Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Luxe CEOs bemoan encroachment of social media on privacy

January 12, 2010


No one wants it broadcast to the world when one is submitting to the indignities of airport security screening.

But that’s just what happened to luxury designer Tory Burch awhile back, when a fan tweeted to thousands that Burch was barefoot at the airport.  The upside, Burch said, was that the tweet and subsequent discussion gave her the idea to create a travel sock for women.

New business ideas notwithstanding, Burch told an audience at the National Retail Federation conference that social media was taking a toll on her.

“You want to maintain a level of mystique in a way, you don’t want to be accessible,” she said.  “Being the face of our brand I want to maintain a level of privacy … but  you have to stay interesting, be quippy and funny and not boring, but at the same time, not too personal.”

Fellow panelist Saks CEO Steve Sadove also finds there are limits to our electronic age. He recently went on Facebook but within a matter of minutes was besieged by friend requests and ran the other way. “No, this isn’t for me,” he thought. And don’t expect him to start tweeting any time soon, he told the audience of about 2,000.

He has reason to be skeptical: not long ago he went on holiday to Mexico with his family, and was none too pleased to see photos of himself at the beach on the web.

(Reuters photo)

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