Claridge’s, in London, always makes statements. Former CEO of the Maybourne Group Stephen Alden brought in outside chef Simon Rogan – and he quickly got a Michelin star. And for the last five years Claridge’s has made its Christmas tree a design statement – but this year the luxury hotel is extending the publicity reach of the tree.
First, it is designed by Christopher Bailey, the creative mind of Burberry who was nurtured first by CEO Rose Bravo and then by her successor, the equally-marvellous Angela Ahrendts (who sadly has now popped off to Apple). Christopher Bailey, who is now also CEO, is certainly a talented designer. The tree is striking, and it does not have a single wisp of the Burberry plaid that was all the rage until it was taken to overkill by wannabe WAGS, Wives And GirlfriendS (of footballers). Bailey has kept the trenchcoat going, and, in fact, there are trenchcoats to borrow in Claridge’s suites.
Christopher Bailey is also skilled at digital. It was he who first streamlined, real time, Burberry‘s haute couture shows. Now, with this tree, he is at it again. A Snapchat geo-filter allows you to take a photo, presumably of your family or a selfie if you are so inclined, and it will appear to be framed in metallic Burberry umbrellas, just like those on the tree.
This luxury hotel certainly knows how to get publicity. Remember the BBC Two television series, Inside Claridge’s, that showed GM Thomas Kochs to be such a star? He, the guy from Cologne, was all set to star with Christopher Bailey, a little boy from Yorkshire, at the launch party of the tree, this past Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 – but then, like a geni, he disappeared from the Claridge’s scene. Hotel life is full of mystery…