Luxury Spotlight: Meredith Xavier from Ligné Magazine

Interior design can be dynamic and dramatic or it can be soft and supple but it should always be inspired. Meredith Xavier founder of the Ligne Agency and Ligné Magazine fell in love with beautiful things when working for Christies in Beverly Hills. After tiptoeing around the basement of the National Gallery and grabbing her Masters in Fine and Decorative Arts Connoisseurship she started the innovative Ligne Agency. Dealing exclusively with the creative world of interior design, the Ligne Agency offers a full public relations and business development service. Their highly selective client list boats the best artisans and designers in the business ensuring that high class vision is everything. We sit down with Meredith to find out how the ever tactile company of Ligne Agency is moving forward in the art of the digital age.

Meredith Xavier Creative Mind behind the Ligné Magazine 1

Every luxury expert has a different story on how they got started in the industry. What is yours?

I started at Christie’s Auction House in Beverly Hills. They hired me as an intern when I was a Junior at Pepperdine – and I became enamored with the culture. I was surrounded by incredible and significant works of art and decorative pieces. Soon I was cataloging sales and handling the business side of the art world.

I moved to London after I graduated and obtained my Masters in Fine and Decorative Arts Connoisseurship from Christie’s through the University of Glasgow. We spent our afternoons in the basement of the National Gallery viewing works of art the public has probably never seen. It was an incredible experience – and I knew working with the buyers and clients at this level was exactly where I wanted to be.

Tell us about Ligné Magazine. Who is your core audience and what marketing opportunities do you offer luxury brands?

Ligné Magazine started as an interior design focused publication and over the years has grown to encompass travel, fashion and culture. There is so much great design out there and sadly not as many places to get it published as there used to be in terms of print – so I decided to start my own magazine and tell the stories I wanted to tell. And I absolutely love to write, when I can find the time.

Our audience is consumers in the top 2% HHI and architects and designers that are working on multi-million dollar homes. Our print issue has controlled distribution, so our advertisers know exactly who it is going to. That is the biggest draw about working with Ligné Magazine. Our online readers vary greatly, but one thing they all have in common is a passion for interior design. That is the core of the magazine and always will be.

Meredith Xavier Creative Mind behind the Ligné Magazine 2.1

In what ways has your publication changed over the years? And how has your publication remained successful in light of competing digital magazines?

Like any magazine we have evolved dramatically each year. The design is better, the content is more international – and we are constantly striving to bring beautiful design to people who are perpetually on the lookout for ways to enhance their home, wardrobe and overall lifestyle. I don’t feel that we are competing with other digital publications – we live in a world that constantly bombards you with information. There is so much to see online that it is at times completely overwhelming. On the upside of that, digital publishing makes it easy to consume several magazines a day regardless of where you are. Ligné Magazine is meant to be something to escape with – a beautiful, clean design with great features that our readers can truly enjoy.

What do you think is the future for print publications, as compared to digital alternatives?

We print Ligné Magazine because the design industry is very tactile. They want to turn the pages, flag designs, bend a page corner – and even tear out images to put on an inspiration board. This is the beauty of print publications. What we are sharing and writing about is nothing like a newspaper. The magazines are meant to be kept and read over and over again – I will always prefer to read a magazine in print than online.

Digital brings accessibility. Articles are easy to share and everyone loves a good Pinterest board. We have a need for both, and I think we always will.

Meredith Xavier Creative Mind behind the Ligné Magazine 3

How has the world of social media affected print publications? And what is your strategy when it comes to social media?

Social media has allowed magazines to expand their audience by sharing original content and driving direct traffic directly back to their publication. It also helps build anticipation towards future issues – we love to preview articles or give sneak peeks to our social media followers so they have the inside track on our upcoming issues.

Many print magazines also manage a successful luxury blog. What is your take on this?

For us, we can’t put everything in print – so online is a venue to share stories and content that we think our audience would love, and just simply doesn’t work into an upcoming print issue. Having an online presence as a publication is vital to keeping readers engaged. It allows constant communication with readers that wouldn’t be available otherwise.

Meredith Xavier Creative Mind behind the Ligné Magazine 4

What do you think constitutes a successful marketing campaign? And what are some examples of successful campaigns that have featured in your publication?

A successful marketing campaign makes you stop and pay attention – whether through verbiage or imagery. It engages, and gives a relevant message to the audience for which it was created. Most of our advertisers are shelter industry focused, and the most successful campaigns are the simple ones. They exhibit great design with no fuss – they allow the quality of the product to come through and speak for itself.

Like most successful blogger/editor, you probably received hundreds of emails per month from luxury brands who want you to share their story. What makes you decide to work with a brand over the other?

I look for the unique – the one of a kind, and the true talent that isn’t just regurgitating what has been seen time and time again. I also publish products and projects that I personally feel stand for something. Sadly, that’s few and far between. And brands that send me a concise, to the point pitch that is tailored for our publication have a much better chance of getting coverage than the generic press release.

Meredith Xavier Creative Mind behind the Ligné Magazine 5

What is your take on press releases? Do you still enjoy receiving them or do you prefer a more personable one-on-one approach?

Definitely the one on one approach. We appreciate when a pitch is directed at our publication – knowing the individual who sent it has a knowledge and understanding of our audience and takes the time to send us edited and relevant content. Generic press releases that are sent to mass audiences are not of interest to us.

If you had to give advice to a new luxury startup on how to get featured in a prestigious luxury magazine, what would it be?

Get your brand out there – pick up the phone and call the editor you are pitching to. Let them know who you are – set a time to meet in person and show your work. Know your audience, your brand message and your PR goals. Editors appreciate hearing the story about the product and why it is significant, unique and worthy of valuable page space. Every pitch may not be a placement, but you are setting the foundation with that editor and building name recognition. That can only help the future success of your brand with that magazine.

Connect with Ligné Magazine on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. Or reach out to us for an introduction.

Roxanne Genier

Roxanne is the Co-Founder of LuxeInACity and AgenceLuxury. An Avid sailor and traveler she stumbled into luxury in 2005 while working aboard superyachts. Since then she has been a private concierge for UHNWI and has helped several luxury brands with their digital needs.

Latest posts by Roxanne Genier (see all)

Tags: luxury magazine, luxury publication

Blogger Spotlight: Angie Silver of SilverSpoon London

Behind every great luxury blog, you will find a great story. Luxury bloggers are real people, not machines, and to successfully work with them, we recommend you get to know them a little better. Through our years at LuxeInACity, we have talked, collaborated and exchanged ideas with dozens of great bloggers from around the world.

Since bloggers rarely talk about themselves – they tend to talk about everyone else instead – we hope to showcase their skills, expertise and opinions in this blog series. Get to know them, learn from them and hopefully you will find an innovative way to collaborate with them.

Today’s blogger is Angie Silver, the founder and writer of SilverSpoon London. Her blog reflects her two passions: London lifestyle, especially the restaurant scene, and luxury travel. Angie’s uses her personal experience and recommendations to ensure her readers will be informed about the very best a destination has to offer.

Angie Silver SilverSpoon London 1

Every blogger has a different story on how they got started blogging. What is yours?

I was working on another business venture and I started to develop the blog as part of that. I found that I enjoyed the blog even more than the other business and I decided redirect my focus. When I came to the decision that it was what I wanted to concentrate on, I renamed and rebranded to reflect my chosen style. I’ve always been passionate about food and luxury travel and my friends had constantly asked me for my advice on where to go and where to stay, the blog was the opportunity to collate this information all in one place and to write a personal diary that I can always long back on.

Like most successful bloggers, you probably received hundreds of emails per month from luxury brands who want you to share their story. What makes you decide to work with a brand over the other?

I prefer to mostly work with brands I know of and I will certainly only work with companies that share my values and are of interest to my readers.

What is your take on press releases? Do you like receiving them or do you simply discard them?

I always keep abreast of luxury travel news and trends through websites, news and other bloggers. However, it’s very useful to receive a press release straight from the source. It’s inevitable that I’m going to get some irrelevant ones but these can be filtered out and discarded very easily. I don’t run stories on my blog purely based on the press release, as my blog is all about my personal experience. However, if the news was of interest to my readers, I would certainly share it on my social media.

What would make you choose to work with a brand on a giveaway campaign on your site?

I prefer to work with brands that I’ve heard of and already have some sort personal connection with. However, if the brand espouses the same values as me I am certainly open to working with them. I’m always careful when I choose what prizes that I give away as I want to make sure it’s they are right for my blog and my audience.

Angie Silver SilverSpoon London 2

If a brand wants to reach you, what channel should they use? Do you prefer email, social media or another means of communication?

I prefer to be contacted via email so I have all my communications in one place. I also think it’s safer, some brands want to send me samples of products and I prefer not to give out my address over Twitter.

What is the coolest gift you have received from a luxury brand in a blogger outreach program?

I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in some beautiful hotels and dine in amazing restaurants. I’m very grateful for the opportunities that my blog has given me.

Of all the social media channels you engage on, which one do you prefer and why?

I really like the interaction that you get over twitter. I’m able to network with brands I’m interested and have a personal connection with my readers.

Which social media channels does your audience interact with the most?

Mostly Twitter, but I think Instagram is also huge for the luxury travel market. The visuals of beautiful places, hotels and scenery just can’t be fully appreciated in words.

In your opinion, what does it take to become successful on social media?

Dedication. A continuous and consistent social media presence in vital, as is networking and interaction with the right people. Good content is also important as well as eye-catching visuals.

Angie Silver SilverSpoon London 3

What is the main reason you blog on a daily basis? Is it for pleasure, for business or for both?

Both! Blogging is my business but I’m absolutely passionate about it so much so that you can rarely pull me away from my computer or phone!

Apart from blogging, do you offer additional services to luxury brands who choose to work with you?

I have a strong background in events planning and I’m happy to help with organizing group blogger events.

If you had to mentor a new blogger, what is your go-to advice to become successful?

Definitely focus on what you love to write about and with so many bloggers out there, make sure that you have a niche. You won’t become an overnight success, building a blog takes time and dedication. One of key ways I’ve found of growing my blog is networking both online and offline. I have a strong relationship with other bloggers and my readers on social media, but I also meet them face-to-face at events and meet ups.

Reach out to Angie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. You can also email her directly. Or, connect with us for an introduction.

Roxanne Genier

Roxanne is the Co-Founder of LuxeInACity and AgenceLuxury. An Avid sailor and traveler she stumbled into luxury in 2005 while working aboard superyachts. Since then she has been a private concierge for UHNWI and has helped several luxury brands with their digital needs.

Latest posts by Roxanne Genier (see all)

Tags: blogger, blogger spotlight, blogging, luxury blogger

Future of Luxury – Trends to Follows

Future of Luxury – Trends to Follows

Recently, I was approached by Brady Dale, contributor at Fortune Magazine, for my opinion on the future of luxury. Although Dale presented my opinion in a very smart way (thank you Dale!), I wanted to take a little more time to put together additional thoughts on the future of luxury in 2015 to share with those who might need a few extra tips. So here you go, a few tips from someone who has held many luxury hats. Here are a few trends to follow if you want to keep up with the future of luxury.

The Shift From “Me” to “We”

In this new digital era, it’s no secret that luxury brands must embrace their community if they want to stand a chance against the test of time. New luxury consumers, especially Millenniums, need a little more interaction than a great advertising campaign plastered in print magazines and on TV. They want luxury brands to engage them through social media on a regular basis, not just by pushing products and branded facts, but by being real. To achieve this, brands must educate and entertain with interesting content and offer customer service through social media instead of setting up an offshore call center with no real value.

I recently spent a week analyzing the social media channels of dozens of luxury brands as part of a study for a patron and noticed that most are still stuck in the “Me” era. Most talk about them, themselves and …  once again themselves. They rarely acknowledge the fans they are speaking to, and they barely interact with influencers or other industry leaders unless it is for self-promotion. Although some luxury brand managers might think they have embraced the community, I suggest they take time to educate themselves on what it means to have a community mindset in 2015.
These “stuck-in-another-era” luxury brands will need to adapt quickly to the new realities of the “we” environment if they want to stay in the game. Select luxury brands are already paving the way and establishing a new luxury brand/fan relationship standard. A brand can still be exclusive and luxurious while being a member of the community; they simply need to be real.

The Rise of the Luxury Curator

We all know “Time is of the essence” but when it comes to the affluent audience, “Time is the ultimate luxury”. When I worked as a personal assistant for a High Net Worth Individual, roaming the world, planning luxury experiences or buying luxury goods, I was told “unless the cost is more than $10,000, please don’t come to me for an opinion. Just make the purchase yourself according to my taste and needs.” Obviously, when you start out as a personal assistant, that statement is a little scary, but with time, you realize that for HNWI, their time is more precious than their money. They have plenty of money, but little time to enjoy it. Once I gained the full trust of my employer, that $10,000 price point was gradually raised to $50,000.

Therefore, expert curators are luxury influencers, whether they are luxury bloggers, personal assistant, personal shoppers, art curators, and luxury travel agents. They will become even more precious to those who hold the real cash in upcoming years.

For luxury brands, this means that they will need to cater to these influencers and treat them with the same respect as HNWI since they often hold keys to the wallet. I will always remember the day when I entered a car dealership in Montreal and bought two new SUVS in 30 minutes. I didn’t want to drive them; I just needed a charcoal and black one that would be comfortable enough for a Golden Retriever. Now that is purchasing power in the luxury industry.

Luxury Experience Trumps Luxury Good

All good luxury marketing expert understands that in this highly competitive industry, it’s rarely about selling the characteristics of the product, but about promoting the brand experience surrounding the goods. This is why luxury brands spend large sums of money to bring forth their brand story through all available marketing channels.

Once again, it’s no longer enough to tell the story; luxury brands must allow their patrons to “live” this story through exclusive events, private shopping experiences, one-on-one interactions and more. For example, Shawn Boyer, head designer and co-founder of Anatomie, a luxury travel fashion brand, will often fly out to meet his patrons in their private homes to crank up their personal style. He will obviously coordinate Anatomie outfits, but also assist these influential women with heaps of fashion advice. His patrons have become his friends, and you can be sure that these ladies give him a lot back in return for his time and generosity. Shawn makes luxury human once more. He reminds me of Coco Chanel and other great luxury designers when they all started their career. You have to admit that it is a shame that you no longer get the same level of service with luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint-Laurent.

Although, we have seen many trends in the last year to convince us that the future of luxury is changing, I feel that these are the most important and often the most disregarded by luxury brands. What do you think? Find me on social media, and share your opinion.

Roxanne Genier

Roxanne is the Co-Founder of LuxeInACity and AgenceLuxury. An Avid sailor and traveler she stumbled into luxury in 2005 while working aboard superyachts. Since then she has been a private concierge for UHNWI and has helped several luxury brands with their digital needs.

Latest posts by Roxanne Genier (see all)