So I was invited to the Arab Luxury World 2015 conference. For two days, I got to wear my mother’s shoes and put on pretty makeup.
What is Arab Luxury World? It’s a conference that joins series of speakers in the luxury industry who discussed the challenges they face on daily basis from a marketing, advertising, manufacturing, distributing, and brand building point of view in the Middle East.
Many discussions were held: will we soon encounter a print-less world due to digital takeover? Is the overuse of social media leading to its misuse? Are bloggers an outstanding medium for advertising?
Storytelling was one solution that caught my attention the most, especially when it takes part in fashion. I found the act of educating the customer on the philosophy, history, art, and culture of the brand through telling stories and sharing experiences very fascinating. For me, this intellectual value represents the thin line between luxury brands and commercial ones. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good story?
I learnt that the definition of luxury has evolved; it’s not about owning or affording expensive products anymore. For example, no one buys an expensive watch to see what time it is. You can easily see that on your phone which makes a watch nothing more than a fancy and extremely complicated accessory. Luxury is now all about “le vécu”: the service provided, the experience, and the emotions that persist (even after consuming the product) count the most.
Now, I was probably the youngest one there. As a business and media student, getting an insight of how the luxury industry works was extremely interesting and helpful for the orientation of my future career (unless I end up as famous as The blond Salad, who knows). As a blogger, I got to compare and learn about brands’ and bloggers’ controversial points of view on collaborations.
What I really enjoyed during these talks is the important presence of bloggers and influencers. Call me biased, but they all raised a very important point which is the devaluation of bloggers. I still remember Zahra Lyla, a Dubai-based blogger (love her style!), mentioning that blogging and being active on social media isn’t just about posting a simple picture on Instagram. The gorgeous Miss Australia and social influencer, Jessica Kahawaty, said “everyone who has a designer bag and wifi call themselves a blogger”. I think I shed a little tear of pride when they both defended bloggers’ hard work.
You can check out on Instagram the makeup looks and outfits I wore during both days.
– Zein xx