The Best of the Luxury Design & Craftsmanship Summit – Oporto, 20th of June. The Craftsmanship Summit at Pavilhão Multiusos in Gondomar, Oporto – Portugal! It’s now time for the Decor&Style talk about these amazing two days.
The Summit started in the afternoon with Live Showcases of Several traditional Arts & Crafts of Portugal, namely Filigree, Tilling, Arraiolos, Renda de Bilros, Goldening, Jewellery Craft, Upholstery and Wood Work! These showcases promoted a strong bonding between the Audience and the Artisans and the end result was incredible.
What it followed was the Opening Session conducted by Amandio Pereira, CEO of the Covet Group. In his speech, Mr. Pereira highlighted the work that the Covet Group has been developing to maintain serval Crafts alive with the Summit being only one more tool to achieve the main goal of the Group: Elevate Design & Craftsmanship!
The opening speech was followed by a small speech by Dr. Ana Teresa Lehmann, Secretary of State for the Industry, that commended the Covet Group for the organization of the Summit and applauded the initiative of bringing together Makers and Thinkers! Dr Lehman also mentioned the “importance of educating everyone on the importance of the industry services and why should we preserve crafstmanship”. The opening ceremony was also accompanied by a speech from Dr. Carlos Bras, the Councilman of Gondomar that was here representing the Town of Gondomar.
Following the opening, we had the First Panel of the Summit entitled “The value of Craftsmanship For the luxury World”. This panel had the contribution of Amandio Pereira, CEO of the Covet Group; Nicole Segundo, Representative/ Network Developer to Portugal for the Michaelangelo Foundation; Fátima Santos, General Secretary of the AORP; Luis Onofre, entrepreneur, shoemaker and CEO of the Luis Onofre brand; and Antonio Moura, business developer.
After those briefs presentations, the panel start the debate about the connexion between Luxury Design & Craftsmanship! The debate was powerful and full of design ideas and opportunities and, in the end, craftsmanship was highlighted and the discussion that resulted from this amazing debate surely forged a better path for the future for the industry!
After an eventful morning with a magnificent panel about the origins of craftsmanship and it’s connection with the design industry, the Luxury Design & Craftsmanship Summit resume its agenda with a discussion about luxury design on the second day.
Nowadays, the biggest challenge for luxury brands is to maintain their sense of exclusivity and authenticity throughout the growing age of technology. The desire to reveal the behind the scenes process of their exclusive pieces is a strategy already seen on some of the most respected brands in the industry like Gucci, Berlutti, Hermès, Dior, Chanel, among others.
So, as a marketing and luxury branding strategy, Craftsmanship has become one of the most powerful weapons for the industry putting artisans in the forefront of the luxury brands’ communication as a way to differentiate them from their competitors, gain new customers and retain the loyal ones that value authenticity, heritage and social responsibility.
What makes a Luxury Brand and how do you create one? This was the focal point of the third and last panel of this event entitled: “Luxury Branding: Behind the Scenes Story”!. The panel had the moderation of Mónica Seabra-Mendes, the Luxury Management Program Coordinator of Universidade Catolica, and had the participation of Marco Costa, COO and Creative Director of Boca do Lobo; Jorge Martins, founder of RomBoats; Carlos Santos, CEO and Creative Director of Santos Shoes; and Carla Graça, Marketing Manager of Vista Alegre.
After a brief presentation about the Luxury World and after a deserved commendation to the Covet Group for organizing this Summit, Miss Monica Seabra-Mendes presented the remaining speakers, starting with Carlos Santos, CEO of Santos Shoes, one of the luxury and top shoe brands of the world, that took the opportunity to present his personal story of how he became one of the top entrepreneurs of the shoe industry and he managed that on the company he started working in his youth! Eventually, he got promoted to CEO and rebranded the company and transformed it into one of the top brands of Portugal.
Miss Graça from Vista Alegre was added to the debate. As the Marketing Manager of Vista Alegre, Miss Graça talked about what Vista Alegre represents and what this historic brand of Portugal has to offer! The main focal point was the fact that all pieces of Vista Alegre are handmaid and are known worldwide as one of the top design brands in the world. She talked about the importance of Vista Alegre to reinvented itself throughout the years, and this reinvention is of the utmost importance for any brand survival!
The next speaker to take the stage was Marco Costa, COO of Boca do Lobo. Mr. Costa talked about the history and the story of Boca do Lobo and how this brand fits in the design industry. He approached the challenges, risks and benefits of this powerful industry and how Boca do Lobo is becoming a powerhouse brand in the world of design.
Lastly, Jorge Martins, founder of RomBoats, joined the debate! His brand, RomBoats, was created in the beginning of the year and aims to become one of the top luxury brands in Portugal within the boat industry. In this Summit, he shared the struggles to start from fresh a luxury brand, but also the dreams and ambitions that are caused by such adventure. It was a realistic but creative approach of the hardest part of the luxury industry: Starting Something New.