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The University of Southampton
Winchester Luxury Research Group

Partnerships and engagement

Members of the Winchester Luxury Research Group actively engage with institutional and business partners and networks to develop impactful research projects, exhibitions, conferences and publications.

The Winchester Luxury Research Group is developing a range of partnerships with institutions and business organizations. An exemplar is the partnership with the internationally renowned Victoria and Albert museum.

WSA V&A Partnership

The WSA/V&A research fellow post was created in 2013 to forge links between Winchester School of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The alliance between Winchester School of Art and one of the world's leading museums of design and the decorative arts is especially appropriate and mutually advantageous given Winchester's established pedagogical strength and expertise in the fields of Luxury Brand Management and the cutting edge research undertaken in the field of Critical Luxury Studies by members of the Winchester Luxury Research Group.

In 2015 the V&A staged their critically acclaimed international exhibition in conjunction with the Crafts Council - What is Luxury? co-curated by the first WSA/V&A research fellow. This major exhibition interrogated the official understanding and status of luxury, the relationship between historical and contemporary conceptions of luxury and the role contemporary technologies might play in the future of luxury. The exhibition proved to have both popular and academic resonance and has subsequently become widely referenced as a benchmark in the conceptualization of Critical Luxury Studies.

The partnership continues to provide a number of opportunities for critical dialogue between the expanding research cultures of WSA and the V&A. For example, members of WLRG were invited to contribute to the workshop and conference related to the What is Luxury? exhibition and form part of the invited panel of academics and industry experts as the V&A launched their major new cultural initiative V&A at E20: the Museum’s new cultural and educational quarter at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. Members of the WLRG continue to contribute regularly to the academic output of the Museum, writing for publications and speaking at conferences related to the V&A’s program of hugely popular international    exhibitions. Recent examples include contributions to both the publication and conference associated with the ‘blockbuster’ exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and essays for the groundbreaking research project London Couture 1923-1975: British Luxury as well as a paper given at the project’s associated conference.

The Winchester hosted journal Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption maintains a close relationship with the V&A, regularly publishing essays by its curators and, following the special issue of the journal published in conjunction with the What is Luxury? exhibition, in 2017 another special issue of Luxury was dedicated to the V&A’s Europe 1600-1815 galleries with this issue representing the only new publication dedicated to the galleries, featuring essays from experts, curators, and exhibition designers. The partnership continues to provide exciting opportunities for critical exchange between Winchester School of Art and this world-leading museum of design and decorative arts.

Luxury Brand Management Partnerships

The MA Luxury Brand Management (LBM) course at WSA provides students with outstanding opportunities to work and collaborate with leading Luxury brands. LBM collaborates with luxury brands such as Aston Martin, Bremont, Floris, Maserati, George Bayntun, Le Meurice, The Savoy, Lock & Co, The V&A Museum, The Royal Southampton Yacht Club, Wright & Teague, Birchall, Richard James, Gieves and Hawkes, Aspinal of London and 81 Agency.

The LBM Consultancy Project is an invaluable opportunity for students to work on real Luxury brand projects. Working with global leaders students have the opportunity to collaborate on live projects set by luxury brands. Projects that on completion are then presented back to the brands and used within luxury industries such as automotive, yachts, jewellery, hotels, fashion, accessories, beverages, fine wine and spirits. 

Luxury Brand Management field trips to London and Paris enable students to visit luxury brands, experience luxury accommodation and gain exposure to luxury history and contemporary culture. This combined with internship opportunities provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required in the management of complex Luxury brands.

Winchester Luxury Research Group and Business South

Winchester Luxury Research Group (WLRG) is pleased to be associated with Business South, an independent and influential organisation operating as a social enterprise, which connects leading employers to promote the region and champion the economy of the South of England. Based in Southampton, Business South operates in Hampshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight, Surrey and Sussex. With over 250 partners, Business South works with many of the top UK business brands, over 50 Local Authorities, and 10 Universities, including the University of Southampton. By bringing people together through its Champion Programme events, networks, and forums, Business South realises opportunities and maximises the potential for the Southern region.

In September 2016, WLRG hosted the first Business South Luxury Roundtable at Winchester School of Art, and, in July 2017, members of WLRG participated in the second Business South Luxury Roundtable, hosted by Cunard on the Queen Mary 2 in Southampton Docks. Luxury business brands represented at these roundtables included Maserati, Hattingley Valley Wines, Sunseeker Yachts, Aspinal of London, the Lime Wood Group, the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, and Burrells Jewellers.

As a result of WLRG’s engagement with Business South, a new Luxury South Forum has been established to champion the interests of luxury business brands in the Southern region. The forum meets on a bi-monthly basis to identify issues facing the sector and to support developments to ensure that luxury brand businesses are able to meet their potential to contribute to the success of the region. Director of the WLRG, Professor Joanne Roberts, is the Vice Chair of the Luxury South Forum, whilst other members of WLRG, including Professors John Armitage and Jonathan Faiers and Dr Yasmin Sekhon, contribute to the Forum through their regular participation and the sharing of their research insights.


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Enquiries from potential partners are most welcome. Please get in touch if you would like to explore opportunities to engage with the activities of the Winchester Luxury Research Group.


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The staff, research students and sffiliated members of the group.

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