and physical interactions, but through digital transformation.

Where luxury jewelry was previously hesitant to embrace digital channels, many of us have doubled down on ecommerce from 2020 to further increase revenue and to reach a broader audience.

We’ve started to approach business more holistically. It should be up to the customer to determine from which channel he or she will chose to make his or her purchase.

We must ensure that the client experience is consistent across all platforms, delivering experiences that feel exclusive and bespoke, such as personal stylists, private viewings, white-glove delivery and more customized services.

A new generation of younger affluent clients will continue to rewrite the rulebook of the once-bulletproof luxury industry with new needs, new behaviors and digitally infused lifestyles.

We will continue to express our legacy through animating the art of storytelling by our experienced sales ambassadors each and every day.

At the heart of Mikimoto is its ability to innovate and at its core is sustainability. Unlike every other gem, pearls do not take away from the natural environment, but give back.


Jenny Cossons Jenny Cossons

Jenny Cossons

Chief partnerships officer

Lyst

London

“I have been so excited to see the luxury brands really start to invest more in their teams and hire from other industries to ensure they can get new perspectives to drive greater growth”

What do you most like about your job?

This role has been the most exciting and fulfilling in my career so far because it combines everything I love: driving huge value for our partners, working with an amazing team, and navigating a constantly changing landscape so I am always learning.

Building strong relationships is at the heart of my role, and is one of the joys of this job.

I get to work closely with the leading global fashion brand and stores to understand their needs, solve their problems and help them superpower their ecommerce.

Internal relationships are also vital, as my team and I work closely with every other part of the Lyst business to ensure we’re leveraging our unique data insights and technology to delight both our partners and our customers.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Patience. Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky to be at the early stages of development when there is still skepticism about the market or a product, from the infancy of digital magazines, to working in the early days of Net-A-Porter when the fashion world wasn’t sure if the Internet was a trend or a real change and if customers would actually buy a Gucci dress online.

I never doubted these ideas or concepts or I wouldn’t have taken the roles, but it does take time to trust in change.

Ecommerce has been the direction of travel for a while, even before the pandemic accelerated it further, but in the luxury industry we still encounter some digital reticence. This can come from a place of limited understanding, so part of our role is to educate and explain how digital complements other channels and activities.

I have been so excited to see the luxury brands really start to invest more in their teams and hire from other industries to ensure they can get new perspectives to drive greater growth.

What is your work priority for 2022?

The Lyst app is fast evolving, as we realize our vision of creating the “Spotify of fashion” with a uniquely personalized discovery experience for each of our millions of shoppers.

My priority is to ensure that we continue to have the most comprehensive assortment of products for our customers, while bringing our brand and store partners on the journey, showing them how they’ll benefit from our plans.

I feel like I’m only just getting started and there is so much more to do. I can only rest when every person I meet knows what Lyst is and loves using it.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

Taking the leap to join Lyst seven years ago, then a relatively small startup, and seeing the business evolve beyond recognition into the largest fashion shopping platform and most-downloaded luxury shopping iOS app makes me proud.

As does seeing my amazing team continue to grow, and take the challenges of doing things which haven’t been done before in luxury in their stride.

I was recently speaking to one of our leading luxury brands and they told me that Lyst is their most important strategic partner and that was an amazing feeling: to know that we are making such a positive difference for our partners. That is what I wake up in the morning for.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

The pandemic has reset many consumer habits, and digital will continue to play an ever increasing role in luxury.

Customers expect to interact with and shop their favorite brands any place, any time.

Luxury is not just about quality and craftsmanship, but also about time, so I am excited for Lyst to make it easier and better for shoppers to discover and search the world’s fashion in a more engaging way.

Consciousness around sustainability, ethical consumption and social justice will also keep rising, particularly among the next generation of luxury shoppers, and it’s exciting to see this positive change.


Robyn Blair Davidson Robyn Blair Davidson

Robyn Blair Davidson

Founder/CEO

by robynblair

New York

“If there is anything I’ve learned from the past year, it’s the importance of curating your physical space”

What do you most like about your job?

The best part about my job is getting to know my collectors.

I meet new clients daily and collaborate with them to bring their unique visions to life. I love learning about the memories behind their favorite candies and, through my art, I am able to customize a piece that is one of a kind, providing a luxury experience that also makes them smile.

Truly, my favorite part about the process is seeing the final piece hung in their home.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

When you’re passionate about the brand you’re building, it can be hard to say no to new projects, collaborations, partnerships and more, because you want to do whatever you can to see it succeed.

I find it challenging not to overextend myself, so I’ve worked to become more selective about the types of collaborations and retailers I partner with.

As a result, I have found that I am able to put my all into each project I take on and in turn make every project I commit to even better.

What is your work priority for 2022?

Focus. I’ve planted a lot of seeds in my first three years and my goal for 2022 is to work hard and focus on the most special parts of my business to help them grow.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

I’ve had the opportunity to partner with some of the most prestigious luxury retailers in the world including Bergdorf’s, Christie’s, Harry Winston and now an upcoming exclusive new category collection launching with Saks Fifth Avenue.

I am so proud that one piece of art I created for my New York apartment has blossomed into a brand that such incredible names in the luxury space recognize and support.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

If there is anything I’ve learned from the past year, it’s the importance of curating your physical space.

It is so important to have your home be a reflection of who you are, so in 2022, I predict we’ll see consumers investing more in luxury and high-quality pieces for their homes.

I definitely see people building incredible art and home décor collections that they can keep for years to come.


Lauren Grech Lauren Grech

Lauren Grech

Founder/CEO

LLG Events

New York

“For people to feel comfortable leaving their homes again, you’re going to need to give them something they cannot attain from their living room or backyard”

What do you most like about your job?

I love how dynamic my job is. Every day is a new challenge where I am always juggling something new and I absolutely love it.

Whether I’m dealing with a client crisis, onboarding a new client, presenting a design deck, lecturing at NYU, or meeting a client at their favorite restaurant, I am always on-the-go.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

2020 put everyone on their toes — we had to think outside the box and bring all our creative ideas online.

Being able to talk to my audience through social media is so important and my biggest challenge is creating new and interesting content that brings my followers back to LLG every day.

A content cycle is 24 hours and if you’re not hustling on content to make it on their radar then you’re already falling behind.

What is your work priority for 2022?

2022 is a big year for LLG. We have $10 million in weddings under management and we are not stopping.

With six destination weddings coming up and over 15 weddings in the tri-state [New York-Connecticut-New Jersey] my priority is to deliver an exceptional service for my clients. There is a lot of nervousness around weddings right now and my goal is to keep our clients calm and focused on their future.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

Securing $10 million in weddings under management after COVID. It was an uphill battle to sign on new clients after COVID and to reassure them that their wedding investment would be safe given all the uncertainty around the pandemic. I worked really hard to get our company back to where we were and I was able to even exceed my own expectations.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

Luxury, specifically in weddings and hospitality, is going to be hyper-focused on personalized services.

In order for people to feel comfortable leaving their homes again, you’re going to need to give them something they cannot attain from their living room or backyard.

People are not only seeking experiences, they are seeking connection. They want to know that you thought about them, that you considered their individual needs, and they only want to communicate that once.


Dustyn Kim Dustyn Kim

Dustyn Kim

Chief revenue officer

Artsy

New York

“I think the mindset shift and new habits we’ve seen as a result of the pandemic will continue to evolve”

What do you most like about your job?

The people. The team at Artsy is truly unique. It is the most talented and committed group of people I’ve ever worked with. It’s also the most collaborative and fun group of people I’ve ever worked with.

It’s been such a privilege to help build and grow this team and to work alongside people who inspire me every day.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

We have a big mission at Artsy: We are here to democratize and expand the art market. That’s an incredibly challenging endeavor. It requires shifting long-held beliefs and behaviors in the art world in areas like exclusivity and transparency.

Changing behaviors is by far the hardest part of the job.

From direct conversations with partners on why they should adopt things like public pricing to working with our product teams on the next evolution of collector tools, I am constantly thinking “how can we get our buyers and sellers to think and act differently?”

What is your work priority for 2022?

We’ve seen ecommerce purchases on Artsy grow 150-200 percent recently, so we’ll continue to stay focused on that momentum.

We’ll also focus on converting the 98 percent of high-net-worth-individuals who are spending money on luxury items like jewelry, cars, etc. towards buying art.

Buying art is not just another luxury purchase. It’s an investment that provides direct support to an artist’s career and a way to be involved in meaningful causes.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

I’m really proud of the work we’ve done to support the art world through the pandemic.

COVID-19 represented an existential threat to our industry and to so many of our partners.

Artsy was the solution that helped keep many art businesses alive during this time, turning them into online businesses literally overnight, with immediate access to technical infrastructure and an online global collector base.

We also accelerated our ecommerce rollout to ensure that as many partners as possible had the ability to not only find collectors but sell directly to them with ease.

We pivoted nearly 70 cancelled or postponed art fairs to online-only editions on Artsy.

We ran campaigns like #artkeepsgoing to fill the lives of collectors and art enthusiasts with art in a time when we all needed beauty and inspiration more than ever. And we hosted benefit auctions that raised over $8 million for nonprofits and institutions.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

I think the mindset shift and new habits we’ve seen as a result of the pandemic will continue to evolve.

Many, if not most, people are not returning to an office full time. Instead, they are adapting to a hybrid arrangement where the home will continue to be used in a multi-purpose way. That means continued investment in the home, including in art that provides inspiration and emotional connection.

I also think we will continue to see people being very thoughtful about how they are spending their money. Today’s luxury buyers are supporting companies and causes that are aligned with their values.


Shannon Knapp Shannon Knapp

Shannon Knapp

President/CEO

The Leading Hotels of the World

New York

“As we round the corner of the pandemic, my focus remains on empowering our community of independent hoteliers to stay independent”

What do you most like about your job?

The Leading Hotels of the World is one of the largest collections of independent luxury hotels, comprised of more than 400 member hotels in over 80 countries. Just like our members, our LHW colleagues span several continents.

The opportunity to lead our global team and support our exceptional hoteliers is what I value most about my role as president and chief executive officer.

Though we faced much adversity over these past 18 months, I was constantly motivated and inspired by my colleagues’ level of personal and professional commitment to our members and our mission. They believe in our mission and they are passionate about what they do and, as a result, they achieved extraordinary outcomes in seemingly impossible circumstances to ensure our members would be in a position to thrive after the crisis.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Of course, these past 18 months were extraordinarily difficult and unfathomable in so many ways, but I truly believe I learned more as a leader in this one year of crisis than I could have learned in 10 “normal” years.

At this moment, I spend a great deal of time thinking about how traveler behavior will continue to evolve because of the disruption of COVID-19.

We have seen dramatic changes in booking patterns, travel behavior and guest expectations of their stay. I expect those trends to continue to change as the conditions around the world shift.

Ensuring LHW stays close to the needs of our guests and remains agile and creative is a priority for me as we pivot towards recovery and beyond.

What is your work priority for 2022?

As we round the corner of the pandemic, my focus remains on empowering our community of independent hoteliers to stay independent.

The majority of our member hotels are family-led, many for generations. Our hoteliers are artisans of hospitality whose expertise, commitment to excellence and individual flair allows them to create unmatched travel experiences for their guests.

Together with LHW’s management team and our worldwide colleagues, I am committed to ensuring this remarkable segment of hospitality and our outstanding hoteliers accelerate out of this crisis so they can continue to make the choice to stay truly independent.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

This moment – first being appointed president and chief executive officer to steward LHW’s iconic brand and then navigating the company through the most extreme crisis to ever hit the travel industry.

Despite all of the challenges, this crisis also created an opportunity for me to define a new future for the organization.

I am excited to build upon the legacy of this world-renowned luxury hotel company while ensuring its continued relevance and leadership in independent hospitality well into the future.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

Traveler demand for authentic and enriching experiences has not been dampened, but rather fueled by this moment.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, luxury travelers have awakened to and are exploring the beauty of their own countries and regions.

I anticipate this trend, which I refer to as “Luxury is Local 2.0,” will continue to evolve, both within the travel industry and the broader luxury industry.

Luxury travelers and consumers are passionate about supporting the recovery of small businesses and the communities that make a destination unique. They want to leave a destination better than they find it. And they want to feel like they are being enriched, while also enriching the destination.


Kelly Kowal Kelly Kowal

Kelly Kowal

Chief Platform Officer

Farfetch

London

“The trends that we are seeing are not new trends, but rather an acceleration of existing trends. I see the luxury space evolving in 2022 to focus on personalization and true omnichannel, which are existing themes”

What do you most like about your job?

Farfetch’s mission is to build the platform for the luxury industry and as the chief platform officer, I love being able to shape the future of our product offering to drive success for our partners.

I feel very fortunate that my job entails looking at future trends and evolving our platform strategy to include new services or solutions that can help drive change for the luxury industry.

A big part of my role is also partnering with our clients to understand their strategy and build tailored solutions leveraging the Farfetch platform ecosystem, which enables them to deliver on their goals. Being a part of their success is hugely exciting.

I also really love working with my incredibly passionate team, leading them through ever-changing dynamics of a platform company.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

The rate at which technology and innovation develop does not always match the rate of the industry’s evolution or adoption.

As an industry, we need to be putting the customer at the center of our strategy to develop unique and relevant experiences to keep up with the luxury consumer’s expectations.

We cannot let outdated business processes or business models drive the customer experience. Through technology, data and innovation we can solve these challenges for the industry.

What is your work priority for 2022?

We have a series of new solutions and services that are currently developing, and my priority will be taking those to market.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

My proudest achievement was creating and launching Farfetch Platform Solutions, which was born out of the need to revolutionize the luxury industry.

Farfetch Platform Solutions is our enterprise offering to the luxury fashion industry, offering a modular suite of white-label technology solutions and services for brands and retailers.

By utilizing our platform, I am able to partner with our clients to deliver tangible results and drive real value, which is hugely satisfying.

Knowing the success our platform and products have delivered for our partners and knowing we are making a concerted difference to the industry is one of my biggest accomplishments.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

The trends that we are seeing are not new trends, but rather an acceleration of existing trends.

I see the luxury space evolving in 2022 to focus on personalization and true omnichannel, which are existing themes.

Customers want a personal and personalized experience, and they want to be able to interact with the brand in any touch point with the same consistency.

It’s important that we develop technology that gives a seamless customer journey to be able to reach and know the customer wherever they may be in the metaverse. I’s not just online and offline anymore. It’s digital, physical, virtual and more.


Yvonne Lynam Yvonne Lynam

Yvonne Lynam

Brand president for Americas

Piaget

New York

“Although relationships have always been important, these times require deeper connection with clients to bring them back. The ability to connect to clients has evolved”

What do you most like about your job?

Although I like all aspects of heading up Piaget in the Americas, two things stand out.

I find meaning unlocking the potential in people, working with the teams across the Americas, and seeing their personal professional growth is inspiring.

Personally, seeing the teams’ collective and individual successes is most motivating.

Secondly, being associated with a company that dares to dream big and continually pushes the boundaries of watchmaking and high jewelry, as exemplified in our Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch. It received one of the highest recognitions in the watch industry: the prestigious “Aiguille d’Or” at the 20th Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).

This prize rewards the best overall watch among all categories (Best in Show). Receiving this watch prize is such an honor for Piaget. It is a celebration of the maison’s savoir-faire and expertise.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

I used to think balancing priorities was just a way of life as president of a luxury global brand. The last 18 months leading a brand through a pandemic have challenged me to grow in ways I might never have seen necessary.

I am changed forever. Understanding the vulnerability of this moment, being open to changes in ways we never imagined before.

Seeing the resilience of the teams, during one of the most difficult situations, is inspiring. The challenge today is to continue to stay in the moment, flexible and focused to build on these learnings.

What is your work priority for 2022?

In 2021 we were able to successfully open new locations. Building on that, we are now adding Saks Bal Harbour and Saks Boston this fall.

Our current focus is on our newest retail project on Rodeo Drive [in Beverly Hills, CA]. This is a new concept for Piaget, one that will provide guests an opportunity to connect with us emotionally and dream.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

Singling out one achievement would discredit all the small achievements. Those combined are the true accomplishment. I am truly humbled by the opportunity to contribute to several of the most successful global luxury brands.

There is no small moment. I have been mentored, and supported from some amazing individuals.

I strive to mentor others and I am most proud to see those executives thrive.

Relationships are at the heart of luxury. My motto is to build the business one customer at time and one employee at a time.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

Although relationships have always been important, these times require deeper connection with clients to bring them back. The ability to connect to clients has evolved.

The key for me is to continue to push the boundaries and find new approaches, new experiences. Evolve the role of retail store, maximize client experiences, highlight the brands connections to all formats of luxury, inclusive of art, music and beyond, while also incorporating new forms of interactive/digital formats, i.e. AR [augmented reality].

The goal is to reach our clients when and how they want to be reached, blur the lines of time, accessibility and connections, whether virtual or instore.


Maiah Martin Maiah Martin

Maiah Martin

Director for consumer engagement

Estée Lauder Companies and Aerin Beauty North America

New York

“Riding the wave of a trend is table-stakes in beauty. The real goal is to be ahead of the curve”

What do you most like about your job?

What I enjoy most about my job is having a seat at the table and using it to challenge the status quo.

Working on a successful legacy brand, often times there’s an air of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” However, the beauty industry and consumer wants/needs are ever-evolving and that drives me to be a champion of change.

I love pushing boundaries, testing new go-to-market approaches to remain relevant with loyal customers, while also appealing to new audiences to help drive business growth.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Maneuvering through extensive processes is the biggest challenge I face within my line of work.

There are guidelines and guardrails appended to everything, ultimately making it difficult to action things in a turnkey manner.

Riding the wave of a trend is table-stakes in beauty. The real goal is to be ahead of the curve and, unfortunately, lengthy processes or hesitation to act can equate to missing an opportunity.

What is your work priority for 2022?

I have three core work priorities for 2022 and those are to drive disruption in the beauty space, increase inclusivity and desirability amongst multicultural audiences, and expand on personalization tactics.

Each of these is top of mind for all that I do in the upcoming year.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

My proudest achievement in luxury is helping bring Estée Lauder to Essence Fest as means to drive real brand connection with Black women.

Being the first luxury brand to activate at what has been deemed the “Super Bowl of Marketing for Black Women” by Ad Age is a highlight within my career.

Since then, I’ve proudly worked both behind the scenes and in front of the camera for the brands activations the last two years, thus continuing to drive resonance with my community.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

In 2022 and beyond I see the face of luxury changing.

Luxury has historically been guarded by gatekeepers, dictating what/who is deemed luxury or aligns with a luxury image.

To thrive, the industry cannot afford to move in this manner. It must shift with the culture, and I look forward to not only watching, but being part of this evolution.


Helen Melling Helen Melling

Helen Melling

Head of talent development

McLaren Automotive

West Byfleet, England

“The imposed travel restrictions, coupled with Brexit, have greatly affected the free movement of talent, meaning that it has been harder to fill skills gaps in the workplace, particularly in niche or emerging areas”

What do you most like about your job?

My favorite and most rewarding part of my role as head of talent development for McLaren Automotive is helping nurture people’s early careers. Whether that’s connecting and developing internal talent to reach their career aspirations, identifying future skills gaps and aligning them with future product strategy, or working with schools and educational bodies to encourage young participation in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] subjects and careers.

It’s truly inspiring to see young people thrive and enjoy themselves in the workplace and I take pride in knowing that I’m helping them to do so.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Like most businesses, the pandemic has presented challenges.

The imposed travel restrictions, coupled with Brexit, have greatly affected the free movement of talent, meaning that it has been harder to fill skills gaps in the workplace, particularly in niche or emerging areas.

Having said that, it has presented an excellent opportunity for us at McLaren Automotive to develop and invest more in our own internal training programs to up-skill and re-skill existing talent to fill skills gaps and future-proof our workforce.

What is your work priority for 2022?

For me 2022 is two-fold.

Talent sits at the heart of our People 2030 approach, which underpins our business plan, Horizon 2030, for the next decade.

We need to continue gearing up to electrification. This includes building pipelines of talent, identifying and addressing skills needs, and setting up training structures to help overcome and solve any gaps.

My other key focus will be expanding our early-years and degree-apprenticeship schemes. These are aimed at young people aged 16-plus and provide all the relevant training, education and work experience to really help them succeed in their chosen field, whether that be engineering or corporate.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

For me, it’s so amazing to see young McLaren employees be recognized for their incredible talent and hard work and know that I have helped them on their way to achieving that.

For example, our own Ella Podmore, materials scientist, recently won the Young Woman Engineer of the Year 2020 award.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

I see luxury evolving in a few different ways.

There is definitely an emphasis on sustainabilty and conscious consumerism.

People want to buy from brands they trust and who are seen as a force for good. We are working towards this with our shift into hybridized vehicles, having recently announced the the new high-performance hybrid McLaren Artura and a new global partnership with children’s charity Plan International to support, empower and inspire the next generation to reach their full potential.


Chloe Mendel Chloe Mendel

Chloe Mendel

Cofounder/creative director

Maison Atia

Chicago

“We are honored to be able to be 100 percent sustainable while not sacrificing our high standards for luxury and quality”

What do you most like about your job?

I love making beautiful garments that I am truly proud of from the ground-up.

Integrity is super important to me. We are a sustainable luxury brand, whose DNA is rooted in faux fur, and with a core charitable mission to rescue homeless pets across America with every coat sold. How cool is that?

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Knowing when to stop.

When you love what you do, the line between work, home and life is blended and blurred. I am always challenging myself and sometimes need to take a step back and enjoy the moment.

What is your work priority for 2022?

Expanding our brand reach beyond the U.S.A.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

Marking 2021 as the year for our brand to be 100 percent sustainable moving forward. It has been a goal of ours since day one and we are honored to be able to be 100 percent sustainable while not sacrificing our high standards for luxury and quality.

Not only are our fabrics made of plants, recycled materials or upcycled/deadstock, we run a unique zero-to-no-waste production model using excess fabric to produce accessories. Any leftover material is then donated to Fab-Scrap, a not-for-profit association based in New York that gives fabric to artists or produces wall insulation with the material left over.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

I see more and more brands caring about their ecological footprint, making critical decisions on how to improve even further.

There is already great technology out there now for materials such as leather made of mushrooms, faux fur made of corn and fabrics made of recycled post-consumer plastics. Sadly, they are not easily accessible for smaller brands committed to being fully sustainable.

While I am certain that these incredible advancements in material development/technology are the future of luxury, I wish that they could be more readily available to young designers.


Stefanie Ng Stefanie Ng

Stefanie Ng

CEO for Southeast Asia

Audemars Piguet

Singapore

“What we have come to realize is that consumer preferences have changed. They are more discerning for luxury purchases and will choose brands that resonate with their beliefs beyond quality, craftsmanship and innovation”

What do you most like about your job?

Dynamic and fast-paced environment at Audemars Piguet is what I really like.

The brand ethos to be forward-thinking is strong. There is a push to never stand still and never settle for being ordinary.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

With several markets to oversee in the Southeast Asia region, it is easy to get carried away by operational matters.

Setting aside deep thinking time is something that I have been working on consciously.

What is your work priority for 2022?

A continued priority for me has been to reinforce Audemars Piguet’s reputation in fine watchmaking as one of the industry leaders.

One major part of this is building and maintaining relationship with our clients.

Once social or even travel restriction ease in the near future, I would love to meet and connect with the regional clients in person. Building relationships definitely goes beyond the digital world.

“People-to-people” is the latest evolution of Audemars Piguet’s retail strategy.

As the name implies, the company seeks to bring internal and external stakeholders closer as a family.

Proximity will be reduced between our team and clients by implementing a network of nomads. An Audemars Piguet representative who will travel and deliver the Audemars Piguet experience to wherever our clients are at. It could be anywhere – his or her home, restaurant and etc.

Launching and developing the nomad strategy definitely tops the priority for the coming year.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

I am anticipating my next project to be my proudest achievement in luxury. It is currently a work in progress, so I am unable to share more details. It will be a significant project and I cannot wait for it to be unveiled.

At the moment, being part of Audemars Piguet and progressing within the company is probably my best achievement so far.

Having supportive colleagues as well as team members and bosses who trust me to lead this region is a feat that I have been thankful for.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

Nobody knows whether the pandemic will ease or be eradicated in 2022.

What we have come to realize is that consumer preferences have changed. They are more discerning for luxury purchases and will choose brands that resonate with their beliefs beyond quality, craftsmanship and innovation.

Brands need to connect with clients on a deeper level to remain relevant and cater to evolving consumer needs and expectations.


Jane Poynter Jane Poynter

Jane Poynter

Founder/co-CEO and chief experience officer

Space Perspective

Tuscon, Arizona

“New luxury goes beyond the gathering of the material — certainly, it’s creating extraordinary experiences, but I would even take that a bit further, that quintessential luxury is a transformational experience”

What do you most like about your job?

Building and working with an incredible team of people who are connected by a singular purpose and vision, each bringing unique skills and experiences to help us achieve something, I believe, will change the way many see our world.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Today, that might be navigating an embarrassment of riches — that is to say, there are so many immediate opportunities that the challenge becomes not what to do, but making the tough choice of what not to prioritize.

What is your work priority for 2022?

We’re in the midst of building out the experience for our customers. Not simply the physical design of the interior of the Space Neptune capsule but taking our customers on an incredible journey, from the moment they decide to become an explorer until the day of their flight. Crafting and personalizing that experience is a top priority.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

New luxury goes beyond the gathering of the material — certainly, it’s creating extraordinary experiences, but I would even take that a bit further, that quintessential luxury is a transformational experience.

Astronauts experience earth from outside it looking in. They see the edges of our world, the curved horizon with the thin blue line of our atmosphere and have a realization that we all live here together as a single human family on Spaceship Earth. It affects them deeply and is a personally transformational experience. This change in perspective not only changes us as individuals, but changes our world for good, forever.


Donna Rodriguez Donna Rodriguez

Donna Rodriguez

Vice president of marketing

SH Hotels and Resorts

New York

“Making sure all our ideas are based in sustainability isn’t always the easiest task”

What do you most like about your job?

I love being able to come up with creative ideas for the hotels and then see them come to life on property. Especially since these ideas always have an element that gives back to our environment.

Everything we do at 1 Hotels is with sustainability at the forefront. Being able to be creative while doing good for the planet is an incredible privilege.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Making sure all our ideas are based in sustainability isn’t always the easiest task.

While many brands are moving in this direction, we constantly need to ensure every partner we bring to the table shares the same motivation and mission as us.

What is your work priority for 2022?

There are so many exciting developments to come in the next year for our brands.

We’re slated to open a 1 Hotels property in Nashville as well as a flagship property in Kauai Hawaii.

We also just recently announced the expansion of our Baccarat brand with a new location in Florence, Italy as well as an extension of our brand Treehouse into Manchester.

We’re developing fast and furiously, and this international expansion is something we’re all very excited about.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

I’m incredibly proud of my team and our ability to execute Barry Sternlicht’s [chairman/CEO of Starwood Capital Group] vision for all our brands.

In doing so we’re able to ensure each property caters to the guests we’re looking to capture. Our team continues to develop and build on these visions on a daily basis.

It’s this mindset that has allowed us to build a culture that supports one another, and our common goal of providing our guests with the best possible experience.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

Taking care of yourself and our planet are some of the most luxurious things you can do.

Our brands are here to create as much of a personalized experience for consumers as possible, from the moment they check in until the moment they check out.

A mix of smart features and customized amenities coupled with refurbished materials and natural elements throughout our hotels will redefine the future of luxury.


Kassie Smith Kassie Smith

Kassie Smith

CEO and director of development

KS Global

Las Vegas, Nevada

“I feel we will still be in survivor mindset. However, I see the luxury sector rushing back quicker than most and with people focused on collaboration and lifestyle experiences”

What do you most like about your job?

I have always viewed my career as an exciting one, from design through development, it is always evolving. If I summed it up, “The vision of creating a luxury product that gives enjoyment.” I say that’s what keeps me inspired.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Challenge creates opportunities. However, it is fluctuation within the market I cannot control, that is my biggest challenge. The pandemic is a prime example itself, but the repercussions in my world of luxury development were staggering as the cost of materials went sky high and travel stopped.

What is your work priority for 2022?

I am launching a brand called Stirling One and I am very excited about it.

We are heavy into acquisition mode, hand-selecting a collection of Trophy Hotels and Resorts all over the world. It is multifaceted and a unique Five-Star luxury lifestyle brand. You will have to wait to find out the rest.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

Right now, I am filled with excitement for our new brand, Stirling One. I have culminated all my gained knowledge through my entire career in the luxury sector to arrive at this place.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

I feel we will still be in survivor mindset. However, I see the luxury sector rushing back quicker than most and with people focused on collaboration and lifestyle experiences.

Luxury has always been about no limits, but I think we will see products, services and development as disrupting in an exciting way.


Lana Todorovich Lana Todorovich

Lana Todorovich

President and chief merchandising officer

Neiman Marcus

Dallas, Texas

“Our customers’ behavior and preferences became unpredictable due to the pandemic. Well-established planning methodologies based on past behaviors and historical performance no longer apply”

What do you most like about your job?

I love the creativity, optimism and resilience of the fashion industry. I find tremendous joy in achieving great things and the learning that entails.

My role at Neiman Marcus is a perfect match for my passions as we are focus on fashion, innovation, transformation and growth, evolving this storied luxury brand for the future.

I also greatly value and enjoy the talent and diversity of thought on my team.

The best ideas and outcomes come from our collective wisdom versus one individual viewpoint. This is the secret sauce of some pretty remarkable results we’ve achieved over the past two years. It has also allowed us to build trust, rely on each other, and continue to learn as a team.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Our customers’ behavior and preferences became unpredictable due to the pandemic.

Well-established planning methodologies based on past behaviors and historical performance no longer apply.

Throughout 2020, customers consistently gravitated to all things comfortable and casual in their wardrobe as they spent most of the time in their homes.

Practically overnight, as we emerged from the pandemic, these preferences dramatically changed as we started traveling and socializing again.

Limited by fashion’s long-lead production times of six months or more, our buying teams, known as the best curators of fashion, had to assume the roles of futurists and predictors of unpredictable macro trends. This accelerated our focus on data analytics, where we could track leading indicators of customer behavior and proactively adjust our assortments in anticipation of the changing trends.

What is your work priority for 2022?

The positive business momentum we are experiencing has been an optimistic sign of new possibilities.

The upcoming year calls for all of us to re-introduce who we are and what we’ve learned about ourselves this past year.

Our assortments and marketing will reflect these new perspectives with vibrant, groundbreaking and fresh collections full of emotion and striking creations.

My priority is to deepen the relationships with our customer audiences and continue to expertly curate fashion and lifestyle collections and exclusive offerings they can only find at Neiman’s, making shopping truly personal and their experience extraordinary.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

I am extremely proud of building truly collaborative and innovative partnerships with our brand partners, enabling us to expand our luxury footprint and add over 350 luxury points of distribution, the most significant growth in recent history.

We’ve created exciting retail theater in stores and online with our exclusive collections, groundbreaking installations and exciting collaborations with Prada, Loewe, Brunello Cuccinelli, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry and many more brands.

We’ve brought unexpected and exciting offerings such as the exclusive introduction of a new sculpture by Jeff Koons, “Diamond.”

We also brought 50 new luxury and emerging brands to our portfolio this season alone, introducing spectacular fashion and a wave of new design talent to our audience of fashion connoisseurs.

I am proud of how we not only continued, but evolved the Neiman Marcus legacy of creating magic and new ways for customers to engage with luxury.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

We see significant growth and interest from our customers in sustainable, inclusive and social movement-focused brands and products.

We are partnering with emerging and trending brands that are making an impact in the industry – from women entrepreneurs to champions of sustainability.

Additionally, there is a shift from a product-driven engagement with luxury to a relationship-driven approach that builds meaningful emotional connections between retailers, brands and products.

This shift reflects our customers’ desire for luxury to be more relevant to the way they live and how they want to experience it – it’s personal, it suits your lifestyle, and retains its magic in how it makes you feel.

It’s no longer only about owning the best in luxury fashion. It’s about feeling connected emotionally, being understood and known, and being moved to live your best authentic life.


Allison Varone Allison Varone

Allison Varone

Vice president of emerging brands

Moët Hennessy

New York

“There’s definitely a trend in consumers trading up for more premium spirits as they experiment with mixology and seek out trustworthy labels with quality ingredients”

What do you most like about your job?

There are many reasons why I love what I do.

I have the privilege of working on beautiful brands that offer memorable experiences to a wide variety of consumers.

My role also interacts with many different teams from across the globe which allows me to enjoy different cultures and perspectives.

Additionally, it’s very fulfilling to see the brand stories and platforms we conceptualize come full circle and resonate with our consumers to create long lasting brand value and loyalty.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Similar to most, this past year has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced thus far.

From the global pandemic and social unrest to work and home life blurring together, this year brought about some pivotal changes in how we operate individually and as a team.

That being said, these personal and professional challenges made me and my team more resilient, agile, stronger and overall more empathetic team members to each other.

From a brand perspective, we are being more and more challenged to meet our consumers where they are and develop initiatives that resonate to them in an elevated and aspirational way.

What is your work priority for 2022?

Introducing even more consumers to our emerging brands portfolio.

There’s definitely a trend in consumers trading up for more premium spirits as they experiment with mixology and seek out trustworthy labels with quality ingredients, which benefits our brands like Belvedere Vodka, Glenmorangie Whisky and Volcan de Mi Tierra Tequila.

I want to take insights from the last year into account as we go into 2022.

For example, continue to lean in to ecommerce initiatives, at-home cocktail rituals, while also looking forward to being more present in restaurants and bars in 2022 and beyond.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

That’s a great question and tough to answer.

I think my proudest moments while working in luxury is when we bring memorable and luxury experiences to consumers with our brands. Experiences that enrich their lives and remain a positive memory for the years to come.

I also enjoy sharing these achievements with my team and celebrating the hard work that goes into creating them.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

I foresee some of the current trends in the luxury spirits industry contributing to its evolution in 2022.

For one, I anticipate a lot of new innovations from brands, even those with time-honored and traditional portfolios.

For example, this year we launched X by Glenmorangie, a single malt made specifically for mixing and, in turn, we were able to encourage experimentation with how and where consumers enjoy single malt whisky, thus reaching a new audience that hadn’t tried our product before.

I think these innovations will serve various purposes including making luxury spirits more approachable and exciting to newcomers.

Additionally, I think we’ll see a shift towards all-natural and organic ingredients becoming an industry standard, given the fact that consumers have almost come to expect that a spirit’s ingredients are all-natural and high-quality.


Mary Pat Wallace Mary Pat Wallace

Mary Pat Wallace

Founder/president

The Luxury Bed Collection

Chicago

“The luxury consumer can continue to expect a highly-valued product, but true luxury is exceeding client expectations consistently”

What do you most like about your job?

As an entrepreneur, I’m able to move quickly, stay flexible and always try new ideas. That means I pay for my mistakes myself, but I’m also deeply rewarded with my own successes. For others, that may be stressful, but for me, it’s fun.

The aspect I love most, though, is the art of marketing and sales.

I’m especially fascinated by creating an in-store experience that focuses on the client while also educating each potential buyer on the life-changing value of a great mattress.

However, considering not all my clients are able to join me for an in-store experience, I also enjoy strategizing the virtual marketing experience across digital, print and social media.

It’s a big puzzle to try to reach different targets and markets across various platforms, but solving the puzzle is so rewarding.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Operations management — Web development, inventory, human resources, etc. — will always be my biggest challenge, as my passion is marketing and client experience.

What is your work priority for 2022?

First and foremost, I want to support, expand and lead the talented team that we have.

I always want to help our employees better themselves and find growth, and I’m looking forward to finding new ways to do so in 2022.

Of course, I’m also prioritizing our expansion into more showrooms. Stay tuned.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

I am so proud of my team. Together we have built a brand that provides education on sleep and how a luxurious mattress will deliver the ultimate in support with unparalleled comfort.

Not only do we hold strong to our values and represent our brands and manufacturers well, but I’m also proud to say that we provide an unparalleled service experience.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

The luxury consumer can continue to expect a highly-valued product, but true luxury is exceeding client expectations consistently.

We maintain that customers deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and care throughout every interaction with the brand — in the showroom, on the Web site, or when speaking with customer service. The future of luxury understands this.


Courtney Watkins Courtney Watkins

Courtney Watkins

CEO

Mine & Yours

Vancouver, British Columbia

“I’ve realized you can’t be everywhere at once as a business leader”

What do you most like about your job?

I love that I’ve been able to build a community of like-minded women who invest in themselves and their closets.

Creating authentic relationships with our clients, community members, team and other entrepreneurs is incredibly meaningful to me.

Since I was young, I’ve always loved playing dress up in my mother’s closet and finding creative ways to showcase my style for less. Now I get to help others do the same.

My job as the CEO of Mine & Yours is fast-paced, exciting and a lot of hard work. I love that I get to consistently challenge myself.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Currently, a big challenge for us is looking for opportunities to scale.

I’ve realized you can’t be everywhere at once as a business leader.

As Mine & Yours grows, we are challenged to look into how we can create greater brand awareness, source larger quantities of high-quality product, expand our marketing/content creation efforts and hire new team members to assist with these tasks.

What is your work priority for 2022?

For 2022, it’s about growth and expanding Mine & Yours.

We are excited to announce that in September, we opened our second Vancouver retail boutique located in Yaletown. In 2022, you can further expect to see us expanding further into Toronto.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

My proudest achievement in luxury to date is building long-lasting relationships with suppliers.

This year we acquired a series of highly-coveted Goyard bags from one of the world’s largest collectors. The supplier of the collection actually became friends with the Goyard family and were introduced in Paris. He’s been flying across the world collecting Goyard pieces since 1980.

I’ve built another incredible relationship with a supplier who sold us the extremely rare Louis Vuitton X Supreme Boite Skateboard Trunk, which I’ve seen on the resale market for over $100,000.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

I’ve recently read that the resale market is projected to reach $77 billion by 2025.

I think pre-loved luxury and shopping secondhand will shift towards becoming commonplace.

Personally, I predict that the trend “less but better” will evolve in 2022, with more clients seeking to purchase luxury “investment pieces,” timeless classics that have high resale value.

Ultimately, I think people want to feel good about the purchases they make. Consumers are caring more about luxury brand values, sustainability initiatives and impact.


Michelle Workman Michelle Workman

Michelle Workman

Owner

Michelle Workman Interiors

Los Angeles and Chattanooga, Tennessee

“People are beginning to eschew the disposable. It will be less about consuming luxury, and more about investing in the experience of luxury”

What do you most like about your job?

I love the beginning of each project. After I’ve met and interviewed a new client, their personality fills my head until a design comes pouring out. Sometimes I can’t get back to the office fast enough to start pulling together elements for their design.

It is always a heady rush of creativity at the start.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Juggling all of the different hats that I wear: creative, executive, PR, marketing, etc.

I am predominantly an artist and all of the business and administrative tasks are really learned behaviors.

I have a few scientist/mathematician/engineer types in my family, so logic and problem solving were part of my upbringing, and has certainly helped in that arena tremendously, but it is not a native talent as it is with others.

What is your work priority for 2022?

Streamline the processes, and make them more efficient so that what I do as an artist/designer can be reproduced by other designers in my firm, without losing any of the artistry, or client amenities that we provide.

We are constantly seeking the ultimate artistic and seamless design experience for our clientele.

What is your proudest achievement in luxury?

Being consulted by several different major corporations on coming trends in the luxury sector was an accomplishment not experienced by many luxury interior designers. Seeing those ideas then implemented and prove successful were very proud moments.

How do you see luxury evolving in 2022?

I believe it is becoming a journey of self-discovery.

People are beginning to eschew the disposable. It will be less about consuming luxury, and more about investing in the experience of luxury services, quality, detail, uniqueness and how these things relate to your self expression.

Want to know the Luxury Women to Watch 2021 list of honorees? Please click here

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