1st Edition

Luxury Brand and Art Collaborations Postmodern Consumer Culture

By Federica Carlotto Copyright 2024

    Over the past decades, collaborative initiatives between luxury brands and the art world have been increasing in number and relevance. At first treated as a mere trend or as a marketing stunt, in time luxury-art collaborations have come to be acknowledged as one of the most effective ways luxury brands and artists can position themselves in today’s market, engaging with their clients and audiences. This book sheds light on the socio-cultural valence of luxury-art collaborations. 

    The book explores luxury-art collaborations in the context of postmodern consumption, i.e. as a phenomenon deeply rooted in and emerging from the ways postmodern individuals value and consume objects, contents and ideas. More specifically, the book covers: how collaborations reflect the postmodern condition and liquid consumption practices (hybrid, temporary, hyperreal); the impact of luxury-art collaborations on the evolution of luxury stores and museums, and the emergence of hybrid spaces (art fairs, nomadic exhibitions, pop-up stores) – the temporal features of luxury-art collaborations (shortlived duration and fast-paced tempo) – how luxury-art collaborations reshuffle traditional status dynamics while drawing new boundaries of social distinction based on experience and access – why luxury brands and creatives are redefining their conventional identities, morphing into cultural entities and bricoleurs. 

    The book appeals to a wide range of readers, from academics and students in art business, luxury studies, consumption behaviour, to professionals in the luxury industry and the art world. The book is also relevant to an international readership of non-specialists interested in current social and cultural matters.




    Spectacular ensembles across genres and styles

    The eclectic manipulation of fragments

    Above and beyond: hyperreality and its enhanced atmospherics


    Peculiar Contrast, Perfect Light: Virgil Abloh’s extravagant display




    Designing luxury stores as heterotopias of wonder

    Localism and nomadism of luxury spaces

    The augmented geography of the art fair


    La Galerie Dior and the creation of a new consumption ecosystem




    The digital now and its quantic moments

    Unpacking and re-packaging the past

    The circular timing of traditions and anniversaries


    Rooted in the time of the planet: Retour Aux Sources and Ruinart




    Subversive, omnivorous, playful: the new facets of distinction

    Enriched ownership, diversified access

    The prestige-value and cultural nuances of experience


    Old Masters, new customers: the “Victoria Beckham effect” on Sotheby’s business evolution




    Hyphenated creativity

    Collaborative outputs as culture creation

    Between outputs and outreach: the identity tension of luxury brands


    “Dolce Vita 4.0”: the Roman patronage of Bulgari




    Federica Carlotto is the Programme Director of the Master in Luxury Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and a social anthropologist specialised in luxury, fashion and other cultural and creative industries. By applying the lens of human science to markets, trends and brands, Federica delves into the thick layers of meaning behind consumer behaviour, producing strategic business intelligence. Her cultural insights also look at connecting business with communities and the society at large, for responsible value creation.

    “From luxury brands to art collaborations, from postmodernism to culture, Federica Carlotto deftly analyzes the contemporary luxury imaginary. She produces useful and accessible insights into art’s co-operative manifestations and surveys numerous theoretical and practical approaches to postmodern consumer culture.”


    -          John Armitage, University of Southampton.


    “In this highly original study, the case studies chosen are rich and their analysis within the framework of postmodern consumer culture is compelling. The varied approach to the entangled notion of luxury and art enriches our understanding of a phenomenon that will have an impact on current and future discourses, both high and low.”


    -          Flavia Frigeri, Art Historian and Curator



    “Essential reading! Luxury Brand and Art Collaborations: Postmodern Consumer Culture provides a provocative analysis in a fresh approach to understanding how art and luxury are entwined in a post-modern, experiential and digitally networked world.  The book provides theoretically nuanced insights into how place-making, time-work and social status redefinitions are triggered by the management of collaborations between artists, creative directors and executives of luxury brand corporations.  Timely is an understatement!”


    -          Annamma Joy, Professor of Marketing, University of British Columbia.



    “Where does luxury end and art begin? A compelling and illuminating exploration into the true meaning of brand collaborations through a social-cultural lens.”


    -          Rebecca Robins, Global brand and luxury expert, and best-selling author