2022 saw a rapid development in the use of brand archives and heritage.
No longer the domain of fashion labels, luxury brands from a variety of sectors are beginning to recognise the gold that lies in their historical vaults.
“Heritage and archives are becoming essential marketing tools for any luxury brand,” said Marco Pecorari, the director of fashion at Parsons Paris.
Dior and Chanel have been among the “leading forces” in mining brand heritage, often adopting museum strategies and techniques in terms of conservation and exhibitions, Pecorari predicts more brands will open exhibitions in the future.
Luxury brands are no longer waiting for the honour of being invited to be the subject of an exhibition. They are bypassing the grand cultural institutions and doing it for themselves. Chaumet, Dior, TIffany have all invested in big hitting, beautifully curated exhibitions to immerse their consumer audience.
2022 began a tradition of brands taking cultural centre stage and audiences have flocked to immerse themselves in their brand stories.
Making history modern
“One of the critical hurdles for these brands, particularly ones with archivists in place, is how to turn their archive and history consumer facing and relevant for the future” Sophie Due.
“Often an archivist, in an understandable attempt to protect a brand’s heritage, focuses the archive as an internal tool. It takes a very different vision to adapt their great work for a consumer and add some va va voom”
According to Arnault, star brands are born only when a company manages to make products that “speak to the ages” but feel intensely modern.