Art and Luxury Market: the nobility reinvents itself

Long considered an untouchable market, the economy of Art mixed with luxury is now a safe haven, provided a new lease of life is given to the business models associated with it. Creative inspiration brings a palpable dimension to market opportunities where the Beau, the Soul, the Original, create a welcome competitive distinction.

A favourable Bordeaux environment

Traditionally, even if it does not have all the attractions of the capital, the Bordeaux economy is favorable to the market of Art and Luxury, even if somewhat “trivial” in a desire to accessibility to the greatest number.

A luxury of tradition: wine, culture, art…

The New Aquitaine Region thus highlights significant figures related to the fashion, textile, leather and tableware sectors. A tradition of excellence that still paves the way for great economicsuccess (1).

An undeniable local cultural dynamic.

To date, Bordeaux has no less than forty places linked to Art, among which we can mention the underwater base, the CAPC, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design… All these places do not in itself create economic wealth per se, however, the dynamism of the events legitimize for the entrepreneurs of Art and Luxury the choice of Bordeaux as a place to deploy their activity, while creating a local emulation, like the brand new Weekend of theContemporary art(2), which was first held in Bordeaux in September-October 2017. Art industries and crafts also intrud on the territory, guaranteeing authentic know-how, such as the International Tapestry City in Aubusson(3).

Schools of art and design, from training to inspiration.

The territory’s economic appeal to the luxury and art market is also reflected in a quality training offer that stands out at the national level. Thus, the Higher School of Fine Arts(4) of Bordeaux for example, enjoys a real reputation in the fields of visual arts, music, dance theater, driven by the culture of entrepreneurship. One example is ESMOD, whose group has been in existence since 1841, in Bordeaux, training in the fashion, styling, fashion management, etc., which benefits in particular from a creative partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts(⁵) in order to enhance exhibitions.

The persistence of traditional markets

The fashion world is always in the lead.

On Bordeaux soil, the market dynamics linked to fashion persist and sign. This is particularly the case for Hermes, which recently selected Bordeaux as the location of its teams, given the attractiveness potential of the region. The group intends to create no less than 250 positions in a workshop a few kilometres from Bordeaux, by 2020; with the creation of training dedicated to Hermès craftsmanship. Bordeaux’s international dimension also helps to drive local initiatives, such as the Massip Marguerite Workshops, with the de GRIMM brand, whose duty companion Olivier MASSIP continues to cultivate the excellence of leather goods and the taste for beautiful things(⁶).

Art, luxury crafts and business, the winning trio.

The New Aquitaine Region is also doing well in terms of its leather sector, which brings together internationally renowned brands such as the Tanneur, Weston, or Repetto. Beyond that, it is a network of SMEs that currently weighs more than 3,800 jobs. A local dynamic driven by the public authorities in order to overcome in particular the difficulties of supplying raw materials, as well as artisanal training, whose needs are not yet fully covered. Enough to be able to position itself on beautiful business opportunities in order to accompany the know-how, or to solve the supply and selection of materials.

The business of prestige real estate and luxury hotels.

Last year, Bordeaux real estate has certainly made its debut, but more particularly prestige real estate, high-end, with the combination of the desire of the players of Bordeaux real estate (Barnes, Coldwell Banker …) to intensively enhance the Bordeaux heritage, with many renovations, and the arrival of buyers with increasing purchasing power, especially (⁷).

In the heart of a Haussmannian architecture always imbued with cachet, the architects rethink the place with creativity and authenticity, like the renovation of the Metropolitan, Chartres alley, by the Agency Fort and Salier Architect. Beyond the players directly involved, an entire economy is developing for the related professions (decorators, designers, etc.).

The real estate attraction is also reflected within the luxury hotel industry, with the deployment and creation of many establishments for a very high-end business and leisure clientele. The Grand Hotel, Le Burdigala, Yndo Hotel, Bordeaux Maritime Resort Radisson Blu(⁸)… projects are ennobling and growing, without the demand seeming to dry up.

The business of gastronomy, the Art of Tasting.

The “French” art and luxury market also finds full resonance in Bordeaux gastronomy. Chef Philippe Etchebest’s Fourth Wall restaurant, located in Place de la Comédie, recently earned its first Michelinstar (⁹). Similarly, the Silver Press(10) has not been empty, especially since the installation in the premises of the renowned Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay, whose ambition is now to approach the third star. The Art of Gastronomy resonates in Bordeaux thanks to the staging of deliciously unique atmospheres, as created by Madame Pang(11), an establishment opened at the beginning of 2017, a good out of time according to the flavors and scents of Hong Kong.

The emergence of new models

In this favourable environment, both culturally and historically, Bordeaux allows creative and innovative entrepreneurs to boost their business, provided they know how to create and seize the opportunity of the new breath.

Art and artisanal inspiration.

We no longer present the craft of fish leather, which has been able to mix innovation and tradition, against a background of ecology, in order to diversify a saturated market, as Marielle Philip, Femer(12) has been able to exploit. This is enough to inspire new actors, such as La Pylataise(13), creator of sandals made in Aquitaine. A virtuous and innovative circle. It is also the successful challenge of Petrusse(14), who has blended his love of ancient fabrics with modern creativity, to create incomparable and original stoles.

The new wave, from the creator to the inspiring places.

At the junction of artistic and architectural inspiration, the development of ephemeral sales and other “pop-stores” has helped to energize places sometimes extinguished and above all, to untie the store to the creator, greatly reducing his business plan, for flexibility as close as possible to the desires of consumers. Magical places such as La Grande Poste(1⁵), which host many designer shops, as well as a bar, a restaurant and a central stage of 60m2. The gigantic and intriguing underwater base(1⁶) is also the scene of no less monumental exhibitions, such as Digital Abysse, a “giant artificial and digital aquarium”, until 20 May 2018, by Miguel Chevalier. Each place is “pushed” to the limits of its economic potential, such as the City of Wine(1⁷), which hosts its second major art exhibition around music and wine for nearly 40,000 visitors.

Reinventing the art and luxury market.

Today’s pioneers will be the happy entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Reinventing art and luxury to the taste of the day by creating innovative business models accessible to as many people as possible seems to be the winning bet of luxury in Bordeaux. Initiatives such asKAZoart(1⁸), which democratizes the art market, in the person of Mathilde Leroy, now offers more than five hundred artists online. Art Lover Place, created by Hervé Gicquel, has also positioned itself in the online art gallery area, with also reproductions of works at very lowprices (1⁹).


In the heart of the Bordeaux region, inspiration is driving consolidation as well as the deployment of the art and luxury market. Daring is thus the engine of success, even in the very traditional wine market, where entrepreneurs like Loïc Portier invite you, with to sponsor vine feet(20) for a bespoke cuvée… Push and push the limits, without being afraid to break the codes, as long as passion remains at the heart of the business.


1 “The Leather Sector: A Priority of the Region,” New Aquitaine Region
3 Cite-tapserie
4 ebabx
⁵ “Museum of Fine Arts: carte blanche at ESMOD Bordeaux School,” Aquitaine Online, 22 March 2018
⁶ “Love of beautiful things and handmade in Bordeaux,” Bordeaux Business, 19 dec. 2017
⁷ “2017: an exceptional year for the French luxury market,” Les Echos Investir, Jan 19. 2018
⁸ “Site visit: “Radisson Blu hotel” – 27/04 at 11am in Bordeaux “, Order of Architects
11 Madamepang
12 Femer
13 Lapylataise
14 Petrusse
1⁵ Lagrandeposte

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