In Madrid, European Excellence discusses the present and future of the high-end industry

12 / September 2018

Madrid is playing host to the European Excellence Summit, the European high-end industry event organised by Círculo Fortuny, which has been attended by prominent European representatives of excellence. The European Excellence Summit, which focused on the current and future state of the high-end industry, stressed the need to foster a transition that turns cultural heritage and tradition into development opportunities for cultural industries through adaptation to new consumer needs and behaviours through innovation and digitalisation.

The summit was attended by institutional leaders such as José Guirao, minister of culture and sport; former ministers Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, José María Michavila and Alfonso Dastis, the new Spanish ambassador in Rome; Teresa Riesgo, managing director of research, development and innovation; and Anna Athanasopoulou, head of tourism, emerging and creative industries at the European Commission. It was also attended by some of the most important business figures in the industry in Europe like Michael Ward, CEO of Harrods; Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud, master perfumer at Louis Vuitton; Antonio Vázquez, president of IAG; Paolo Zegna, chairman of Ermenegildo Zegna; Andreas Kaufmann, chairman of Leica’s supervisory board; Frank Marrenback, CEO of Oetker Hotel Collection; and Carlos Falcó, president of Círculo Fortuny and the ECCIA.


The II European Excellence Summit took place at Casino de Madrid.


Transformation and modernisation of traditional brands

Michael Ward, CEO of Harrods; Paolo Zegna, chairman of Zegna; Antonio Vázquez, president of IAG and Andreas Kaufmann, chairman of Leica’s supervisory board, moderated by Armando Branchini, vice chairman of Fondazione Altagamma, have analysed the keys for bringing about a change that can preserve the cultural values and traditions of the European Union’s top brands while maintaining creative dynamism that contributes to innovation.


Creativity, innovation and talent, drivers of excellence

Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud, master perfumer at Louis Vuitton; Rosa Tous, vice president of Tous; and Lorenzo Castillo, interior designer and decorator; led by Enric Pastor, editor in chief of the magazine AD, have been responsible for highlighting these attributes as drivers of the new identity of the industry, determined to reach consumers by adding value and enhancing competitiveness.


New generations, new opportunities

The new ecosystem requires reinventing the relationship of brands with their followers. Joaquín Serra, vice president of Natura Bissé; Andrea Scotti, co-founder of Freeda; and Sébastien Badault, international director of fashion and luxury at Alibaba Group, coordinated by Marian Hens, BBC Journalist and head of communications in the Strategic Business Department at Amadeus.


Spain and Europe: leaders in experience-based tourism, gastronomy and cultural heritage

Harold Heckle, the international coordinator at Agencia Efe, has moderated for Marc Topiol, CEO of Sotogrande; Enrique Valero, general manager at Abadia Retuerta; and Frank Marrenbach, CEO of Oetker Hotel Collection, who have highlighted the potential for growth of the Spanish market based on the quality of consumers’ experiences.

Back to activities