For day two of the Viva Technology show, of which LVMH is a partner, the Group showcased several of its latest innovations. Addressing an audience of startup entrepreneurs and tech professionals both in person and online, LVMH leaders and experts shared insights into Open innovation, Retail and Blockchain initiatives.
Open Innovation: an agility and innovation booster at LVMH
Alongside entrepreneurial spirit, innovation is a value shared by everyone at LVMH. Innovation is essential to identify opportunities in a constantly changing industry. During a Talk on Open Innovation, LVMH EVP Human Resources & Synergies Chantal Gaemperle noted that the source of all innovation is the talented people throughout the Group: “We know that our talents are our innovation-drivers and we are convinced that diverse and engaged teams perform better, and that inclusion fosters creativity, innovation and better business performance.
In the past 15 years LVMH has grown from 60,000 people to over 150,000 employees at 75 Maisons in 80 countries. “Just think about this huge talent pool,” Chantal Gaemperle continued. “Each person has their own unique identity, skills and know-how – it’s a tremendous source for innovation!”
To encourage people across the Group to share great ideas, LVMH developed an intrapreneurial program called DARE (for Disrupt, Act, Risk to be an Entrepreneur). This open innovation platform lets anyone propose a project and move it forward. Nona Source is a perfect example. Developed by four members of LVMH with support from DARE, this online platform resells exceptional materials from LVMH Fashion & Leather Goods Maisons to young designers outside the Group at attractive prices. “DARE clearly brings three key benefits, it helps accelerate innovation, it transforms the culture, and it develops talents,” says Julia Dunis Majoulet, LVMH Incubation Manager and Head of the DARE intrapreneurial program.
Talent abounds within the LVMH ecosystem, including La Maison des Startups, an accelerator program based at the Station F incubator that supports emerging enterprises from around the world. “The program is designed as a fast track to help startups navigate the luxury ecosystem, start new conversations and interact with talented people from LVMH. The program is built to maximize interactions between startups and LVMH Maisons, with one-to-one demo sessions, pitch sessions, network events and much more,” explained Laetitia Roche-Grenet, Head of Open Innovation at LVMH. During the Talk session she also noted that an impressive 230 collaborations between startups and LVMH Maisons have been signed since the launch of La Maison des Startups in 2018.
Innovation in Retail by Dior, Louis Vuitton and Zenith
LVMH Maisons took advantage of VivaTech to spotlight several recent innovations in the retail world. At the LVMH Gallery Lab, Dior unveiled its Dioriviera Wall, which lets people try out the latest innovation, created specially for the eponymous capsule collection. Using a virtual reality app, Dior’s iconic Toile de Jouy springs to life in 360° and people can try on two versions of the Dior Club visor. Gary Pinagot, Social Media and e-Reputation Director and Lina Djoudi, Social Media and e-Reputation Strategic Planner at Dior Couture, also spoke about an augmented reality app that lets people try on Dior sneakers virtually. Launched on Snapchat with a special filter to create excitement around the B27 sneakers, the activation proved a tremendous success from both a tech and design perspective.
For Louis Vuitton, Julie Bohnert, Product Owner Virtual Assistant, presented the new chatbot on the Maison’s website, which was developed during 2020. With artificial intelligence, over 60% of customer requests are handled thanks to 24/7 assistance. At Zenith, innovation rhymes with long-term vision. With Zenith Icons, watch lovers can purchase an authenticated and restored vintage Zenith timepiece certified by the famed Manufacture in Le Locle and sold exclusively in the Maison’s stores. What’s more, a passport is issued to ensure traceability of the watch. The document is printed in a single and unique copy and stored digitally in the Zenith Archives at the Manufacture’s Heritage Department.
Blockchain innovation with Aura project
In April 2021 LVMH joined Cartier and Prada to develop the Aura Blockchain Consortium, the first global luxury blockchain. This unique and innovative solution addresses the challenge of providing consumers with information on authenticity, sustainable sourcing and durability over time of a product in a secure digital format. The objective is to provide customers with transparency and full traceability over the entire product lifecycle. During this second day at VivaTech both Bvlgari and Hublot showed how they are using Aura. Bvlgari has integrated it as part of its partnership with Save the Children with a special line of jewelry. For each piece purchased, Bvlgari makes a donation to an at-risk child. Thanks to blockchain, each customer can track their donation and see how it is helping children. At Hublot, the Aura blockchain stores complete information on the brand’s watches to authenticate them from their manufacture to their end of life. This digital passport for luxury watches inspires confidence among customers. With regards to product certification, Tiffany aims to provide full transparency across the entire jewelry supply chain in order to guarantee ethical sourcing, give people confidence in their purchase and help protect the planet. In 2019 Tiffany became the first jeweler to directly give consumers information about the origins of its diamonds. It followed in 2020 by being the first in the industry to share the entire craft journey – the transformation from uncut stones to exceptional jewels – with customers.