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Sotheby’s Institute of Art-London is pleased to announce the launch of Art of Luxury, a groundbreaking, new 15-week immersive introduction to the fast-changing global industry of luxury goods and services.

According to a recent Bain & Company report, the luxury market grew by 5% to an estimated €1.2 trillion globally in 2017. Luxury experiences remain leading growth generators, driven by the millennials' approach that favors experiences over products. The market for personal luxury goods reached a record high of €262 billion last year, boosted by a revival of purchasing by European and Chinese customers both at home and abroad. Embracing this trend, Sotheby’s auction house launched their exclusive Luxury & Lifestyle Division that focuses on jewels, watches, cars, wine, and fashion in Spring 2017.

This crossover should come as no surprise. “Art and luxury have a long history of influencing each other to create timeless, aspirational experiences,” says Course Leader Federica Carlotto. “From creative and editorial collaborations with artists like Salvador Dali, Cindy Sherman, Ed Ruscha and Takashi Murakami, to brand and creative directors increasingly drawing on trends and philosophy of art in their work.” In recent years, the blurring of the boundaries between the worlds of fine art and luxury has steadily increased, as high end consumers demonstrate as much of an interest in art as in luxury goods and lifestyles.

Expressions of this art and luxury cross-pollination are wide-ranging, from branded spaces at art fairs (Prada Double Club at Miami Art Basel 2017) to brand-hosted art exhibitions (Victoria Beckham’s in-store collaboration with Sotheby’s ahead of its Old Masters sale this summer) and the establishment of museums by luxury fashion houses (Fondazione Prada, Fondation Cartier, Fondation Louis Vuitton, to name a few). The new Art of Luxury course aims to closely examine these innovative intersections and its effect on the market.

Designed for those considering careers in the luxury field, the course will provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the rapid (and often contradictory) evolution of the luxury market. “With the dramatic growth of luxury brands around the world, this course identifies how the market for art and other luxury items has evolved to answer the increased demand from sophisticated buyers,” Sotheby’s Institute-London Deputy Director Jonathan Woolfson explains. “Students will reflect on when the concept of luxury was first articulated, who the consumers were historically, who they are today, how their tastes have evolved and how modernity has affected the production, sale and marketing of luxury goods.” They will explore the connection between luxury and art as a strategic partnership for economic and cultural growth.

The course will also take full advantage of London as a major center for luxury through site visits to the city’s most iconic retail stores, galleries, ateliers, and manufacturing plants. Students will be introduced to industry insiders from a wide variety of luxury sectors in order to understand the industry through exclusive access behind the scenes and a European field trip to one of Italy’s hubs for luxury. The teaching will also draw on Sotheby’s Institute’s far-reaching network in the art and luxury sectors, emphasizing the acquisition of concepts and knowledge alongside hands-on, practical skills. “Most importantly,” Carlotto notes, “students will creatively think about the connection between luxury and art as a pathway to generate innovation.”

Featured image: Azuma Makoto’s “Iced Flowers” for Dries Van Noten, Spring 2017; Photo by INDIGITAL


Learn the secrets of the luxury business with our Art of Luxury course in London, starting January 2019. Learn more.

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