LVMH deploys its Open Innovation program DARE for the first time in Tokyo, to invent the retail experience of tomorrow



From November 12th to 15th, the LVMH Group organized, for the first time in Japan, its DARE event (Disrupt, Act, Risk to be an Entrepreneur) – a global initiative at the crossroads of open innovation and talent development. Following a call for ideas on the topic “Innovation in Retail” in June-July 2019 targeting its talents based in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, LVMH selected 60 candidates across all LVMH functions and Maisons who were invited to experience the event in Tokyo. A grand jury made of senior executives from LVMH and its Maisons, as well as external entrepreneurs from Japan, selected three winning projects that will be sponsored within the highest level of the organization.

DARE was created by LVMH as a result of its conviction that its own employees are an outstanding source of knowledge and creativity to fuel innovation and excellence of the LVMH business. This Tokyo edition focuses on the future of Retail, a key topic for LVMH’s Maisons, especially in Japan and throughout the Asia-Pacific region, an important and growing market.



“Hosting a DARE event in Japan with talents coming from all over the Asia-Pacific region is an amazing way to share perspective on retail excellence from various markets. Japan is renowned for the quality of its customer experience so it made a lot of sense to have this edition in Tokyo. DARE is a great opportunity to reveal talents and show that teamwork and diversity boost creativity and innovation”, stated Chantal Gaemperle, Group Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Synergies at LVMH.

DARE was developed under her leadership in July 2017, as a unique worldwide cross-brand, cross-sector, cross-expertise and cross-generational initiative for LVMH employees. Since its launch, seven DARE events have taken place in different regions (twice in France, and once in Italy, China, the US, the UK and now Japan) and on different topics (the future of luxury, sustainability, gender equality, the customer experience).

This year was a turning point in the program as the first DARE projects born out of the previous DARE editions were revealed to the general public:

  • “Canvas of the Future”, a pioneering bag integrating cutting edge flexible AMOLED screens and “My Fav”, a social commerce platform, were officially presented during Viva Technology trade show in Paris in May 2019.
  • “The Inclusion Index”, an internal observatory promoting and developing diversity & inclusion throughout the Group, as well as “SHERO”, an internal media dedicated to helping women from the Group boost their career, were officially launched during the International Women’s Day celebration in March 2019 at the Group’s headquarter in Paris.

For the DARE event in Tokyo, over 6,000 employees from across LVMH based in the Asia-Pacific region were invited to submit an idea related to the topic “Innovation in Retail”. This can be any innovation involving Luxury in Retail: a product, an experience, a platform or a service but also initiatives involving career development and wellbeing for any retail talent. Those ideas can relate to the Group, a Maison or the retail sector as a whole. Based on this, employees from within the Group selected the 60 most compelling ideas. The 60 selected participants were divided into 12 teams and joined by 15 students from: Aoyama Gakuin University, Bunka Fashion College, Bunka Fashion Graduate University, Coconogacco, Fashion Institute of Technology and Keio University. The teams worked at the Aoyama Treehouse in Tokyo, a global community of leaders dedicated to Mindfitness and innovation, to develop their individual projects during three days and turn their ideas into a business plan. On Wednesday, they were challenged by mentors, comprising Japanese CEO’s of the different LVMH Maisons, group senior executives and external entrepreneurs.

On Thursday, the teams pitched their projects to a grand jury and three final projects were chosen to be sponsored within the highest level of the company. The jury included Executive Committee members, regional and national Presidents and senior executives from LVMH and its Maisons, as well as from other leading businesses such as Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ewoman & UNICUL International Inc. Japan, Goldman Sachs Japan, a movie director and an NHK anchor.

The winning projects focused on the re-enchantment of the retail experience through customized services as well as sustainable gifting, and on finding positive outcomes to address our products’ end of lifecycle.

The participants received on the last day a keynote speech from Robin Lewis, consultant at the World Bank and Founder of MyMizu.

This event is also the beginning of the DARE teams’ incubation journey – a journey that will take the winning teams as well as those who want to pursue through three stages (from onboarding to acceleration and finally landing) to a potential project launch within the Group. As intrapreneurs, they will be supported with monthly coaching, acceleration meetups and will be able to leverage the strength of the DARE community and the LVMH ecosystem. They will also discuss with intrapreneurs from previous DARE editions about the best way to bring their projects to life.