Fashion & Hospitality creating Experiential Spaces?
From fashion flagships to luxury hotels accommodations, to enjoying exceptional dining spaces or being amazed by monumental art and installations; those are some of the many experiences today brands offer to their clientele. Is “the ultimate experience” the new luxury?
Branded experiential spaces are lifestyle extensions of some fashion and luxury brands. These spaces seek to capture the customer’s attention to engage them in a rewarding, different, and undoubtedly, memorable experience.
Brand spaces can have different formats, either as spaces intended for mere enjoyment and relaxation, a flagship store where the commercial activity takes place or at its opposite pole, non-commercial spaces intended to connect with historical, narrative, artistic elements, or any other discipline close to the core values and the brand purpose.
The positioning of a brand is measured largely by the perception that users have of it. What are the elements inside the brand that they value the most? What do they think of it? And what are the main attributes related to the brand? The creation of brand experiences allows the target audience to interact directly and tangibly within the brand’s world.
This contact instigates us to enter deeply and experientially into everything that the brand has communicated previously in its advertising campaigns, its product offerings, and its ultimate idea of personality and storytelling.
Fashion Venturing Into Hospitality: The Brand Extension Strategy
According to marketing authors Aaker and Kelly, the brand extensions are fundamentally lucrative for any fashion brand, even more so for luxury brands. It is a strategic move “because they provide a way to take advantage of brand name recognition and image to enter new markets”.
This business operation could also be described as diversification of the brand, by joint venture or by a license agreement. Two different, but still complementary, paths for a brand extension strategy include vertical integration, and moving into an unrelated diversification.With vertical integration, brands launch new lines of products inside the company. With unrelated diversification, a fashion brand moves into a completely unrelated area of the business. Fashion and luxury hospitality seek to achieve the same goals, as both industries aim to fulfill extraordinary experiences, create top customer satisfaction, and have one-of-a-kind destinations.Their partnership is a logical move inside the lifestyle business as their spaces provide a sophisticated immersion that clothes cannot have on their own.
We can find several examples of fashion-luxury joint ventures offering dreamy accommodations and a total experience. Palazzo Versace in Dubai and in the Gold Coast of Australia is a privileged destination to live the Versace lifestyle: spectacular architecture and opulence décor.
Armani Hotel Milano promises a “home-away-from-home” experience, delivering luxurious comfort and the lifestyle philosophy of Giorgio Armani’s design. This is the second hotel launched within the Armani Hotels & Resorts project, marking the continued collaboration with Emaar Properties PJSC, one of the world’s most valuable real estate development companies, with experience in shopping malls and leisure.
Round Hill Hotel and Villas, in Jamaica, is the favorite destination for Fashion Designer Ralph Lauren, as he owns a private villa on the Round Hill State. The Ralph Lauren style has been influential in the classic aesthetics across the one-of-a-kind Jamaican property. Located in the Pineapple House, there are 36 Ralph Lauren-designed oceanfront rooms that evoke a classic quintessential Caribbean style. Whitestone floors, signature mahogany beds, and luxurious furniture from Ralph Lauren’s Home Collection make the stay a cinematic experience.
The Bvlgari Hotels and Resorts are selected properties in major cosmopolitan cities such as London, Bali, Dubai, Shanghai, Roma, Miami, and more. The Bvlgari brand aims to be “the leading luxury hospitality collection in the world” with its timeless glamour and honoring the heritage of Greek founder and Jeweler, Sotirio Bulgari. The joint venture is managed by hospitality experts Marriott International and Ritz-Carlton. The Italian architectural firm, Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel is in charge of all hotel properties and restorations.
Many other ventures are worth knowing, such as La Maison Champs Elysees Hotel, under the artistic direction of the Maison Martin Margiela. The Hotel Missoni in Kuwait and Edinburgh, or Casa Camper in Barcelona and Berlin.
In a world where the experience of everyday life has suffered limitations, the luxury hospitality and the tourism sector want to reconnect with those luxury travelers, avid for sensations and unique perspectives.