© Gwenn Dubourthoumieu
Following a kick-off of the event with a few words to the start-up’s representatives by LVMH Chief Digital Officer Ian Rogers, the day got off to its proper start with a presentation that couldn’t be more on-topic. Gianluca De Santis, CDO of Thélios – a joint venture combining LVMH and Marcolin’s expertise, as two groups brought together over their same vision for the future of eyewear, gave a presentation entitled “Innovations as Building Blocks Bringing You Closer to the Human Being”.
The human-centric theme was reprised as Bvlgari presented its the “Dream Machine”, a device that puts users at the centre of an entirely different, virtual reality-based experience.
The first half of the 30 start-ups competing for the LVMH Innovation Award then took the stage to present their innovations to professionals and members of the general public alike, while in the CEO Forum, Norbert Leuret, LVMH’s Japan Group President was joined by Ian Rogers for a talk on the luxury customer experience in Japan as its economy experiences a long-overdue upturn.
Virtual Retail, Very Real Entrepreneurship
Back in the Pavillon, the afternoon was centered around virtual and augmented realities, as Francis Kurkdjian (co-founder and artistic director of perfumer Maison Francis Kurkdjian) presented an intriguing device that adds fragrances to virtual reality alongside developer Vaqso’s CEO, Ken Kawaguchi. Emilio Pucci’s Social Media and Digital Communication Manager Luana Palumbo was then joined by Smartzer founder Karoline Gross to discuss their implementation of interactive and shoppable video experiences across the House’s e-commerce site, Instagram campaigns, and point-of-sale touchscreens.
Later, LVMH Digital APAC Technology Lead Markus Boelter discuss what he learned while building a clienteling system on China’s main e-commerce, WeChat.
Entrepreneurship, and the women driving it, were given center-stage with a talk bringing together three women-led beauty start-ups supported by Sephora Stands, the social and environmental programme of the brand.
Flavia Gorayeb, Leather Goods Merchandiser at Fendi and former LVMH DARE participant, then gave a talk about the bracing risks and challenges of being an “Intrapreneur” within the greater LVMH family.
Finally, CEO and Founder of Shanty Biscuits, Shanty Baehrel, then delighted the audience with her retelling of the journey she undertook to become “the Bisqueen.”
Building a Better World
Pitches from the other fifteen Innovation Award contestants soon followed, as a fascinating round-table, moderated by Pierre Louette (Chairman and CEO of Groupe Les Échos) began on Stage One, bringing together luminaries Tristan Harris (Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Humane Technology), Sophie Bellon (Chairwoman of Sodexo), Alex Dayon (President and CSO of Salesforce), Natalia Vodianova (Co-Founder of Elbi), Jimmy Wales (Founder of Wikipedia), who all brought their expertise in tech and ethics to a conversation about building tech for a better world.
The day ended as La Samaritaine Project Director Mikael Guery gave us an update on the impending rebirth of iconic Parisian department store, slated for 2020, touching on the ways a brick-and-mortar store can differentiate itself and deliver a top-notch experience to ever-more demanding and sophisticated customers in an increasingly digital world.
Our first day at the LVMH Pavillon set the tone for this new edition of Viva Technology: come back on Friday, as new innovations are highlighted by LVMH, and the Innovation Award winner is announced. Tomorrow is already here…