The merging of fashion and hotels is becoming closer and closer. In Paris, a whole block to the upper end of Champs Elysees – near the Arc de Triomphe – is covered in Dior shrouding, above. The building is owned by Qatar and long-leased to LVMH. When the cover-up is removed, Dior will be able to showcase its brand in a new way. How many stay-over suites will be included? (Dior is very clever, says Girlahead’s driver Alain – in between explaining minutiae of Napoleon III’s re-do of Central Paris, he shared with enthusiasm how the brand has taken over an area of the Bois de Bologne, which includes a kids’ play area, perhaps assuming that get to their offspring and mums will do Dior.)
It’s not only big companies who are taking fashion into new realms. In Oslo, 22-year old Elise By Olsen has founded, and is setting up, The International Library of Fashion Research. It’s based in the old Oslo West rail station, where current tenants also include the Nobel Peace Center.
If fashion is thinking differently, are hotels? Accor sponsors sports teams and Kerzner is certainly theming new-brand SIRO in partnership with AC Milan. (Kerzner has just announced that the first SIRO will have as opening GM the great Jan Tibaldi, who career has included SANDY LANE, THE PULI and, most recently, ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH.) The to-come Embassies brand partners with an outward-thinking car brand, Porsche.
Some hotels are designed by fashion names – Armani, still, and Missoni, past. But hotels are not digging deeper to answer the question of how, in new-look luxury and travel, they can more usefully interact with, say, Yves St Laurent or Yeezy.
Perhaps an initial action would be to look at hotels’ retail, and here Aman takes a big step further with its own range of highest-quality leather goods, designed by Aman’s own team in-house but made in France or Italy. Well done Aman!