The Best of the Luxury Design & Craftsmanship Summit

June 22, 2018

The Best of the Luxury Design & Craftsmanship Summit – The Craftsmanship Summit kicked off at Pavilhão Multiusos in Gondomar, Oporto – Portugal! It’s now time for the highlights of the two days of this event.

 

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First Day

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 amazing!

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What it followed was the Opening Session conducted by Amandio Pereira, CEO of the Covet Group. His opening words reinforced the importance of Craftsmanship to the Covet Group, but also to Portugal and the Furniture Industry. 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 craftsmanship”.  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.

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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 GroupNicole 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.

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What was the panel about? The main focus was the relation between Luxury Goods & Design and the Traditional Arts or Ancient crafts. By those we mean to say crafts traditions such as leatherwork, leaf gilding, haute couture embroidery, or glassblowing. These arts are largely revered by consumers as signs of luxury as well as the stamp of handmade by many luxury brands worldwide. These notions come from the fact that craftsmanship makes each and every product unique. So, the most prestigious brands are investing in the training of the next generation of craftsmen, understanding that these hard-earned skills are among their most important trade secrets.

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Second Day

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!

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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.

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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.  

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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 in Portugal.

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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!

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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 at 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 to the hardest part of the luxury industry: Starting Something New.

The first speech belonged to the moderator Mr. Amandio Pereira that, once again, highlighted the work of the Covet Group within the luxury and design industries, followed by a short presentation of the other members of the panel and what do they can offer to the craftsmanship world. This opening speech was followed by Miss Nicole Segundo that presented to the audience the Homo Faber, a design and craftsmanship exhibition event that will take place in Venice, Italy, in September of this year! In her own words, Homo Faber is an exciting opportunity to showcase the best of the craftsmanship values and industry“,

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Like Miss Nicole, Fátima Santos, General Secretary of the AORP; Luis Onofre, entrepreneur and director of the Luis Onofre brand; and Antonio Moura, business development; also presented their respective brands and fields of business to the audience, explaining what they have to offer to the industry and what exactly they do! We have to highlight Miss Fatima Santos presentation of the work of AORP and how this association has been showcasing and highlighting the work of jewelry craftsmen for several years!

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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!

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