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Luxury Design & Craftsmanship Summit 2019: best of day 2

Maison Valentina Silk Vessel Sink

On the final day of the Luxury Design & Craftsmanship Summit 2019, aside from a big emphasis on the topic of Marketing of Excellence, there will also a panel discussion focused on Designing and Crafting as a means of distinction. Luxury Bathrooms will be telling you all about what happened on the second day of this event which took place in OPorto, Portugal.

Luxury Design & Craftsmanship Summit 2019: best of day 2

After an opening featuring a live showcase with many artisans showing what they do best, came a small intervention from brand specialist Carlos Coelho. He is a specialist in brands, its concepts and conceptions and in his talk, with a slight touch of humor, he explained to the audience the weight of communication in their promotion, as well as the constant need that many companies have to be in touch with technological innovations in order to compete with other top names. He also enhanced the importance of quality as well as telling “superfluous” apart from “essential”.

Then came the third panel discussion of the Luxury Design & Craftsmanship Summit 2019 was focused on the concept of Marketing of Excellence. This event showed several perspectives on winning high-end consumers through quality craftsmanship. Throughout the pannel, each of the guests presented a history regarding each of the main business that they are a part of and also engaged in a healthy debate regarding their own perspective regarding the challenges that present-day brands and many artisans have to face with the crescent modernization of society.

The main speakers on this part were Miguel Costa, the current General Manager of Bentley and Lamborghini in Portugal, Rita Sambado, Ricardo Conceição, Manager at Atelier des Createurs, and Ana Maria Vasconcelos, who is the General Manager from Belcinto, the Vice Presidente of APICCAPS and again with the presence of Carlos Coelho in the panel.

Rita Sambado gave a more “romantic” perspective regarding the future of craftsmanship, believing that handmade objects and accessories won’t go easily extinct. Miguel Costa, after presenting a history of Lamborghini and its impact in Portugal gave a perspective very much in agreeance with Carlos’ previous intervention, highlighting the fact that the digital era is here to stay and it’s the main means to make quality craftsmanship known to a globalized world. Both Ricardo Conceição and Ana Maria Vasconcelos gave an insight into craftsmanship regarding fabrics (considering the two businesses they run) presenting the classical side of their companies while revealing their desire to proceed with innovation in the digital age.

On the final panel discussion, there was a discussion regarding Designing and Crafting as being two elements of a Touchstone for Distinction. They featured speakers such as famous Portuguese Designer Nini Andrade Silva, French Designer Emmanuel Babled, Raquel Costa, who is the Strategy & Operations Development Europe at Swarovski Professional in Barcelona, Khaoula Ouerfelli, current International Management at ASSOULINE, and acclaimed Portuguese chef Duarte Eira.

Nini Andrade Silva, who has a specialization for interior projects focused on luxury hotels, brought in four of her projects: PWC in Lisbon (consisting of a renovated palace with luxury details), a project for a luxury hotel in Dubai based on the desert roses, an interior project inspired by the culture of Madeira (Portugal) within bespoke hotel Savoy Palace and, lastly, Hotel Vila Foz in Oporto. Emmanuel Babled took the stage once again in order to speak of his experience living and working in Portugal as well as his workstyle dealing with Murano glass, Osmosi, and other classical arts and crafts that he usually handles in his profession. Babled gave great emphasis to the role of technological advances in aiding in the creation of new pieces and facilitate the craftsmen work throughout many projects.

After hearing the perspective of two designers, the guests who followed presented the points of view of other areas, starting with Khaoula Ouerfelli from ASSOULINE, a book company focused on luxury lifestyle themes, mainly books focused on furniture design and on the many luxury and fashion brands that have dominated the market for years. Raquel Costa was the next speaker representing Swarovski. After presenting the work and legacy that the crystal brand (as well as its creator Daniel Swarovski) has been creating since 1895, Raquel underlined the cooperation with designers of several areas throughout the years as being one of the main strengths of the brand, allowing the creation of some of the most amazing solutions involving carefully detailed crystal work, ending with the presentation of Manufaktur a rapid prototyping facility of the brand, also known as “the crystal atelier of the 21st century”. After this presentation Duarte Eira, a famous Portuguese chef was introduced to the discussion by moderator Fernando Caetano. Aside from mentioning some specialties of the gastronomy of the country also took the chance to enhance it as an element of Portuguese heritage.

In general, during this panel, each speaker showed several examples of their art in design or the art of business that they are involved with and during the Q&A of the conference, despite their distinct backgrounds and took this moment to speak about their distinct backgrounds as well as about their arts or businesses along with some interesting perspectives regarding the development of design in the modern age, especially regarding a “distinctive factor” that every designer needs in order to win in the present era.

This second edition of the Luxury Design & Craftsmanship Summit 2019 ended after an amazing closing ceremony which involved a speech by Mónica Seabra Mendes(the Luxury Management Program Coordinator from the Católica University in Lisbon. She defined the event as being very “intense” and “beautiful” summing up the highlights of these two days. She pointed out the main ideas that remained after the discussion panels, one of which was the fact that the Portuguese artisans “are one of the people with more past to give to the future”, highlighting the importance of fusing design and craftsmanship, the importance of branding done right, the urgency of preserving our own art and history and lastly the fact that “there are no short cuts to create master pieces”. It concluded with the intervention of Ricardo Magalhães, COO and Founder of Covet Group, who confirmed an upcoming third edition of the Luxury Design & Craftsmanship Summit.

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