A tapestry of trends is set to redefine the luxury industry this year.
Lessons from the past year will serve as a compass for navigating an era characterized by changing consumer behaviors, heightened focus on experiential moments, and the recalibration of e-commerce.
Last year, the global luxury market topped $1.6 trillion, growing between 8 percent and 10 percent across all categories. That same level of growth isn’t guaranteed for the next 12 months, spurring experts to predict that shoppers will become more frugal with their spending.
“2024 will redefine the meaning of luxury,” Daniel Langer contends in his latest column for Jing Daily. As a result, all eyes are on the rule breakers and disruptors who can successfully tap the conversation of the moment, including ‘out-of-the-box’ contenders unafraid to explore new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) – albeit in accessible, digestible ways.
From non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to sports, Jing Daily spotlights the trends set to turn the tide of luxury in 2024 below.
With over 45 million combined daily users, TikTok has permeated every industry since its boom in 2018, heavily influencing consumer decisions on anything from top-tier hotels and restaurants to fashion and beauty trends. Luxury brands were initially slow to catch on, but Launchmetrics reported that high-end fashion brands grew their media impact value (a measure of conversation across media) last year at a faster pace than fast fashion on the app.
For luxury, TikTok is a chance for brands to diversify their portfolio and cater to generational differences, as well as prime the new generation of luxury clients. But it’s not a silver bullet.
“TikTok will definitely remain a valuable marketing resource for luxury brands in 2024, but brands will need to be inventive,” Katie Devlin, assistant trends editor at trend forecaster Stylus tells Jing Daily.
Consumers will likely grow increasingly analytical of content creators and their authenticity in 2024. Devlin notes that luxury brands should approach the platform with caution.
“Many consumers are experiencing influencer fatigue and dislike the feeling that they’re constantly being sold to, so trust and authenticity are paramount when it comes to the voices that they choose to engage with,” she adds. “For luxury brands, this may mean working with different kinds of influencers than they would have sought out previously, or taking a more casual and conversational approach to influencer marketing.”
Detaching themselves from the sector’s volatile past was top priority. Post NFT-rush, participants are changing the narrative around their NFT communities by polishing their image (which for many means eschewing loaded terms like “NFT” and “crypto”) and adapting their approach to empower reticent luxury consumers.
"In 2024, the luxury NFT market is likely to focus on digital ownership and exclusivity, bringing the spotlight back to the product itself,” Alexandre Frih, founder of digital product platform Next Decade, tells Jing Daily. “Tokenization will move from granting access to highlighting the products, making digital ownership a major trend.”
This year will also likely see more luxury contenders push ahead with cultivating their own elite, NFT-backed clubs, only accessible to those who invest in an initial gateway NFT. Expect to see a spike in exclusive ‘phygital’ products – a tactic already deployed by Gucci and Louis Vuitton – as well as members-only premium perks, including invites to fashion week runways, mystery boxes, and personal styling sessions.
Following a stellar year for artificial intelligence in the public eye, which saw an outpouring of AI-enabled activations from brands including Valentino and Moncler, the next step is avoiding the same fate as metaverse destinations and the NFT market.
Where many luxury players adopted the tech on a ‘one-and-done’ basis last year, the same performative stunts won’t wash in 2024, CEO of fashion AR company Zero10 George Yashin argues.
“Brands should move away from merely claiming to use AI for the sake of showcasing innovation and instead actively incorporate it into their operations,” he says.
Instead, adopters should explore the diverse touchpoints the tech can enhance, from employing well-versed AI artists to create engaging campaigns to deploying machine-learning as a valuable personalization tool.
Roxanne Iyer, COO of digital fashion platform Syky, notes that diversity and inclusion should lie at the heart of a brand’s AI-powered ambitions.
“AI will be a great catalyst for human capabilities. However, diversity in thought and talent is more important now than ever,” she says. “The starting point of creativity needs to embrace the diversity in the world we live in before AI enhances it with speed and scale.”
With LVMH’s involvement in the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics, tunnel entrances evolving into catwalk shows, and activity-based trends like “Tenniscore” gathering pace, it’s game on for the meeting of sports and luxury.
“[Brands] know it goes beyond where they can reach on their own,” Thomas Serrano, founder of luxury events planner Exclamation Group told Jing Daily last year.
For the Olympics, having the backing of one of luxury’s biggest powerhouses will likely see the event become more fashion-heavy than ever. The sports festival arrives at a time when functional tech wear off the pitch is growing in popularity; consumers are more willing to splash cash on products with purpose, with buzzy brands like On Running and Hoka creeping onto luxury’s radar.
Luxury brands are also investing more in applying their design prowess beyond the runway. Last November, Prada announced its collaboration with Nasa to design the spacesuits for the Artemis 3 space mission. It’s the first time an Italian luxury fashion house has partnered with a space company.
Male sports personalities also remain frontrunners as luxury muses, and thanks to the expanding definition of ‘athlete,’ the opportunity set is grow.
From sailing to F1 racing tracks and into space, 2024 will see luxury brands go for gold to make their mark in these emerging areas.