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LVMH Innovation Award 2024: Bernard Arnault prioritises AI with FancyTech

By Florence Julienne


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Morgan Mao and Bernard Arnault / VivaTech 2024 Credits: F. Julienne

On 23 May, at the VivaTech trade fair, the LVMH group awarded seven trophies to start-ups nominated for innovation prizes in various categories. Morgan Mao, founder of FancyTech, a Chinese company, received the grand prize from CEO Bernard Arnault himself.

"Make your dream a reality" was the motto of the ceremony, which was held to a full house at the VivaTech high-tech trade fair in Paris' Porte de Versailles and brought together the top figures of the LVMH group, including Gonzague de Pirey, director of omnichannel and data; Mathilde Delhoume, global brand director; Hélène Valade, director of environmental development; and Franck Le Moal, director of information systems and technology.

The dream has become reality for FancyTech, which has developed video production software using generative artificial intelligence (GenAl). The start-up, which also won the "Immersive Digital Experiences" award, was presented with the grand prize trophy, which arrived on stage in a Louis Vuitton Monogram mini-mall. Created by Dior and inspired by the concept of the LVMH stand at VivaTech, 'The Garden of Dreams', the trophy was designed to showcase the skills of Murano glass blowers combined with the capabilities of GenAl.

Bernard Arnault / VivaTech 2024 Credits: F. Julienne

Admittedly, Gen AI cannot create from scratch, but by using 3D modelling of products and prompts (creative briefs), it is now capable, thanks to FancyTech, of producing animated images without the need for a technical team. Asked on its stand by FashionUnited about the issues raised by rampant technology, which is disrupting working habits, the team replied that jobs are changing and that we need to accept AI as a tool to be even more creative.

It's true that with the rise of video on the internet (via streaming platforms and social networks), and the resulting needs, current technical resources involve costs that cannot always be borne by brands or broadcasters. The long-term aim of FancyTech, which will be based at business incubator Station F, is to enable users to develop their own videos independently.

When Bernard Arnault gives start-ups the keys to his group's success

Introducing the award ceremony, Arnault explained the importance of new technologies. "In the 90s, when tech started to be successful, we supported 75 start-ups, including Google and Netflix, not as a limited company, but with the arguments of a family business. Some of them made it, but many didn't," he said on stage at VivaTech's Stage One. "The start-up mentality is very close to our values: creativity, quality - it has to work, an entrepreneurial spirit and meaning. Also, within the LVMH group, we are working to protect the planet."

As a sign of this commitment to the environment, Dutchman Hans Vermeulen, founder of Aectual, which produces architectural and furniture elements for boutiques made from recycled materials in 3D with a circular mindset, won the 'Sustainability & Greentech' prize.

To conclude, Arnault spoke about his partnership with the Paris 2024 Olympic Games: "If you want to be successful," he said, addressing the prize-winners, "you have to see the spirit of an athlete, every day, and over the long term. I'm telling you: this is just the beginning."

Bernard Arnault / VivaTech 2024 Credits: F. Julienne

The other winners are:

'Image & Media for Brand Desirability': Ircam Amplify, the power of sound for brands and user experiences.

'Omnichannel & Retail': Glanceable, customer feedback analysis solution powered by AI.

'Operations Excellence': Glanceable: AI-powered customer feedback analysis solution.

'Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion': Heralbony, licenses to use unique works of art created by artists with disabilities.

'Special prize for data, AI & Gen AI solutions': BLNG, virtual studio for jewelry and GenAl solution from sketch to final design.

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.FR. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.

Bernard Arnault