Vanessa Bismarck on the Luxury Market and the Future
November 23, 2023
Vanessa von Bismarck is a co-founding partner of BPCM, a strategic consulting and communications agency, and one of the most established and respected voices in public relations.

In the two decades since founding BPCM, Vanessa has been instrumental in building legacy brands and launching brands that today are household names. Under her leadership, the agency rapidly evolved into a powerhouse, specializing in fashion, beauty, travel, wine and spirits, and automotive clients. Vanessa's strategic vision and innovative approach set BPCM apart, making it a go-to destination for brands seeking unparalleled expertise.

Vanessa is an expert in navigating both global and emerging brands through the ever-changing media landscape as digital, social, and B2B opportunities create new challenges and possibilities. The success of BPCM has been built on an ethos of proactive, personalized, and lightning-fast strategy that ensures clients maintain their positions as the leaders, innovators, and firebrands of the global fashion market.

Beyond the corporate realm, Vanessa serves on the board of Le Botaniste, a testament to her commitment to ethical practices in the culinary world. Her influence extends to the LGBTQ community in New York, where she actively contributes as a member of the fashion board at The Center. Additionally, Vanessa's advisory role at Fernbrook Investment Fund underscores her multifaceted involvement in shaping ethical investment practices.

Nestled in the vibrant energy of New York City, she shares her life with her husband, Maximilian Weiner, and their two children

Every company goes through ups and downs. You must know how to navigate, shift, and change with your fragile industry environment. You have to sometimes take a moment and evaluate where you are, if that still makes you happy, and if not change direction.

What changes are you seeing in the luxury market that people might be surprised by?

Not surprising as much as game changing but, I would say it’s the digitalization of the market and how brands must pivot to reach and engage their desired audiences. Social presence has affected the way brands show up. 

The notion of luxury has also changed. In the past, a Nike sneaker would have never been considered luxury - but today with the changing demographics and the obsession with scarcity, the definition of luxury has been completely reworked. People’s tastes have changed over the past couple of years and the experience of taking the time to enjoy special occasions or moments for some has become the true new luxury. So, you will see more and more luxury brands showing up in far flung places.

Also, the increased and long overdue focus on brands to push for more diversity and inclusion in their campaigns shows. Sustainability is more and more important to brands & consumers alike - which works well for us as we are able to consult with brands on a good path forward.

What do you think is changing in the media landscape and how do you help stay on top of that?

Magazines are a shadow of what they used to be - many have closed and many are experiencing a great number of layoffs at the moment. If we say that time can be considered luxury, then a magazine must truly offer something so special to me that I will “invest” my time in consuming it. The new consumer doesn’t have any interest in reading longwinded stories and receives their news online in summarized paragraphs. 

The media landscape has changed and completely shifted online. Magazines make money with affiliate programs and advertising money has been diverted to TikTok and Instagram. I like to look at the media universe with a different lens and include influencers in this universe. Every major influencer has an audience that can be as big, if not bigger than the lifestyle magazines and their engaged communities. This sense of community is something magazines used to have. Now, we have to rebuild. 

What have you learned from running your company that you feel other leaders must know? 

Every company goes through ups and downs. You must know how to navigate, shift, and change with your fragile industry environment. You have to sometimes take a moment and evaluate where you are, if that still makes you happy, and if not change direction. I also learned that I am nothing without my team - so making sure I listen to them and continue to help them grow and learn is of vital importance. 

You have many hats and priorities. What are your time-management secrets? 

My amazing assistant Mitchell if I am completely honest. I am a fan of to-do lists and crossing off what I have managed to do. There are always moments where I am completely drowning and don’t know what to do first, but then I remind myself that I am only human and only one person, and try to focus on priorities and delegate what I feel can be delegated.

How important has building relationships been for you in scaling BPCM?

Building relationships has been the most important and the most rewarding aspect of my job. I have met so many incredible people over the years. NY is all about forging relationships and finding ways to collaborate. Sometimes, I have to force myself to go out and meet new people, but I almost never regret it. That’s why the WieSuite is so incredible – the relationships I have built have been so good for my soul and for my business. 

Who is a woman you admire?

There are many. I would say Angela Merkel is a woman I deeply admire. She was the chancellor of Germany and led the country with heart and empathy, as well as a strong hand.

What’s a trend you see coming in 2024 that inspires you?

AI inspires me. I truly believe AI will be the biggest game changer and will open doors to cutting down on time-consuming tasks to free us all up to be more creative. Also, Innovation Sustainability. By 2024, we might see even more of a trend toward innovative and sustainable practices across various industries. This could include advancements in eco-friendly technologies, circular economy models, and a heightened commitment to reducing environmental impact.

What’s one thing you cannot live without?

Besides my family, I would say my passport – I love travelling. I want to explore the world and want to do much more of it in 2024.


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