How much do you love your favourite hotel? This is a question oft asked by some of the world’s most iconic hotels as they sell their signature wares in the gift shop or directly through the room. Having demanded a cult following and recognising that, several have taken it a step further by parlaying their popularity into a comprehensive lifestyle brand. Going beyond a Chateau Marmont T-shirt or a red-appliquéd sheet set from the Bowery Hotel, several forward-thinking properties are partnering with outside retailers – or vice versa – to transform their brand name into something much bigger: a way of life.
The first fusions
The idea of fusing luxury fashion or jewellery with a hotel stay was first pioneered by brands such as Bulgari and Armani. The translation between luxury goods and luxury hospitality has flowed seamlessly for these two: their namesake hotel properties utilise brand bedding, toiletries, furniture, and more to cultivate an overall sensibility that one is ‘living’ within the brand itself. Building upon that idea, hotels such as the Ritz Paris and Le Sirenuse offer both guests and voyeurs the opportunity to buy into the brand ideals from afar through curated merchandise and more.
Frame, the Los Angeles-based denim brand, has spearheaded clothing and accessories collaborations with NYC’s The Carlyle and the Ritz Paris. Frame co-founder Erik Torstensson ideated the partnerships after being a regular guest at each lionised property, both of which have developed intensely loyal cult-like followings. So for fans unable to visit for a stay, they can wear a hat or varsity jacket embroidered with the logo instead; dedicated guests can take a piece of the beloved hotel home with them – via an embroidered cashmere blanket, perhaps.
The Ritz Paris
The Standard x Onia Swimwear
Known for its cheeky sensibility, The Standard Hotel group partnered last summer with Onia Swimwear on an exclusive capsule inspired by the hotel’s aesthetic and vibe. Long a purveyor of curated goods that reflect the ideology of its hotels – the High Line shop will remain one of the best hotel gift shops ever, featuring items such as COMME des GARÇONS wallets, glass pipes, diamond jewellery, and a full newsstand alongside the classics of toothbrush, toothpaste and condoms – the partnership in creating bright yellow swimwear is another reflection of their mindfulness regarding brand, lifestyle, consumer, and content.
The Standard and Onia Swimwear
From beach to boutique (and back again)
In the other direction, Missoni has lent its signature chevron stripes to two resort clubs, one in Portofino and one in the Maldives. Offering the ideal seaside setting to spotlight their distinctive, vibrant colours and intricate patterning, each property features furnishings, umbrellas, towels and more by Missoni. An onsite pop-up store sells the beachside wares and a selection of Missoni clothing so visitors can leave with a chic souvenir.
Similarly, Positano’s coveted Le Sirenuse has two boutiques onsite and via their website that purvey their wares offering clothing, dinnerware and toiletries that encapsulate the (dreamy) vibe of the hotel. A signature scent, Eau d’Italie, is truly transportive, while thoughtful collaborations – an ashtray designed by Angelica Hicks, for example – enable loyal guests to channel the brand’s aesthetic in their own homes.
Transforming a hotel into a global brand
Marie-Louise Sciò took this idea to the next level with her family’s Il Pellicano Group. Marrying classic elegance and excellent service with a modern feel, each of her three five-star properties maintains a similar aesthetic and high standard. Personally overseeing every aspect of the guest experience, from design to food and more (every guest at Il Pellicano exclusively receives the Pellican Post every morning at breakfast, a coveted vintage-style mini-newspaper with daily happenings at the hotel and in the area), she acknowledges the impact of detail and how the little things create memories that last a lifetime. Indelible and evocative, it is absolutely no wonder that guests want to bring that feeling home with them.
Understanding the value of what she’d created at the hotels, Sciò took it a step further and created a global brand, ISSIMO. Stating ‘ISSIMO is for the curious, passionate, adventurous and hungry about everything Italian, with a twist,’ the brand’s products range from food to her iconic striped towels to clothing – all made in Italy. Offered on their own website and through major retailers such as Matches Fashion and Harrods, it is the most sweeping example (for now) of hotel becoming life. Stay tuned for the next.
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