Laura Perrard - Luxury Insider #1
Who's hiding behind Le Salon du Luxe - a key event for luxury professionals? This month, I have interviewed Laura Perrard, the founder of this event. Read as she goes back on the genesis of this very young fair for professionals, only a few days before its third edition takes place. Here comes an entrepreneur's portrait.
Laura, where did you get this passion for luxury from?
I don't like to say I have a passion for luxury for there seems to be a sort of passiveness to this word, as if you were subjected to something very strong. In my case, it is rather the opposite. I'm interested in and I like luxury because no matter what type of activity you deal with, luxury is at the top of its art. Luxury is the stuff dreams are made of. Luxury is what makes France shine in the whole world's eyes! I like know-how, the idea of surpassing oneself, of going further and higher. Luxury is, to me, synonymous with Exception, Excellence, and Emotion (this is why I created LUXEEE). It is also linked with creativity (and creation) and is of a demanding nature.
You began your career as a blogger, could you tell us more about this?
Indeed, I launched my first blog when I was a student in business school. It was meant for young (and not so young) women at the time. I was in Lyon and my blog soon became a sort of “phenomenon” in the area, it was funny. I had turned it into a collaborative blog with two dozen regular talented contributors. Simultaneously to the online content I'd post online, I'd organise events for women (ranging from 15 to 300 people): afterwork parties, fashion shows, fish pedicure nights, etc. Then I was contacted to organise institutional events and company-related ones (team-building events, organising the first gastronomy festival for CCI Lyon in Rhône-Alpes, magazine launches, etc.). Obviously this was part of no business plan whatsoever, I did that simultaneously with my business studies! Once I graduated, I got bored with this blog solely devoted to fashion and clothing trends, to toning up before summer, to make-up tutorials, etc. I wasn't getting enough intellectual stimulation and since I'd never been a “Lolita”, it didn't quite fit me.
Why and how did you then create Le Journal du Luxe - the first luxury blog in France?
After working as the Head of Innovations in a completely different field (it was awesome though!) I went to Asia. To tell the truth, I was in Vietnam when the idea to create Le Journal du Luxe came to me. When I got back to France, I went into partnership with Alexandre Le Danff, SEO analyst, and we launched Le Journal du Luxe together in 2013. We are very proud of our success: in so little time, we turned Le Journal du Luxe into France's first luxury blog (with about 120,000 unique monthly visits and a “luxury” app - the first on the stores).
How do you explain the success of “Salon du Luxe'? It was quite a challenge, wasn't it?
Oh yes it was! And I can't explain it. The professionals participating in the event generally tell us “it feels good”. I assume the profession was only just waiting for an event like ours. It was the first event dedicated to luxury which combined innovation and tradition. In 2015, visitors were already welcomed by a robot! The speakers we have onstage are not the ones we are used to anywhere else. Each year, according to the year's theme, we offer our guests an unprecedented immersive experience. Last year, one of the participants won the possiiblity to go “light up the stars” in a parabolic flight. Numerous artistic surprises are also organised during the event. Le Salon du Luxe Paris is an “inspirational” event that needs to be fully experienced, it can't just be summed up.
Fashion is an intimate part of Luxury, but it is not much represented on the fair yet. Is this a choice to rather focus on lifestyle or is fashion yet a new territory for you to conquer?
Automobiles, hospitality, high jewellery, watchmaking, perfumery, etc, are as present on the fair as fashion in Le Salon du luxe Paris. It is both a choice (it's not a fashion fair) and a territory which remains to be conquered more thoroughly. To tell you the truth, last year we had a date problem since our fair concurred with Haute couture (whose date had been changed several times). This year will be different! ;)
Luxury can sometimes be really vertiginous. How do you deal with the difference between your daily life and the exception brands you work with?
Rather well! I believe that a person's work domain is not enough to qualify him or her.
How are things going in terms of PR?
We are present in most influencial professional magazines but I do not work with any PR agency. For the advertisers present during the fair, Press relations are a major stake!
The Luxury market is rather a niche market, famous for its network-related development whereas even if it is B2B, your luxury fair is destined to highlight the major players of the luxury world. Is the point to open up or rather to keep within one's world?
Opening up, without a doubt! Great luxury brands, innovators, startups, famous artists, craftspersons, meet one another during Le Salon du luxe Paris. I really believe that differences put together can only make the encounters more fulfilling!
Your worst professional mistake?
It was not so much as a mistake, when we were a little less famous, I happened to play the intern. I don't do it anymore but it was really funny to see some people's reactions, how their attitudes changed when they discovered I was the founder of both the Journal and the Fair.
The 3rd edition of “Le Salon du Luxe” is just a few days off now, so without disclosing its many surprises, what's the program?
The program is available online: salon-luxe.fr. For the rest, I'll see you on July 11th, at La Maison de la Chimie in Paris
Do you believe “ Le Journal du Luxe” could become a printed periodical?
We have already edited our first free paper magazine, which was very well received. The second issue will be offered to Salon du luxe Paris 2017 participants. I like paper, so I would greatly like to publish printed words. And I do have some ideas.
What is your greatest kind of luxury?
Who do you nominate for Pressday's next interview?
What about you? I've been going through Pressday and we don't really know who you are, Emmanuelle! :) What a mystery! And yet you do know all this PR network. I'd gladly read your own interview (and I'd be more than eager to write the questions for you).
“For the advertisers present during the fair, Press relations are a major stake!”