Havas this morning unveiled a new unit devoted to servicing media for luxury brands. The unit, named LuxHub, is headquartered in the fashion hub of Milan and has offices in New York, London, Paris and Dubai with plans to expand to Shanghai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Moscow later this year.
Isabelle Harvie-Watt, who has been CEO and country manager for Havas Media in Italy, has been named Global CEO of LuxHub. With years of experience in marketing at brands such as Giorgio Armani, Versace and Tods Group, Harvie-Watt is considered a fashion and luxury market expert.
"Luxury brands realize that they need to change the way they communicate and start building stronger relationships with their consumers. Digital transformation is no longer an option. Growing online distribution and strong content strategies are the new norm,” she explained in a statement, citing data indicating that while only 24% of luxury shoppers make their purchases mainly online, the majority believe luxury brands “should engage more with their consumers in the online experience.”Havas Media said Tammy Smulders, managing partner for the U.K., will serve as global executive director of LuxHub, and that the unit would deliver its “first study on luxury brands” this month based on a panel of 1,000 people representing the top 10% of income earners in China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, the U.S., UAE and the U.K. Havas Media said the study will analyze luxury trends across retail, travel, home furnishings, auto, jewelry and art.