Monday, July 4, 2022 – La Minute Monocle
Opinion / Nathalie Theodosius
After three weeks on the road attending men’s fashion shows, I’ve been asked countless times what the new seasonal trends are and what to wear this summer (the answer: designers focus on well-made and timeless). But another kind of trend is also emerging in the industry: brands are showing a growing desire to expand beyond fashion.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but it makes business sense. With lockdowns now largely behind us, businesses need to diversify revenue and reconnect with customers in the physical world. That’s why Gucci called on Connaught Hotel mixologist Giorgio Bargiani to create a pre-mixed cocktail (illustrated) for sale in boutiques and at her new Florentine bar, the Gucci Giardino 25. “Personalization is now the ultimate luxury,” Bargiani tells me. “Whether it’s a five-star hotel, fashion or art, everything becomes more attractive when it gives access to something unique, an experience that cannot be bought. Hospitality – the bartender in my case – can help create this.
In the same spirit, watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre offers tasting experiences with star mixologist Matthias Giroud, who has created several mocktails inspired by the nature that surrounds the brand’s manufacturing headquarters. Missoni and Etro, meanwhile, are doubling their home collections; they are now as concerned about dressing their customers’ tables as the customers themselves. And accessories designer Rosh Mahtani’s recent summer pop-up sold as many hearty pasta dishes and curated spritz cocktails as her brand Alighieri’s signature gold-plated jewelry and espadrilles.
Those who succeed in branching out will end up with healthier results and loyal customers. This is the case of the Danish brand Ganni, which has been shaking up its fashion offer with photography, art and interior projects for years. According to Reuters, the company is now up for sale and could fetch up to 700 million dollars (672 million euros). From interiors to hospitality, there are plenty of options for fashion brands looking to expand their reach.
Natalie Theodosi is Monocle’s fashion editor.