Thursday, 17 October 2019

French luxury giants dive into Silicon Valley

LONDON: Steve Jobs may have been a tech genius, but he clearly didn’t care much for fashion.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has followed in his footsteps, sporting a plain grey T-shirt every day for years only to swap it for a simple black suit to testify before Congress and the European Parliament.

But Silicon Valley, whose billionaires have long stuck to basic, functional apparel, may finally be starting to get a taste for something more extravagant.

Sensing an opportunity, French luxury titan Hermes has launched its 34th US store in Palo Alto, the ultra-rich beating heart of the world’s technological behemoths.

“We opened this new store after our San Francisco store reaped very strong results,” Hermes CEO Axel Dumas told shareholders in June.

“It’s also a bet on the future. Right now, you can see how residents often invest more in their cars than in their clothes. We hope to be able to change that a little,” Dumas added.

Guillaume de Seynes, a top executive at Hermes, sees great potential in Silicon Valley.

Palo Alto “isn’t very far away from San Francisco, where luxury is everywhere. However, the environment is very different. People are very focused on their professional success, working very long hours”, he said.

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