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FT Business of Luxury Summit

Luxury Disruption: The Industry Innovators Changing The Narrative

Venice, Italy |  - 
Speakers include:
Domenico Dolce and  Stefano Gabbana

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana

Katharine Hamnett

Katharine Hamnett

Katharine Hamnett London

Alexandre  Arnault

Alexandre Arnault



It is 11 years since the FT's Business of Luxury Summit was held in Venice. Since that time the industry has undergone seismic change. In a country renowned for its luxury goods heritage, the Summit will discuss where next for the industry. How can the traditional houses innovate in order to keep ahead of the industry disruptors and remain competitive in the market? What does the millennial luxury consumer want and how is the way they are shopping changing the face of retail? How is Gen Z impacting the market and media landscape? And what can we learn from them?  

Co-chaired by the FT's Editor, Lionel Barber and Fashion Editor, Jo Ellison the Summit will bring together leading executives from the industry, innovators and financiers to debate the latest changes in the luxury narrative and what lies ahead.

For more information on sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities contact or 44 (0) 20 7873 4110

fallback Add to my Calendar 05/20/2018 18:30:0005/22/2018 14:00:00trueFT Business of Luxury SummitIt is 11 years since the FT's Business of Luxury Summit was held in Venice. Since that time the industry has undergone seismic change. In a country renowned for its luxury goods heritage, the Summit will discuss where next for the industry. How can the traditional houses innovate in order to keep ahead of the industry disruptors and remain competitive in the market? What does the millennial luxury consumer want and how is the way they are shopping changing the face of retail? How is Gen Z impacting the market and media landscape? And what can we learn from them?  Co-chaired by the FT's Editor, Lionel Barber and Fashion Editor, Jo Ellison the Summit will bring together leading executives from the industry, innovators and financiers to debate the latest changes in the luxury narrative and what lies ahead.For more information on sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities contact or 44 (0) 20 7873 4110FT-Business-of-Luxury-Summit1947467a1ffd355c79953887b55b47c5MM/DD/YYYY

FT Business of Luxury Executive Summary

FT Business of Luxury Executive Summary

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Speakers (29)

Domenico Dolce and  Stefano Gabbana

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

Owners and Designers
Dolce & Gabbana
Katharine Hamnett

Katharine Hamnett

Fashion Designer
Katharine Hamnett London

Katharine Hamnett is a British designer. Born in 1947, her father was a diplomat and she was brought up all over Europe. She attended 10 schools including Cheltenham Ladies College.

She studied fashion at Saint Martin’s School of Art and on graduating went into business with her college friend Anne Buck under the Tuttabankem label. The partnership lasted 5 years.

She then worked freelance in London, Paris, Rome, Hong Kong and New York before launching her own label, Katharine Hamnett London, in 1979.

Turnover grew rapidly and she was soon selling into the best shops in over 40 countries and was one of the first British designers to show in foreign capitals and license her brand in Japan.

She won the ‘Designer of the Year’ award in 1984, along with the Bath Menswear Award, and the Export Award from the BKCC.

She has held fashion shows in London, Paris, Milan, New York, Tokyo and Sao Paulo.

She was the first person to give their first commercial jobs to many of the world’s top fashion photographers - Ellen von Unwerth, Juergen Teller, and Terry Richardson.

She launched the careers of many supermodels, Claudia Schiffer, Nadja Auermann, Naomi Campbell, both in advertising campaigns and on the catwalk to name but a few.

According to market research she is viewed by the British Public as a ‘Bad girl with Integrity'.

She is known equally for her menswear as her womenswear, launching many fashion trends, inventing the slogan T, charitable contributions on product, distressed denim, and making clothes that are fashionable but never go out of date.

In 1989 she commissioned research into the social and environmental impact of the clothing and textile industry. Expecting to find nothing bad she instead found herself in a living nightmare: thousands of farmers and their families dying of accidental pesticide poisoning in cotton agriculture, and millions of people in the garmenting industry living in conditions worse than slavery.

Desertification, contamination of ground water and sea, hideous problems to do with processing synthetics, wool and leather, and millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions etc.

This combined with a trip to Mali in West Africa in 2003 with Oxfam where she saw the plight of the farmers was her epiphany, and she committed from then on to only work with product that is produced ethically and as environmentally as possible.

During the period from 1989 to 2016 she attempted to change the fashion industry from within, got involved in many campaigns and lectured on sustainability all over the world.

She was appointed a CBE in the New Year Honours List in 2010 for services to the fashion industry.

In September 2017 Katharine Hamnett brought her brand back to market. Everything is sustainably produced in Europe in compliance with EU labour law, and sold by some of the world’s leading boutiques and department stores internationally as well as direct to consumer

Alexandre  Arnault

Alexandre Arnault

Chief Executive Officer

Alexandre Arnault is the Chief Executive Officer of RIMOWA, the leading German high-end luggage manufacturer. The brand was founded in 1898 and is since January 2017 part of the LVMH Group. Mr Arnault has sourced the acquisition and worked on its completion. Prior to that, he was involved with the Group through investment activities at Groupe Arnault, mostly in technology companies. Outside the Group, he has worked at McKinsey & Co and KKR in New York. He studied computer science at Telecom ParisTech and Ecole Polytechnique.

Photograph Credit: Karl Largerfield

Cédric Charbit

Cédric Charbit

Chief Executive Officer

Cédric Charbit has been the Chief Executive Officer of Balenciaga since November 2016. Prior to this appointment, he worked at Yves Saint Laurent from 2012 to 2016 having joined as their product strategy director and later their merchandising director. In May 2016, he was named their executive VP of product and marketing. 
In 2009, Mr Charbit joined Yves Saint Laurent from Pucci in Italy, where he had held the position of associate purchasing director. He started his career in 2001 as a buyer with the luxury department of Primtemps, where he held various positions until he was appointed sales associate director. 
He is a graduate of the ESC Toulouse Business School.

Xia Ding

Xia Ding

President of JD Fashion

Xia Ding is President of the Fashion Business for e-commerce giant, China’s largest retailer. 

As  head  of  JD's  fast  growing  fashion  business,  Ms.  Ding  has  full  P&L responsibility  for  all  fashion categories, including apparel & shoes, sports, luxury, bags & watches, and accessories. She leads a team of 1,000+ people to drive business growth through building partnerships with global & local brands, formulating merchandising strategies on category mixes and fashion selections, as well as working with designers and fashion editors to ensure is the preferred fashion destination for choosy Chinese consumers.

Before joining JD in early 2017, Ms. Ding was vice president of Retail Solution at Nielsen, where she had responsibility for more than 700 online and offline retail accounts, including hypermarket chains, specialty stores and restaurants. In that role, she established strategic partnerships with global retailers and retail associations, and offered consulting services and solutions to improve retailers’ insights into Chinese shoppers and building their operational strengths.

Prior to joining Nielsen, She worked at HanesBrands Inc. for 20 years in both the US and China, serving as corporate VP and general manager of Hanes China, where she led the launch and growth of the Hanes and Champion brands.

Gabriela  Hearst

Gabriela Hearst

Founder and Creative Director
Gabriela Hearst

Born in Uruguay, Gabriela Hearst grew up on her family’s ranch surrounded by horses, cattle and sheep. Gabriela attended the British School in Montevideo and studied Communications at the O.R.T. University of Uruguay.

After more than a decade spent in design in New York, Gabriela honored her family’s heritage through the launch of her eponymous label in Fall 2015, as well as taking over the operations of her father’s ranch in Uruguay.

Gabriela wanted to create a brand that reflects a slower pace and process: where things are made with care and detail, where tradition is more important than trend, where there is a purpose to every piece.

Gabriela’s commitment is to make a strong and modern collection without compromising her ethics and key values, taking into consideration where materials come from and who is making them: luxury with a conscience or in other words, “honest luxury”.

Each garment is an item into which Gabriela can pour her desire — made with impeccable construction and uncompromising, noble materials. Together, they tell a story of the places she loves that made her who she is: Uruguay and New York. Combining the utilitarian and the beautiful, she wanted to design long-lasting garments that hold memories for the woman who wears them. She is a real woman, alluring and powerful, but there is much action in her life and these clothes are her uniform, her armor. 

She launched in 2016 her Nina Bag which started as a limited edition series bag and now has an extensive waiting list.

Gabriela is the winner of the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear and the 2018 recipient of the Pratt Institute Fashion Visionary Award.

She was nominated in 2017 for the CFDA Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent and in March 2018 received a nomination for the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year.

Harvey  Spevak

Harvey Spevak

Executive Chairman and Managing Partner
Equinox Holdings, Inc

Since 1999, Harvey Spevak has driven the creative vision and led the strategic growth of Equinox Fitness Clubs and its portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, first as CEO and President, and now as Executive Chairman and Managing Partner. 

In his role as Executive Chairman and Managing Partner, Mr. Spevak is responsible for fueling continued success, building long-term strategy and  identifying growth opportunities for Equinox Fitness Clubs, which currently operates 92 global locations in the United States, London, Toronto and Vancouver, and for the Company's portfolio of brands, which include SoulCycle, Blink Fitness, Pure Yoga, Equinox Hotels, PROJECT by Equinox and E by Equinox.

Mr. Spevak has been the driving force behind the recent announcement of Equinox Hotels, which will open its first location in New York City in 2019.  Conceived to offer an entirely new hotel experience to meet the needs of the high performance traveler, Equinox Hotels is poised for international growth.

Over the course of Mr. Spevak’s tenure, he has initiated several key strategic growth initiatives across the brand portfolio. In December 2000, as CEO, Mr. Spevak led a management buyout of Equinox to two private equity firms, North Castle Partners and J.W. Childs.  In 2006, the Related Companies—one of the nation’s most prestigious real estate development firms— acquired Equinox when he partnered with Related Chairman Stephen Ross and President Jeff Blau.

Mr. Spevak is also the Executive Chairman of SoulCycle, a rapidly growing lifestyle brand that empowers its riders in a community driven fitness experience. Equinox acquired SoulCycle in May of 2011 and currently has 86 studios around the U.S.   He also launched Blink Fitness in 2011, a brand of innovative, value oriented gyms, which now has 90 locations open or in development throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and California. Mr. Spevak also launched the first American outpost of Pure Yoga, Asia’s premiere yoga studio, which now has two locations in New York City.

Mr. Spevak is a member of the Ross School Advisory Board (RSAB) at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business. The RSAB plays an important role in helping craft the vision for the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and serves to redefine business education at the world’s best business school. He is also on the board at The Shed, New York City’s newest center for artistic invention located in Hudson Yards.

Mr. Spevak contributes to several charitable organizations including Cycle for Survival, of which Equinox is a founding partner.  He has been featured in numerous business, lifestyle and trade publications including the The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg News, CNBC and CNN. Spevak is a principal and board member of Motivate Bikeshare Holdings LLC, a global bike share operator, including Citi Bike in New York City.

Diego Della Valle

Diego Della Valle

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Tod's S.p.A

Diego Della Valle is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tod’s S.p.A.

Born in 1953, in Casette D’Ete, in the Italian region Marche, located on the Adriatic coast, in the center of Italy.

After studying law in Bologna and a brief spell working in the USA, in 1975 he joined his father in the family shoemaking business.

As well as gaining valuable knowledge of the shoe production process, Diego Della Valle also had a  leading role in determining the company strategy and in the creation of brands to identify the company’s products. He developed an innovative marketing plan, that became the model for the worldwide expansion of the family business, and this has since been followed by many others in the luxury goods industry.

Since October 2000, Diego Della Valle has been the President and CEO of Tod’s S.p.A., the new Group he founded. Tod’s S.p.A. is now quoted on the Milan stock exchange and is a world leader in the luxury accessories sector. Its brands include Tod’s, Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier.

In 1996 Diego Della Valle has been nominated Cavaliere del Lavoro (the highest honor the Italian Republic bestows for professional achievement) and in 2000 he has received a Honoris Causa Degree in Economics from the University of Ancona.

Diego Della Valle has been on the board of several companies including Ferrari, RCS e Assicurazioni Generali. Actually he is on the board of LVMH, the international group of luxury goods.

Together with his brother Andrea, Diego Della Valle is a shareholder of RCS, Piaggio, Cinecittà, Fondo Charme, NTV Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori, Fondazione Umberto Veronesi and also of the football club ACF Fiorentina.

Diego Della Valle is a member of the fundraising committee of the Umberto Veronesi Cancer Research Foundation and President of the Board of Directors of the Della Valle Foundation, a charity engaged in funding schooling for children.

Together with Tod’s Group, Diego Della Valle has financed the important project of restoration of the Colosseum.

Paul  Surridge

Paul Surridge

Creative Director
Roberto Cavalli
Nick  Brown

Nick Brown

Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner
Imaginary Ventures

Nick Brown is co-Founder and co-Managing Partner at Imaginary Ventures, a venture fund investing in early-stage opportunities at the intersection of retail and technology. Mr Brown is co-Founder alongside Natalie Massenet, previously founder of Net-A-Porter.

Prior to co-founding Imaginary, Mr Brown was a Partner at 14W Venture Partners from 2011 to 2017. 14W is a New York-based venture capital fund, focused on consumer technology in the e-commerce and fashion sectors.

Mr Brown has built a career around backing direct-to-consumer brands that are challenging the modus operandi of retail incumbents. Whilst at 14W he led the firm’s investments in the initial financing rounds for some of today’s most exciting direct-to-consumer brands including Glossier, Goop, Everlane, Reformation, Outdoor Voices, Moda Operandi, Business of Fashion, The Real Real.

He has a BA from Harvard University.

Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert

Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert

Italian Fashion Editor, Creative Director and Consultant

Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert is an Italian fashion editor, creative director and consultant to luxury brands on their products and imagery, based in New York City and Stockholm.

Born and raised in Milan, Engelbert began her fashion career at the age of 17. Since then, she has worked as a fashion editor at L’Uomo Vogue under then editor in chief Anna Dello Russo; contributed to the stable of Conde Nast’s international publications such as Vogue Paris, Vogue Germany and Vogue China, and ran Vogue Gioiello and Vogue Pelle with Franca Sozzani, a position she held from 2009-2011. She is currently the senior fashion editor at Vogue Japan and a contributing editor at W Magazine, for whom she styles fashion editorials regularly and also has a monthly column “Gio’s Journal,” chronicling her latest fashion and art discoveries. 

As a stylist, she imbues her work with a deep knowledge and love of historical and modern art, music, dance and film. Paired with her unerring contemporary eye, it is an aesthetic that has drawn commercial clients including Carolina Herrera, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Christian Dior, Fendi, Bulgari, Bottega Veneta, Nancy Gonzalez and Saks Fifth Avenue, who request Engelbert for everything from advertising campaigns and artistic design of their collections to runway show consultations, communications strategy and creative direction. 

Recognised for her uncanny ability to meld sophistication and playfulness, Engelbert has collaborated on a stunning array of editorials with noted photographers such as Peter Lindbergh, Patrick Demarchelier, Paolo Roversi, Tom Munro, Roe Ethridge, Boo George, Richard Burbridge, Karl Lagerfeld and Terry Richardson. 

In December 2017 Giovanna launched her own e-commerce platform;

November 2017 will see the release of Gio_graphy: Fun in Wild World of Fashion, an elegant and colorful autobiography cum style guide published by Rizzoli. A humorous and chic take on travel, fashion and living your most glamorous life, the book pre-launched in September in collaboration with New York luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman. The launch saw Giovanna design special window displays for the iconic Fifth Ave store, as well as designing a collection of exclusive t-shirts and curating her own pop-up store which hosted her book signing.

In 2013, Engelbert became the creative director of the lavish cabaret show Queen of the Night, which ran from 2013-2016 in the revamped Diamond Horseshoe nightclub at the Paramount Hotel. She has also been recognized by Vanity Fair, in 2015, as a member of its annual International Best Dressed list, in the category of “Professionals” and has been interviewed by and featured in such publications as the Financial Times, WSJ and Vogue. Most recently, Engelbert was commissioned by the American brand Tory Burch to create and direct a series of films pegged to the label’s collections. The first such endeavor resulted in over ten million views.  

Photo Credit: Chris Colls

Ulric Jerome

Ulric Jerome

Chief Executive Officer

Ulric Jerome is the Chief Executive Officer of MATCHESFASHION.COM, the leading global luxury fashion retailer for men and women. Mr Jerome also sits on the Board of Zooplus AG, a European online leader of pet supplies with close to €1 billion in sales.

Mr Jerome has also served on the Board of Paddy Power plc from 2012 to 2016, where he was appointed as a Non-Executive Director and additionally sat on the Nomination and Audit Committees.

He was a founding partner of, €1 billion pan-European online retailer, spanning more than 30 products categories with operations across 26 European countries; the business was sold to Dixons Retail in 2006.

Born in Paris, he studied in France before completing his degree in Economics in Montréal.

Alberto Galassi

Alberto Galassi

Chief Executive Officer
Ferretti Group

Alberto Galassi is Chief Executive Officer of the Ferretti Group, a world leader in the design, construction, and sale of motor yachts and ranging from 8 to 90 metres  with a portfolio of seven iconic Italian brands: Ferretti Yachts, Riva, Pershing, Itama, Mochi Craft, CRN and Custom Line. In addition, starting from February 2015, Ferretti Security & Defense has been created as the Group’s business division dedicated to naval platforms for security and patrol missions.

Alberto Galassi is an attorney at law specialized in International Commerce and Arbitration at the UCLA University. From 1995 to 1997 Alberto Galassi held the position of Board Member delegate to Sales and Marketing at Novico, an industry leader producing medical and healthcare equipment.

In 1998  Mr. Galassi became a member of the Piaggio Aero Industries’ Board of Directors, responsible for Marketing and Sales.  Piaggio Aero (now Piaggio Aerospace)  is  the only Italian private Company active both in  aircraft and aero engines, design, manufacturing and MRO. In 2008 Alberto Galassi  was appointed Chief Executive Officer  of the Company and  in 2014  has been named Chairman of Piaggio Aerospace.

In June 2012  Mr. Galassi joined the Board of Directors at Manchester City Football Club  winning its first championship in the same year, 2012.

In late 2013  Mr. Galassi was  selected by the Weichai Group to join  the Board of Directors of the Ferretti Group and in 2014 was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

Erdem Moralioglu

Erdem Moralioglu

Owner and Creative Director

Erdem Moralioglu is the Owner and Creative Director of Erdem. Established in London in 2005 the designer ready-to-wear brand, has come to be synonymous with versatile yet powerful femininity. Founder Mr Moralioglu trained at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London where he remained to launch the brand following his graduation. Known for his use of experimental textiles, vibrant prints, and detailed craftsmanship, Erdem has created a beautiful world of the delicate mixed with the bold.

Mr Moralioglu has received numerous accolades over the years, including the 2008 British Fashion Council’s Fashion Forward Award, the 2010 inaugural Vogue / British Fashion Council Designer Fashion Fund Award, the 2012 British Fashion Council’s New Establishment Award, the 2013 British Fashion Council’s Red Carpet Award, the 2014 British Fashion Council’s Womenswear Designer of the Year Award, the 2015 British Fashion Council’s Establishment Designer award and most recently the 2016 Fashion Group International Fashion Star Award.

Erdem is sold in over 170 of the most exclusive retailers, including Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Joyce, Dover Street Market, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. After launching an e-commerce store in 2014, the brand opened its debut flagship store in London’s Mayfair in August 2015.

Paul Andrew

Paul Andrew

Women’s Creative Director
Salvatore Ferragamo

British-born, New York based footwear and accessory designer, Paul Andrew, announced his eponymous line of women’s shoes for Spring 2013, followed by a line of men’s shoes for Fall 2016. The critical and commercial response to the brand has positioned Andrew as an innovative rising force within the footwear industry.

In September 2016, Andrew was names the first ever design director for women’s shoes at Salvatore Ferragamo.

In October 2017, he was appointed creative director for women’s ready-to-wear and accessories.

Long familiar with the rigor and discipline required to design for the world’s most discerning and fashionable consumers, Andrew cultivated his craft alongside iconic fashion designers such as Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Narciso Rodriguez and Alexander McQueen. With his wealth of experience and peerless manufacturing resources, Paul Andrew proposes a style and sensibility for his namesake collection that is uniquely his own: an aesthetic that is always refined and without severity using the finest materials and craftsmanship, ingenuity to maximize comfort and performance, and a singular, passionate approach to the modern shoe silhouette.

Paul Andrew has been honoured with several awards since launching his brand, including, “ Accessories Design of the Year” at the 2013 edition of “Who is on next?”, the 2013 “Launch of the Year” by Fairchild Publications and Footwear News, and the Top Honors of the 2014 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fun. In 2016, Andrew was awarded the CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Design, and the Ace Award for Launch of the Year for his men’s collection.

Marie-Claire Daveu

Marie-Claire Daveu

Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs

Marie-Claire Daveu was appointed Kering’s chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs in 2012, and is a member of the company’s executive committee. She is responsible for the continued development of Kering’s sustainability strategy and the direction of the Group’s institutional affairs. 

Ms Daveu joined the company from the public sector where she served as chief of staff to French politician Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, within the Ministry of Ecology and other areas from 2007 to 2012. Prior to this, Ms Daveu was senior director of sustainable development at Sanofi-Aventis Group in 2005. She was previously technical adviser to the cabinet of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Principal Private Secretary to Serge Lepeltier, Minister of Ecology and Sustainability.

A French national, she is a graduate of the French National Institute of Agronomy Paris-Grignon, the École Nationale du Génie Rural des Eaux et Forêts (National School of Rural Water and Forestry Engineering). She also earned a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées (diploma of specialised higher studies) in public administration from Dauphine University, Paris.

Photo credit: Christopher Sturman

Mario Monti

Mario Monti

President, Bocconi University;
former Italian Prime Minister; former EU Commisioner

Mario Monti is President of Bocconi University. Since February 2014 he has been Chairman of the High-level Group on Own Resources of the European Union (report delivered January 2017). He was Prime Minister of Italy (November 2011-April 2013) and Minister of Economy and Finance (November 2011-July 2012). In November 2011 he was appointed Senator for life by the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano. He served for ten years as a member of the European Commission, in charge of the Internal Market, Financial Services and Tax Policy (1995-1999), then of Competition (1999-2004). Born in Varese, Italy, in 1943, he graduated from Bocconi University and pursued graduate studies at Yale University.

Rachel Reavley

Rachel Reavley

President of Brand Strategy
Threads Styling

Rachel Reavley is President of Brand Strategy at Threads Styling. She is a highly experienced operator in the luxury fashion sector, consistently trailblazing the industry in publishing, content and commerce, brand and business building.

Across 17 years at Conde Nast, she became the Associate Publisher of British Vogue (leading the highest decade of revenue growth for the publication, launching the Vogue app and developing the successful Vogue Festival brand extension), as well as the award winning launch Associate Publisher of Glamour Magazine (establishing it as Europe’s largest selling women’s monthly magazine and developing the highly acclaimed inaugural Glamour Women of the Year Awards).

Ms Reavley then joined in 2013 to become the company’s first Group Publisher, launching and building a successful new media and publishing business globally (this covered 9 multimedia platforms including the launch of the world’s first, highly awarded, global and entirely shoppable luxury fashion magazine, Porter). She was nominated globally from across the industry as Publisher of the Year in 2015.
 She is now President Brand Strategy of Threads Styling, an innovative luxury social commerce business, the first of its kind to market. Rapidly developing this pioneering and bespoke luxury service that leverages technology, creativity and social media (their work has seen the business become a government nominated Future Fifty business and is ranked no 32 in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 in 2017).

She has a love for the creativity of the fashion industry as a whole, as well as of interior design, art and photography.

Marcoantonio Brandolini D'Adda

Marcoantonio Brandolini D'Adda

Owner and Creative Director

Born in Paris in 1991 from an Italian Father and a French Mother he was raised in the family home in Venice.
After studying in Switzerland and England he decided to go back to his roots and take over and expand LagunaB, the artistic glass company founded and run by his late mother Marie. 
He is been Creative Director of Laguna B since 2015 and president of AUTONOMA, the new educational creative factory in Murano.
Mr Brandolini D’Adda transformed the image of LagunaB infusing it with his own personality, keeping all the previous collections and trying to attract new generations into such an old tradition and style. 
He created new designs, new vessels exposed at David Gills Gallery and at Salone del Mobile. 
In September 2017, he had his first solo show at Alma Zevi Gallery, where he exposed his last glass sculptures.
His main objective is to preserve the island of Murano as a strong production asset for his beloved city Venice helping to raise awareness on its artistic heritage. 
It is because of the this that in 2016, in partnership with the US Based Pilchuck School of Glass he decided to established AUTONOMA, a creative factory that brings together the tradition and skills of the island with the creativity of the outsiders. 

Janey  Whiteside

Janey Whiteside

Executive Vice President & General Manger, Global Premium Products & Benefits
American Express

Janey Whiteside is the Executive Vice President & General Manager, Global Premium Products & Benefits at American Express.  She began her career at Amex 20 years ago, and her experience spans global markets, diverse customer segments, and marketing disciplines.  During her tenure, she has held marketing, product development/management, business development, sales and general management roles across international consumer, small business, network services, merchant services, travel & commercial payments. 

Ms Whiteside is widely regarded as a first-class marketer, product innovator, and incredible leader who inspires and empowers her teams to drive results. Known for her decisive, forward-looking and customer-first approach, Janey has established a strong followership and acts as a mentor and champion for people inside Amex as well as across the global marketing community.  She was recently named one of Luxury Daily’s “Luxury Women to Watch” in 2018, as well as one of Ad Age’s “Women to Watch” and Brand Innovators’ “Top 100 Women in Brand Marketing” in 2017.

As a mother of two small boys, she is committed to teaching her children the importance of giving back.  An advocate for underprivileged and underserved communities, she leads by example through her work with local organisations including Citizens Schools and Gods Love We Deliver, and serves on the board of directors for the American Red Cross Greater New York chapter.

Ms Whiteside is extremely passionate about helping entrepreneurs and actively mentors several small businesses.  She recently joined the Advisory Board for Hella Company (Brooklyn, NY) and is actively involved in helping with the business’s marketing strategy & development.  

Luca di Montezemolo

Luca di Montezemolo

President, NTV;
former Chairman, FIAT and Ferrari

Mr Montezemolo is Chairman, founder and main shareholders of NTV (Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori), first European private high-speed railway company which this year transported 15 million passengers.

He is also President of Telethon, the main Italian charity that aims to fund research on genetic diseases, and Chairman of Charme Capital Partners, international fund of Private Equity.

His career started in the seventies as Enzo Ferrari Assistant and Team Manager of the racing team. From 1992 to2015 he has been Chairman and CEO of Ferrari winning 19 World Drivers and Constructors Formula One Championship and leading the company to the highest levels in the design, in the industrial production and in the competitions.

He served as Chairman of Fiat Group from 2004 to 2010 and as President of Confindustria from 2004 to 2008.

He was the owner of Acqua di Parma Parfum and he has served for a long time as a member of the Board of Kering and Tod’s.

He has been also General Director of the Organizing Committee of the 1990 Italian World Cup Football Championship and President of FIEG (Italian Newspaper Publishers Association).

He is a Cavaliere del Lavoro and in 2008 the President of the French Republic awarded him the title of Commandeur de a Légion d’Honneur.

In 2002 was elected “man of the year” by “The Automobile”, the most important US automobile magazine and by “Autocar” in the UK. He was nominated by “Financial Times” as one of the fifty best managers in the world in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and “European Manager of the Year” for 2012 by the European Business Press Federation (EBP).

On 2015 he has been inducted in the Automotive Hall of Fame of Detroit, the international most prestigious award of this sector, for his significant impact on the automotive industry.

He was awarded with honorary degrees in Engineering and Industrial Design by many universities.

Luigi de Vecchi

Luigi de Vecchi

Chairman of Continental Europe for Corporate and Investment Banking

Luigi de Vecchi is Chairman of Continental Europe for Corporate and Investment Banking at Citigroup since 2013.

Previously he was Co-Head of Global Investment Banking at Credit Suisse from 2009 to 2012; CEO of Credit Suisse Group Italy from 2007 to 2010 and Head of Credit Suisse Italian Investment Banking from 2004 to 2007.

Luigi de Vecchi was also a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs between 1998 and 2004 and at Kleinwort Benson between 1989 and 1998, where he held various positions in London, Brazil and New York.

Mr de Vecchi is an Advisor to the Board of Ambienta SgR, a European private equity fund focused on the environmental sector of which he was also a Board member from 2012 to 2015 and also sits in the International Board of the CalArts University in Los Angeles and the International Board of the L.U.I.S.S. University in Rome.

Mr de Vecchi has been Chairman (from 2008 to 2010) and Board Member (from 2005 to 2010) of Progetto Itaca, a nonprofit organization specialized in mental disability. 

He graduated in Business Studies and Economics from the L.U.I.S.S. University in Rome where he currently lectures a course in M&A and Investment Banking.

Mr de Vecchi is married with Livia and has 3 children, Viola, Fiamma and Niccolò.

Elio  Milantoni

Elio Milantoni

Partner - Head of M&A Advisory

Elio joined Deloitte in 1998 he is Partner and Head of the M&A Advisory of Deloitte Financial Advisory. He is member of the Global Corporate Finance Advisory Executive Committee of Deloitte and he also leads the European Corporate Finance Consumer Business Team.

As partner of the Corporate Finance practice, Elio has a wide experience in the field of Mergers & Acquisitions.

He has assisted national and international primary players, both Corporate and Private Equity, with a focus in consumer goods, manufacturing and industrial sectors.

Elio holds a degree in Economics and a Master in Business Administration. In addition he has a Corporate Finance Qualification (CF) - Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

He is also member of the Italian Institute of Chartered Accountants (Albo dei Dottori Commercialisti) of Milan and member of the Register of Technical Consultants of the Court of Milan.

Marco De Benedetti

Marco De Benedetti

Managing Director, The Carlyle Group
Co-Head, Carlyle Europe Partners

Marco De Benedetti joined Carlyle in 2005 and is currently a Managing Director and Co-head of Carlyle’s European Buyout Group, particularly focusing on the telecommunications and branded consumer goods sectors. Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. De Benedetti was the Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Italia. Mr. De Benedetti was the Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Italia Mobile from 1999 until its merger with Telecom Italia.

Mr. De Benedetti currently also serves on the boards of directors of Moncler SpA, Twin-Set Simona Barbieri SpA, Marelli Motori SpA, Comdata SpA, Logoplaste SA, Golden Goose srl, IRCA SpA, CIR SpA, Cofide SpA and GEDI S.p.A.

Edoardo Caovilla

Edoardo Caovilla

Creative Director and Owner
René Caovilla

Edoardo Caovilla is the Creative Director and Owner of René Caovilla representing the third generation running the company. After studying finance and business administration, he gained his first relevant experiences in the financial and private equity fields. In 2004, he established his own company that is still operating in the industry of renewable energies and industrial waste management. At the end of 2009 he entered the company as C.O.O. and in 2012 has been appointed as Creative Director of the brand. While working along his father, Edoardo is taking the reins of the company through a decisive transition in order to lead the René Caovilla brand towards new successes. His mission has always been rooted in the idea of taking a shoe company to the level of worldwide luxurious accessory brand for the female market. In the last 6 years the sales numbers have sharply risen up with 35-40 % each year, and in 2015 the turnover percentages increased to a 35% reaching more than 40 Million euros per year. In 2015, the direct retail channels achieved an average of €50-55.000 per square meters. Staying true to roots of the brand, while also maintaining and evolving the DNA of the brand, Edoardo Caovilla is pushing René Caovilla forward in the worldwide development of the stores’ network through multiple franchise openings; he is enhancing the selected brand presence in the wholesale channel and capitalizing the enormous opportunities given by globalization. The export activities currently account for 90% of the sales, equally divided into the US, Middle East and Asian markets. With creativity running in his blood, like his father René Fernando who launched the brand in the 50s, Edoardo creates precious styles while also adding a cool and contemporary touch. He is stretching the products range by reinforcing the importance of bags with the aim of introducing new categories such as bijoux in the near future.

Michael Riad

Michael Riad

Creative Director and Co-Owner

Michael Riad is the Co-Owner of Fortuny Fabrics. Along with his brother Maury Riad, the family has been dedicated to protecting and nurturing the Fortuny legacy they were entrusted with. The brothers have served at the helm of this heritage brand for over 20 years, with Mickey as creative director and Maury as business and financial director after taking over operations of the Venetian textile company from their father in the mid-1990s. Together, they brought the 100-year-old firm online and into modernity, expanding design, sales and distribution. Against all odds, they grew and reshaped the business while keeping Fortuny’s soul intact. Fortuny textiles continue to be produced in the original factory on the island of Giudecca in Venice, on the original machines and using the same secret process and techniques as developed by Mariano Fortuny over a century ago.

Philipp  Gajzer

Philipp Gajzer

Managing Director
Move Now Luxury Brokers & Advisors

Philipp Gajzer is Managing Director of Move Now Luxury Brokers & Advisors and Managing Director of Move Now Commercial Brokers a German based company that provides transaction services for luxury retail real estate and advises some of the top players in the luxury market. After studying Medicine and Law in Frankfurt and Heidelberg Universities, Mr Gajzer co-founded the company in 2003 and led its international growth, with the company currently operating in Europe, Asia and US, procuring only in premium locations such as Avenue Montaigne in Paris, Bond Street in London, Canton Road in Hong Kong, Nanjing Xi Lu in Shanghai and Madison Avenue in New York. He works with the world’s most prestigious luxury brands, including Giorgio Armani, Bottega Veneta, Jimmy Choo, Harry Winston, Loro Piana and Prada.

Tina Edmundson

Tina Edmundson

Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader
Marriott International

Tina Edmundson is Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader at Marriott International. In this role, Ms Edmundson oversees 30 diverse and experiential hotel brands, including a prestigious luxury portfolio that encompasses eight of the world’s most desirable and coveted luxury hotel brands; The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, BVLGARI Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, EDITION, The Luxury Collection, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts and W Hotels Worldwide.

Ms Edmundson plays a central role in the future development and sustainability of the company’s 30 hotel brands around the globe by re-defining and executing innovative, industry-leading and cutting-edge global brand strategies for the company’s expanded portfolio.

Working closely with the company's global development team, Ms Edmundson is setting a new industry standard for creativity and innovation in experiential luxury and lifestyle travel. She plays a crucial role in helping ensure that each brand remains culturally relevant and resonates with the diverse and evolving mindsets of affluent guests around the world.

Edgar Huber

Edgar Huber

Global President
COTY Luxury

Edgar Huber is President of Coty Luxury and a member of the Executive Committee. He oversees the division globally, which comprises the most powerful and contemporary-relevant portfolio in the luxury fragrance market (Calvin Klein, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Chloé, Bottega Veneta, Miu Miu, Tiffany, Davidoff, Joop, Jil Sander, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Lacoste, Stella McCartney, Cerruti, Roberto Cavalli and Escada), as well as the holistic skincare brand philosophy and the anti-aging and suncare premium expert, Lancaster. He is responsible for brand performance across all regions and distribution channels, including travel retail.
Edgar is an accomplished executive with over 25 years of experience in building global brands across the beauty and fashion industry. He spent 15 years at L'Oréal, the majority of which was in the L'Oréal Luxury Products Division, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, ultimately serving as President of the Division in the U.S. and Europe. Most recently he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Lands’ End, where he was responsible for driving growth and profit opportunities across all aspects of the business, and which was successfully introduced to the stock exchange in April 2014. Edgar began his career at Mars Inc. as a brand manager.
Edgar holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Vienna University of Economics and Business), Austria. In addition, he completed the International Management Program at HEC (Haute Etudes Commerciales) in Jouy-en-Josas, France and the CEDEP (General Management Program) at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.


FT Contributors (7)

Jo Ellison

Jo Ellison

Fashion Editor
Financial Times

Jo Ellison is fashion editor of the Financial Times and editorial coordinator of the FT’s annual Business of Luxury conference.

Ellison is the author of Vogue: The Gown, an overview of evening dresses in British Vogue over the last century. In 2013 she was named Features Writer of the Year by the Fashion Monitor Journalism Awards.

As features director at British Vogue between 2008 and 2014, Ellison wrote and commissioned the title’s main features and interviews for both the magazine and website, across topics including food, beauty, politics and health. She is a former features editor at the Independent and started her career at the Irish Examiner. She holds an MA in History from the University of Edinburgh.

Lionel  Barber

Lionel Barber

Financial Times

Lionel Barber has been editor of the Financial Times since November 2005. In his 32 years with the FT he has been US managing editor, editor of the European edition, news editor, Brussels bureau chief and Washington correspondent. In 2017 he was awarded the Legion d'Honneur for his contribution to journalism.

Martin Wolf CBE

Martin Wolf CBE

Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator
Financial Times

Martin Wolf is Chief Economics Commentator and an Associate Editor at the Financial Times. He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2000 “for services to financial journalism”. He was a member of the UK government’s Independent Commission on Banking between June 2010 and September 2011. His book The Shifts and the Shocks: What We’ve Learned—and Have Still to Learn—from the Financial Crisis was published by Penguin in 2014.


Mr Wolf is an honorary fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford University, Corpus Christi College, Oxford University and King’s College, London. In 2014, he was made a University Global Fellow of Columbia University, New York and a Senior Fellow in Global Economic Policy at its School of International Public Affairs. He is a member of the International Media Council of the World Economic Forum.


Mr Wolf was joint winner of the Wincott Foundation senior prize for excellence in financial journalism for 1989 and again for 1997. He won the RTZ David Watt memorial prize for 1994 and the “Commentator of the Year” award at the Business Journalist of the Year Awards of 2008. He was placed 15th in Foreign Policy’s list of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers” in December 2009 and the “Ludwig Erhard Prize for economic commentary” for 2009. He won “Commentariat of the Year 2009” at the Comment Awards, the 33rd Ischia International Journalism Prize in 2012 and the Overseas Press Club of America’s prize for “best commentary on international news in any medium” for 2013.


Mr Wolf is also the author of Why Globalization Works (Yale University Press, 2004) and Fixing Global Finance (Washington D.C: Johns Hopkins University Press, and London: Yale University Press, 2008 and 2010). China Business News named Fixing Global Finance its “Financial Book of the Year” for 2009.

Mr Wolf was educated at Oxford University.

Gillian de Bono

Gillian de Bono

Editor, How To Spend It and Assistant Editor,
Financial Times

Gillian de Bono joined the Financial Times in 1994 to set up a magazine department following the success of a trial issue of How To Spend It for FT Weekend. Previously, she spent 13 years launching, relaunching and editing women’s glossy magazines.

Ms de Bono spent her formative journalist years at Consumers Association, publishers of Which? magazine where, as a writer, she won the first Rosemary Goodchild Award in 1986 for the year’s best article on women’s health.

She has received three British Society of Magazine Editors awards – as Launch Editor of the Year in 1986 for Essentials magazine and as Newspaper Magazine Editor of the Year in 1999 and 2004 for How To Spend It. How To Spend It was voted Colour Supplement of the Year at The 2017 Newsawards, the fifteenth time the magazine has won this award. How To Spend It is also the only colour supplement to have won all three major industry awards in a single year: The British Press Awards 2004, the British Society of Magazine Editors 2004 and The 2004 Newspaper Awards.

Ms de Bono is also editor of which was voted Best Lifestyle Website in the 2014 Lovie Awards and Best Lifestyle/Leisure News Site, The 2015 Drum Online Media Awards.

Angela Mackay

Angela Mackay

Global Publisher, FT Live and Managing Director Asia Pacific
Financial Times

Angela Mackay is Global Publisher of FT Live and Managing Director of FT Asia Pacific. Based in Hong Kong, she is a member of the FT’s global board. In Asia Pacific, Ms Mackay focuses on developing the group’s significant potential across the region. This includes, the mainland's leading foreign-owned, Chinese-language news site, as well as the FT's burgeoning executive education business.

As Global Publisher for FT Live, Ms Mackay leads business and strategy development for events, membership and communities, such as 125 Forum and the Non-Executive Directors (NED) programmes. The FT stages more than 200 events around the world annually. Ms Mackay joined the FT in 2003 on its editorial team, serving as the Asia investment editor for two years.

Before joining the FT, she was Asia editor for Sunday Business from 1998 to 2001. Her previous roles include editor at The Economist Group, supervising producer at CNBC, deputy news editor at The Times in London, and UK correspondent for the Australian Financial Review.

Ms Mackay is a non-executive director of the FT/IE Corporate Learning Alliance, and a board member of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, Asian Youth Orchestra and the Sovereign Art Foundation. She holds a BA in English Literature and an LLB, and was admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia.

John Ridding

John Ridding

Chief Executive Officer
Financial Times Group

John Ridding is the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Times Group, a role he has held for the past 10 years. Under his stewardship the FT has expanded its global operations, successfully scaled and transformed its core business and acquired a number of companies that support its multichannel strategy including Money-Media, Medley Global Advisors, Exec-Appointments, Assanka (renamed FT Labs), Alpha Grid and most recently Longitude.

He managed the acquisition of the FT by Nikkei in 2015, a merger than has been completed smoothly to create a global news media leader. He also serves as a Special Executive Director of Nikkei. He is co-chair of Nikkei’s Digital Strategy Committee and sits on Nikkei’s Global Investment Committee.
During his tenure the FT has built its reputation for quality global news and analysis and digital transformation. The FT now attracts the largest paying readership in its 129-year history, with two-thirds of its readership now coming from digital channels and a growing presence in video and social media. It has won a series of awards for its strategy and its coverage and is recognised as an industry leader in innovation and communications.

Mr Ridding has been at the FT for 29 years, including leadership roles in editorial, business and at the FT’s former parent company, Pearson, where he was President of Pearson Professional, a division of the global education business. He was a member of Pearson’s executive board, and also served as President of Pearson in Asia, over-seeing the group’s regional education strategy. He launched the Corporate Learning Alliance in partnership with IE of Spain and the FT125, a leadership forum now complemented by a forum for women in business.

Prior to his Pearson role, Mr Ridding was the editor and publisher of the Financial Times in Asia. He led the launch of the FT’s Asia edition in 2003, steering it to a series of commercial and editorial successes. He also led the development of the FT’s Chinese language website, which now has more than 2m users and is the leading international source of business news in China. He launched a number of training and educational initiatives in the region.

During his career at the FT, Mr Ridding has held a variety of senior positions in both editorial and business departments, including deputy editor, managing editor, Asia editor, Paris correspondent and Korea correspondent. Before joining the FT, he worked at Oxford Analytica, heading the economics and Asia Pacific desks.

Rachel Sanderson

Rachel Sanderson

Milan Correspondent
Financial Times

Rachel Sanderson has written about Italian business, finance, fashion, politics and culture for the Financial Times since September 2010. She has broken some of the biggest corporate stories in Italy from LVMH’s buyout of Bulgari to Italy’s multibillion bank bail out plan. She was the first foreign newspaper reporter to interview Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Rachel is an alumna of Reuters and Breakingviews and graduate of Cambridge University.


Agenda - 20th May

  • 6:30pm
    Welcome Reception

    Hosted by John Ridding, Chief Executive Officer, Financial Times

    Venue: Palazzo Grassi

    Dress code: Business casual

Agenda - 21st May

  • 8:00am

    Venue: Hilton Molino Stucky Venice

    Dress code: Business

  • 9:00am
    Welcome address

    Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times

  • 9:05am
    Mrs Tee: Activism, disruption and politics

    Fashion’s most fearless disruptor and resurgent fashion superstar, Katharine Hamnett, Fashion Designer of Katharine Hamnett London, looks back at her controversial career with Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times

  • 9:35am
    The economic outlook

    Mario Monti, President, Bocconi University; former Italian Prime Minister and former Member of the European Commission
    talks with Martin Wolf, CBE, Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

  • 10:20am
    Smart luxury: Innovation, communication and differentiation

    How are luxury brands developing to make themselves relevant in the 21st century? What different strategies are brands adopting and what are the success stories so far?

    Gabriela Hearst, Founder, Gabriela Hearst
    Edgar Huber, Global President, COTY Luxury
    Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs, Kering 
    talk with Jo Ellison, Fashion Editor, Financial Times

  • 11:00am
  • 11:30am
    Venice and the luxury renaissance

    The creatives reinvigorating and recharging Venice as a centre of craft.
    Edoardo Caovilla, Creative Director and Owner, René Caovilla
    Marcantonio Brandolini, Owner and Creative Director, LagunaB
    Michael Riad, Creative Director and Co-Owner, Fortuny 
    Alberto Galassi, Chief Executive Officer, Ferretti Group
    in discussion with Rachel Sanderson, Milan Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 12:15pm
    Keynote address and conversation

    Diego Della Valle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Tod’sS.p.A.
    in conversation with Rachel Sanderson, Milan Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 12:45pm
  • 2:00pm
    Dolce & Gabbana: Unfiltered

    The renowned designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been at the forefront of disrupting the industry norms. From putting bloggers on front rows, to their millennial shows and their Alta Moda couture spectacles, everything they do is done in their own unique style. The designers discuss their lives in fashion with Jo Ellison, Fashion Editor of the Financial Times

  • 2:40pm
    Case study: Luxury in transit

    Alexandre Arnault, Chief Executive Officer, Rimowa
    talks with Jo Ellison, Fashion Editor, Financial Times

  • 3:00pm
    What’s next? How to harness the Gen Z economy

    Millennial spending is driving luxury growth. Wellness, health, travel and experience are the new buzz words.  Who has cracked the market and how can we adapt to the new consumer spending habits.

    Nick Brown, Founder, Imaginary Ventures
    Harvey Spevak, Executive Chairman and Managing Partner, Equinox Holdings
    Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International
    talk with Jo Ellison, Fashion Editor, Financial Times

  • 3:35pm
  • 3:55pm
    The evolution of luxury spending

    As a leader in the premium card industry and with a global base of affluent Card Members, American Express will leverage its unique data and insights to share the top emerging trends around how, where and why consumers are spending in the luxury space today and beyond.

    Janey Whiteside, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Global Premium Products & Benefits, American Express

  • 4:15pm
    How we shop now

    What does the luxury consumer want from their retail experience, what’s changing and what will the store of the future look like?

    Ulric Jerome, Chief Executive Officer, MATCHESFASHION.COM
    Rachel Reavley, Vice President of Brand Strategy, Threads Styling
    Xia Ding, President of International Fashion,
    Stephanie Watine-Arnault, Founder, Clos19
    talks with Jo Ellison, Fashion Editor, Financial Times

  • 4:50pm
    The changing landscape of luxury retail

    Philipp Gajzer Managing Director, MoveNow reveals the latest trends in the luxury retail industry.

  • 5:00pm
    Erdem: Staying independent - looking forward

    Over a decade into launching his own business Erdem Moralioglu, Owner and Creative Director of Erdem is the name on everyone’s lips when it comes to elegant feminine styles, he talks with Jo Ellison, Fashion Editor, Financial Times on his visions for the future.

  • 5:30pm
    Closing remarks
  • 7:00pm
    Summit Reception and Dinner

    Venue: Belmond Hotel Cipriani

    Dress code: Evening wear

  • 11:00pm
    After Party

    Venue: Skyline Bar, Hilton Molino Stucky

    Dress code: Evening wear

Agenda - 22nd May

  • 9:30am
    It’s all about G

    The stylist, fashion icon and creative consultant on modern branding and why luxury has got personal.

    Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert, Italian Fashion Editor, Creative Director and Consultant
    in conversation with Lionel Barber, Editor, Financial Times

  • 10:00am
    New creatives, new narrative, new luxury: The revolution within

    Paul Andrew, Women’s Creative Director, Salvatore Ferragamo and Paul Surridge, Creative Director, Roberto Cavalli discuss taking on creative leaderships at major Italian houses at a point of transition with Jo Ellison, Fashion Editor, Financial Times

  • 10:40am
    Luxury’s next big deals

    A panel of renowned deal-makers discuss where the next industry big deals will come from and the outlook for the future.

    Luigi de Vecchi, Chairman of Continental Europe for Corporate and Investment Banking, Citigroup 
    Elio Milantoni, Partner, Head of M&A Advisory, Deloitte
    Marco De Benedetti, Managing Director and Co-Head of Carlyle’s European Buyout, The Carlyle Group
    in discussion with Rachel Sanderson, Milan Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 11:30am
  • 12:00pm
    Fast cars, fast trains, fast fashion – but why evergreen luxury will win the race

    Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, President, NTV; former Chairman, FIAT and Ferrari
    in conversation with Gillian de Bono, Editor, How To Spend It

  • 12:35pm
    The hottest brand in fashion

    Cédric Charbit, Chief Executive Officer, Balenciaga
    in conversation with Jo Ellison, Fashion Editor, Financial Times

  • 1:15pm
    Close of summit & lunch

Who Attends?

The FT Business of Luxury Summit attracts senior luxury sector executives, corporate decision-makers and financiers from around the world including Chairmen, CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, CTOs, Presidents and Managing Directors from the following industries:

  • Fashion
  • Retail
  • Jewellery
  • Motor
  • Yacht Manufacturing
  • Watches
  • Technology Companies
  • Private Equity
  • Investment Banking
  • Private Banking
  • Investment / Asset Management
  • Architecture / Construction
  • Luxury Hotels
  • Luxury Residential Property
  • Auctioneering
  • Yacht Broking
  • Arts
  • Credit Card Companies
  • Film
  • Shopping Malls
  • Advertising / Marketing
  • Design Consultancies

Why Sponsor?

Affiliate with the Financial Times and the premier business event in the calendar for senior executives in the global luxury sector, positioning your brand alongside it. The FT runs many ads (on average we tend to run 40+ ads each year), promoting the summit, all carrying sponsor branding, which also appears on all direct-mail campaigns and other marketing material. Advertisements for the event also appear on and in media partner publications which have included FT Deutschland, Nikkei, Women’s Wear Daily, Les Echos, Monocle and Vogue as well as many regional newspapers and business magazines.

A rare opportunity to meet, influence and network with an exclusive audience of 400+ C-level and other senior executives in the global luxury goods and services market, who, with access to millions of their own high net worth customers could be future marketing partners or collaborators for any company also targeting this elusive affluent group. For suppliers of products and services to the luxury sector, we offer you a highly targeted audience of business decision-makers.

All delegates are high net worth individuals themselves, who travel in luxury and buy luxury goods and services. They are also important opinion leaders on what’s new in luxury and are highly influential.

For more information, please contact:

Craig Bethell
Tel: +44 (0) 207 873 4110



Hilton Molino Stucky Venice
Giudecca 810
Venice 30133


Belmond Hotel Cipriani
Giudecca 10
Venice 30133


Palazzo Grassi
Campo San Samuele 3231
Venice 30124


Skyline Bar, Hilton Molino Stucky
Giudecca 810
Venice 30133




Airport transportation

The nearest international airport to the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is: Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE)

Rail transportation

The nearest train station to the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is: Venice Santa Lucia

Private transfers

To book private boat transfers contact Ingrid at Mizar Conventions: Phone: +39 3311741926

Rates are:

To/from Santa Lucia station and Hilton (1 way)

€80,00 (1 person boat) - €145,00 (10 person boat)  

To/from Venice Marco Polo airport and Hilton (1 way) 

€145,00 (1 person boat) - €210,00 (10 person boat)  

For those who have pre-booked their transfer, we will have a FT Business of Luxury Summit welcome desk at the airport, located on your left as you enter Arrivals.

Transfer time is approximately 40-45 minutes (to/from airport and Hilton) or 10 minutes (to/from Santa Lucia station and Hilton).

Note that for those arriving on Sunday 20 May the airport transfer will be by car to Piazzale Roma, then by boat to the Hilton. This is due to the annual Vogalonga race through the city and lagoon of Venice. This shouldn't affect the transfer time.

Public transportation 

Hilton provides a shuttle service between Giudecca Hilton pier, Zattere pier and San Marco pier; click here to download the summer 2018 timetable. 

There are also 24-hour public waterbuses; click here for the summer timetables.

Summit attendee transportation

The following transportation is included for registered Summit attendees:

Sunday 20 May

Welcome Reception

18:30 - 20:30 | Palazzo Grassi, Campo San Samuele 3231, Venice 30124

Fully escorted private boats will depart from Hilton Molino Stucky from 18:00 - 19:00.

At the end of the Reception return boat transportation will be provided to Hilton Molino Stucky.

Monday 21 May

Summit Reception and Dinner

19:00 - 22:30 | Belmond Hotel Cipriani, Giudecca 10, Venice 30133

Fully escorted private boats will depart from Hilton Molino Stucky from 18:30 - 19:30.

At the end of the Dinner we will provide return boat transportation back to Hilton Molino Stucky. 

Click here to view the map

Capture.PN2 lux mapG



Ticket Type



 Early Bird Summit Ticket (Ends 16 March 2018)


Standard Summit Ticket




Financial Times has arranged very special rates for Summit attendees at the host hotel, Hilton Molino Stucky Venice:

€ 317 King deluxe room - single

€ 350 King deluxe room - double

Rates are inclusive of Hilton buffet breakfast, wifi and taxes (10%).

Rates are exclusive of Venice City Tax @ € 5 per person per night.

Special rates for other room categories are available.

Rooms are on hold for FT Business of Luxury Summit delegates for the nights of 20 and 21 May (subject to availability).Rates are also available for the shoulder nights of 17, 18, 19, 22, 23 and 24 May but availability is now very limited.

Please book via our dedicated link

Note that rates are only guaranteed for reservations made before Sunday 13 May and rooms are subject to availability.

Accommodation enquiriesEvent OfficeHilton Molino Stucky


Contact Us

Toby Barran
Delegate Booking and Registration Enquiries
Financial Times
Catherine Goacher
Media and press enquiries
Financial Times
Craig Bethell
Sponsorship Opportunities
Financial Times
Diana Whittington
Speaking Opportunities
Financial Times
Amy Brazewell
Marketing Manager
Financial Times

In association with (1)

Michel Dyens & Co. is a leading independent investment banking firm focused on mergers and acquisitions in luxury, beauty, spirits and premium branded consumer goods. With headquarters in New York and Paris, Michel Dyens & Co. has closed numerous landmark deals in luxury and premium brands. Michel Dyens & Co. acted as exclusive financial advisor in such luxury goods deals as the ultra-premium Grey Goose vodka brand in the sale to Bacardi, the iconic American high jewelry brand Harry Winston in the sale to Aber Diamond Corporation, Boucheron to Kering and the haute horlogerie watch brand Hublot to LVMH.

Among other transactions, Michel Dyens & Co. has recently closed the deal in whichthe ultra-luxury fragrance brand By Kilian was sold to Estée Lauder; an interest in the Korean skincare brand Dr. Jart+ was bought by Estée Lauder; the largest independent hair color and hair care company in Brazil, Niely Cosmeticos, sold to L’Oréal; and the luxury furniture and interior architecture brand Liaigre was sold to Symphony International, a London-listed, investment company.

Other transactions include the sale of John Frieda Professional Hair Care and Molton Brown, the luxury bath and body products maker, when each was acquired by Kao Corporation of Japan, and the ultra-premium luxury liqueur St. Germain in the sale of the brand to Bacardi.

Diamond sponsor (1)

Move now commercial brokers deliver custom made transaction services for luxury retail real estate on three continents.
Wir realisieren selbst für komplexeste Anforderungen bei Transaktionen von Miet- und Kaufverträgen in Retail-Luxuslagen passgenaue Ergebnisse auf drei Kontinenten.
Nous proposons un service personnalisé pour les transactions immobilières commerciales de luxe sur trois continents.
Forniamo servizi personalizzati per transazioni immobiliari per il luxury retail in tre continenti. 
Мы предоставляем персональные услуги по сделкам с элитной недвижимостью на трех континентах. 

Platinum sponsor (1)

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on, and

Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cardsbusiness credit cardsPlenti rewards programtravel servicesgift cardsprepaid cardsmerchant servicesAccertifycorporate cardbusiness travel and corporate responsibility.

Gold sponsor (3)

Ferretti Group is a world leader in the design, construction, and sale of motor yachts and vessels, with a unique portfolio of prestigious and exclusive brands: Ferretti Yachts, Riva, Pershing, Itama, Mochi Craft, CRN, and Custom Line.

The Ferretti Group can boast 5 modern shipyards located across Italy, which combine the efficiency of industrial production with world-class craftsmanship and the heritage of Italy's centuries-old yachting tradition.

Established in 1968, the Group is also present in the USA – through its subsidiary Ferretti Group America and in Asia, through its subsidiary Ferretti Group Asia Pacific Ltd. Moreover, a network of more than 60 selected dealers guarantees the Group’s presence in over 80 countries.

The Ferretti Group has always been a leader in the pleasure boating industry, thanks to steady product and process innovation and the constant search for cutting-edge technological solutions. The wide range of available boats – flybridge, runabout, open, coupé, lobster boats, maxi and mega-yachts – is conceived by the Group's Product Strategy Committee fully committed to developing aesthetic and functionally innovative solutions, working in close cooperation with internationally renowned consulting boat designers.

This is why the Ferretti Group's boats have always been known for their high levels of quality, safety, and outstanding performance at sea, as well as for the exclusivity of their design and the timeless appeal which make them so recognizable around the world.

Deloitte is one of the world’s leading professional services organisations with approximately 245,000 professionals in more than 150 countries and territories. Deloitte’s deep understanding of the issues and trends affecting retail businesses enable us to provide fully integrated and sector-focused teams working across audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services. Deloitte is at the forefront of providing solutions that maximise value for our clients to ensure competitive advantage enabling them to make informed and effective decisions.

INTISARS is a fine jewellery brand founded by Sheikha Intisar AlSabah, a princess of the royal AlSabah family of Kuwait. INTISARS brings together Sheikha Intisar’s proud love for her Arabian heritage and Italian Craftsmanship to create jewellery that serves as Meaningful Reminders of Love. With collections crafted in Valenza, Italy using 18 karat gold and ethically sourced diamonds, all of INTISARS designs are created in a limited series of 50 pieces only. Available for purchase at exclusive trunk shows, and with a limited collection online, INTISARS is the perfect memento for women looking to connect with their jewellery on a more intrinsic level.

Silver sponsor (1)

Natural Fur – the responsible Choice.

Natural fur is a contemporary material with rich heritage that appeals to designers and consumers of all ages. It is a clean, sustainable fashion material with less impact on landfills and oceans than plastic fur. 

The fur sector is responsible and highly regulated with welfare and sustainability at the core of its operations. The industry generates millions of jobs; from farming in rural communities to design and skilled craftsmen in fashion cities across the globe. 

To find out more about this natural material and the responsible fur industry, visit

Bronze sponsor (1)

DFS Group is the world’s leading luxury travel retailer, offering its customers a carefully curated selection of exceptional products from over 700 of the most desired brands, through duty free stores located in 11 major global airports and 20 downtown T Galleria locations. DFS is privately held and majority owned by the world’s largest luxury conglomerate LVMH, alongside DFS co-founder and shareholder Robert Miller. 

Welcome Reception Sponsor (1)

Secoo Holding Limited (“Secoo”) is Asia’s largest integrated online and offline shopping platform for premium products and services. Since our inception in 2008, we have attracted a large and loyal client base of more than 18M registered customers with high purchasing power and an increasing propensity to purchase luxury products and services. Secoo had gross sales of more than $800m in 2017, up 51% from 2016.

We provide a wide selection of fully authenticated upscale products, offering more than 300,000 SKUs, covering over 3,000 global and domestic brands and, since 2014, high-end lifestyle services. Our online platform is complemented with 10 offline experience centres or theme experience stores in China and overseas.

Breakfast Seminar sponsor (1)

Humans of Fashion Foundation is a NGO to address and prevent sexual harassment, abuse, misconduct and assault in the fashion industry. The Humans of Fashion Foundation aims to achieve this by providing a platform, the HOFF App, to guide those who have experienced this type of abuse and connect them to pro-bono and subsidized legal professionals, counselors and support networks. The NGO was co-founded by fashion model Kristina Romanova and Juris Doctor, Antoniette Costa.

Supporting Sponsor (2)

Martens & Heads! is a boutique executive search firm designed to fulfill the domestic and international needs of image-driven brands in the fashion, luxury, retail, and beauty industries. Using our Search With Imagination approach we partner with clients to find brand-transforming leaders in all functions that influence their customers’ experience.

Contra Partner (1)

Supporting Partners (4)

Since 1992, Altagamma Foundation gathers the best High-End Italian Cultural and Creative Companies that promote Italian Excellence, Uniqueness and Lifestyle. Altagamma is unique for its cross-sectorial approach, as its members operate in multiple fields among which fashion, design, jewellery, food & beverages, hospitality, automotive, yachts and wellness.

The mission is to contribute to the growth and the competitiveness of the  Italian High-End industry.

Círculo Fortuny is a non-profit organization with the aim of bringing together the Spanish cultural and creative brands in a common forum to collectively promote and defend their shared values.

In addition, the association enhances the image of Spanish luxury brands beyond their borders, and represents and defends the particularity of this sector as a powerful engine of the Spanish economy.

Círculo Fortuny members are a balanced representation of different sectors that make up the Spanish high-end industry based on the highest standards of excellence in their productive processes and in the services offered.

Current sectors represented in Círculo Fortuny are: Design & Furniture, Fashion, Food, Health & Wellness, Hotels & Resorts, Jewels & Watches, Leather, Wines & Spirits, Craftsmanship Gunmakers.

Círculo Fortuny is part of the European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance (ECCIA) which in turn encompasses Europe’s other four most prominent luxury goods associations: Comité Colbert in France, Fondazione Altagamma in Italy, Walpole in the UK and Meisterkreis in Germany.

Luxury Daily is the world's leading luxury business publication covering the marketing, retail, media and digital efforts of luxury brands and retailers, as well as geopolitical issues that shape demand and supply. The title is supported by several industry-leading summits including Luxury FirstLook in January, Women in Luxury in May, and Luxury Roundtable and the Luxury Retail Summit in the second half of the year. Based in New York, Luxury Daily is read worldwide by decision makers from luxury brands, luxury retailers, ad agencies, publishers, analyst firms and service providers.

A unique membership association of 200 of Britain’s finest luxury brands, Walpole promotes, protects and develops the qualities of UK luxury: the long tradition, rich heritage, superior craftsmanship, innovation, design, style, and impeccable service at the heart of the industry – currently worth over £32 billion to the UK economy and a leading creator of jobs. Dedicated to nurturing the next generation of luxury brands, craftspeople and leaders, Walpole connects Britain’s best up-and-coming talent with a network of senior mentors from within the established membership. Its programme of events, thought leadership activities and political and media engagement furthers the collective interests of Walpole’s members, ensuring the continued and future success of British luxury on an international stage.

2017 FT Business of Luxury Video Summary