More luxury brands venture into hotel space
The increasing market appeal of suite rooms curated by designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Dior, Diane von Furstenberg and more.
Audemars Piguet makes the latest move amongst luxury brands, teaming up with Bjarke Ingels Group, a Copenhagen and New York-based architecture firm, and Lausanne-based CCHE Architecture. The 50-room hotel in Switzerland will be another addition to string of upscale resorts opened by fashion brands, hoping to leverage on their global prestige.
Composed of five sloping, crossing slabs, with varying room sizes, the hotel is situated next to the Audemars Piguet museum, in Le Brassus, Vallée de Joux.
Fashion-Focused Trend ramps up, as more luxury brands set their sight in hospitality space in the world’s glitziest destinations.
Since the opening of the world’s first fashion-branded hotel – Palazzo Versace Queensland – almost a decade ago, more leading names in the fashion industry soon saw opportunity in the hotel industry.
Designers including Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Dior, and Diane von Furstenberg created suites for other hotel brands. Now, numerous leading fashion companies boast hotels under their brands. Armani Milan hotel, Ferragamo’s Lungarno Collection Portrait Firenze, a 34-suite hotel in Florence, and the list goes on with Versace, Baccarat, and Missoni.
More prolific ventures include Tommy Hilfiger’s purchase of the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach and LVMH’s properties that spread from Europe to Maldives and West Indies.
Deciphering the popularity and appeal of these hotel to luxury travelers, Liv Gussing Burgess, owner of Luxury Hotel Consulting based in London explains that “these hotels are located in either key strategic locations—in terms of their key customer markets such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo for Bulgari, or key gateway cities such as London—and in exotic locations that help elevate the brand.”
One of the most aggressive names in the boutique hotel space will be Italian jeweler and luxury-goods brand, Bvlgari. With a resort in Bali and hotels in London, Beijing, and Milan, the brand has announced projects in Moscow, Paris, and downtown Tokyo. Their latest property is a hotel in Shanghai, spanning across eight top floors in a mixed-use tower, featuring a 400-square meter suite, a rooftop restaurant and bar.
“Hotels are a great way to showcase the design philosophy of a brand, to entertain its customers, and to project a lifestyle that goes beyond products,” a Bvlgari spokesperson said in a statement.
Fueling the trend, popular lifestyle brands in the U.S. are also moving into the hospitality space; West Elm, Equinox, and Detroit-based watchmaker Shinola have all announced their hotel projects. With ample in-store retail experience and a helpful leverage of data, these brands are better able to grasp and fulfil the interests of their existing customers.
Jet set for Dubai
While places such as Maldives and Paris has no lack of new luxury hotels popping up, Dubai is becoming a hot destination for fashion branded hotels, with several stunning projects receiving global recognition and accolades. The Armani Hotel Dubai in Burj Khalifa, stands as the world’s tallest building, and Bvlgari’s Dubai property, designed by Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, was named best new luxury hotel of 2017 by Luxury Travel Intelligence.
One of the main draws of venturing into hospitality is the new space it offers to these luxury brands – to promote and market their own brand of products.
Gussing Burgess, the Managing Director of Luxury Hotel Consulting, reflects upon her stay in Bvlgari Resort Bali as “modern, sleek, and elegant”, with interior designs that reflect the Bvlgari brand and a wide range of Bulgari retail products.
“Marketing of luxury products will continue to be aspirational, but is also moving toward creating and providing lifestyle experiences to help build their stories and ultimately increase loyalty and sales,” Gussing Burgess says, expecting the strong trend to continue as more luxury brands venture into hospitality businesses.