Another winner is Moncler, the upmarket outerwear brand led by Remo Ruffini, who has become a case study as a luxury innovator. He took a niche, burnt-out French skiwear brand, found private equity backers and turned it into the leader in a fast-growing segment. As other luxury brands stumbled in 2016 as the Chinese government cracked down on luxury spending at home and abroad, Moncler sales rose 18 per cent to €1.04bn. Passing the €1bn mark for the first time, it made nearly €200m in profit.
Mr Ruffini, a university dropout who worked in his father's textile business in Como, Italy, is "convinced 90 per cent of consumers follow trends and they are not able to decide which bag they like best. They buy the bag they think is a trend," he has told the FT. As a consequence, he believes it is vital for a brand to differentiate itself with a "very strong image" - not least because luxury sales are increasingly driven by social media.
Luca Solca, an analyst at brokerage Exane BNP Paribas, argues innovation is vital for brands as Chinese luxury consumers - who now account for 30 per cent of luxury spending, according to Bain - have become choosier. And with the Chinese consumption of luxury having slowed down, there is - at least at present - no other emerging group of consumers of equal size to take its place. There is no fresh national market about to be tapped, says Mr Solca. "The newness imperative is one of the most important challenges brands will have to tackle."
Mr Solca adds that different innovation strategies are starting to emerge in the industry. He identifies these as "make or break full blast", such as when a brand ushers in completely new aesthetics, as at Gucci. A second model is "incremental", when a brand such as Moncler chooses to maintain its best-known products at the core of its look while evolving its aesthetics step by step. The final version is "capsule-driven" - small, more novel collections in line with the overall aesthetic.
Failure to adapt fast enough can be drastic. Prada is still in the throes of a turnround, after sales plunged on slowing Chinese demand; it reported full-year net income was down 16 per cent to €278m in 2016. Its founders, Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, were openly sceptical for years about the impact of the internet on luxury.
Succession as a broader theme in the luxury industry is expected to increase in importance as last generation's fashion founders give up their businesses and young entrepreneurs, in touch with millennial tastes, come through. Mr Preysman, for example, founded Everlane when he was 25 years old.
Finally, the secular slowdown in overall luxury growth is forcing extraordinary operations from family groups to boost profits in lieu of revenue growth.
In April, LVMH announced the acquisition of Dior Couture, already controlled by tycoon Bernard Arnault but separately held, to exploit synergies between the groups. And last week LVMH, the world's largest maker of luxury goods, expanded aggressively into online retail by announcing the launch of a vast multibrand ecommerce site, 24 Sèvres.