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IE April 2014
the best is yet to come
IE Awards on Sustaintable Premium and Luxury

On the 2nd of July 2014, IE Business School will hold the 4th edition of the IE Awards on Sustaintable Premium and Luxury, a socio cultural accolade that acknowledges each year the luxury and premium business sector’s best practices and innovation in the area of sustainability.

It pursues two goals:
- Recognize luxury and premium sustainability culture and practice in the private sector
- Teach that today, the idea of luxury and premium is associated with the possibility for people to express their deepest values.

Three categories are admitted: apparel and accesories, jewlery or watches and tourism including hotels. And three honorees are represented: lifetime contribution to sustainable luxury development, best contribution  in raising awareness and latin American sustainable luxury.

Miguel Angel Gardetti, head of the award to the best performance in sustainable luxury, was interviewed by Maria Eugenia Girón, Executive Director of the IE Observatory of Premium and Prestige Business:

MEG: In 2014, IE will host the fourth annual award for sustainable projects in the premium and luxury sector. Why did you decide to set up this award in 2011?
MAG: I belong to an organisation which is dedicated to teaching and research in sustainable development within the private sector and have personally been involved in research related to the luxury and premium industry and sustainability over the last five years. As such, we have contributed by giving lectures at conferences, holding classes, training teachers in this area and by publishing material in both journals and books. But the impact of all of this has tended to be slow and rather long term. The idea of coming up with an award in the premium and luxury sector was to rapidly spark a debate about sustainability in these industries.

MEG: Why is this fourth edition being hosted at IE?
MAG: Latin America is steeped in Spanish history and culture. We have many ties with Spain. Add to this there is the prestige that the IE Business School and its Observatory of Premium and Prestige Business have in Europe, and I need say no more. Yet the focus that IE has on entrepreneurship and internationalisation must also be stressed, since it has offices in 20 different countries, with students from over 80 countries.

MEG: This award has evolved and is now focused on enterprising business projects as well as giving out honourable mentions. Is the answer to sustainable premium and luxury in entrepreneurship?
MAG: There are people who are looking deeply into environmental and social problems and who have good reasons to want to "break" the rules and favour disruptive solutions to problems that arise in these areas. They are entrepreneurs. There is a relationship between personal values and sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation. And in practice, this was observed during the first three editions of this award. Those who were noticed are transformational leaders, inspiring, intellectually stimulating and possessing a very significant and strong regard for people and the environment. It is important to emphasise that leadership and inspiration are together vital for bringing about a change towards sustainability. Clearly, the initiative of entrepreneurs is what is currently leading the way along the path to sustainable premium and luxury.

MEG: As a textile engineer, when did you become interested in sustainability, and why?
MAG: My vocation for promoting, teaching and researching sustainable development began in the mid 1990s. At the time, I was convinced that sustainable development had arrived and was here to stay. And not only that, I didn't see – nor do I now – any other choice, due to the unsustainable behaviour of the human race. We are talking, for example, about the indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources (some of these resources are running out and others can no longer be recovered). We are talking about species becoming extinct (which unless there is a technological miracle, we will never be able to get back), and about consumerism (how much is enough?). We are talking about the chronic exploitation of human beings as a means to wealth... and we could continue with a long, completely negative, list of effects resulting from this behaviour.

MEG: Are there are any sectors or geographical areas that stand out?
MAG: A couple of years ago in a brief online lecture that I gave as part of the MBA at IE, I mentioned that Latin America was the birthplace of sustainable luxury. The previous three editions of the award have served as practical proof of this for entrepreneurs from different backgrounds - Asians, Americans and Europeans – as they began to develop projects based on Latin American culture (many of them were based on the culture of the indigenous people of Latin America). Of course projects are also developed in other regions, but the great appreciation of indigenous culture in Latin America and the way in which it has been transposed to the world of luxury and premium goods has been quite remarkable. Outside the world of entrepreneurship, the "discovery" by Hermès of an ancient craft is also a testimony to this, as the brand has breathed new life into its products whilst bringing the ancient embroidery of Tenango in Mexico to the world (textile art typical of the Otomi region of Tenango de Doria, in Hidalgo, Mexico).


excellence, exclusivity and innovation
according to Maria Eugenia Girón

What is luxury'? Some considerations published in The Luxonomist.

Read more. (only in spanish)

luxury, traceability and sustainability
according to Maria Eugenia Girón  

This article deals with the concepts of luxury, traceability, and sustainability, as well as the way they are interrelated.Read more


asia, luxury and investors
according to Maria Eugenia Girón  

This article published in Forbes Magazine deals with the luxury market in Asia.

Read more (only in spanish)


The luxury sector in the stock exchange
according to Maria Eugenia Girón

Professor Maria Eugenia Giron examines stock exchange trends from these past few years in the listings of emblematic brands from the luxury sector. She reviews the results obtained from this short period of time in order to highlight a positive and growing trend in this sector.

Watch the video

chic clicks for a competitive edge
according to Yolanda Regodón  

This article published in The Luxonomist.

Yolanda Regodón, Associate Director of Communications at IE Business School and Passionate about Luxury, Art and Gastronomy.

Read more


the ELLE talent project

ELLE and IE Business School announce the finals of the ELLE Talent Project


A prize of 25.000 euros and a scholarship for IE Business School´s Master in Management program worth 30.000 euros went to to the most innovative, creative and viable business project.

The five best business projects, selected from a total of 134 entries, took part in the finals holded on March 28 in Area 31, IE´s start-up laboratory, where a panel comprised of renowned experts choosed the winner. Read more.

Click here to watch the video of the final ELLE Talent Project..

** Head picture of this Newsletter corresponds to the final of the ETP, winners and jury.

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