Why the fashion industry is taking over the restaurant business

Why the fashion industry is taking over the restaurant business

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Not a week goes by without at least one fashion brand announcing the opening of a café or restaurant bearing its logo. As life returns to normal after two years of pandemic, with consumers eager to go out, the restaurant industry is emerging as the new segment for the luxury industry to conquer. Leading luxury brands have always found a natural outlet in the culinary segment, but never before has this phenomenon experienced such a frenzy as in this period.

Boss takes over the historic Café Vitti in Rome – DR

Over the past few weeks, announcements of restaurant openings have multiplied. The most recent is that of Boss, which has just opened its very first café in Rome in partnership with the historic Vitti pastry bar in Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina, not far from its store. The space, decked out in the German brand’s colors of black, white and beige, will offer until November “a unique Boss experience, blending design and dining with Roman influences,” said the brand in a statement.    
Experience is the new mantra of luxury. As the latest studies on the high-end consumer goods market confirm, consumer spending in recent years has tended to shift towards wellness, hospitality and dining. Added to this is the craze for gastronomy, a phenomenon still on the rise, which can be a new growth lever for brands, for example, by converting underperforming retail spaces into restaurants. This diversification also allows brands to reinforce their image and positioning as lifestyle brands.

Christian DiorAvenue Montaigne

Already busy running a restaurant in Osaka, Japan, and two cafés (in Osaka and Seoul, South Korea), Louis VuittonLVMH

The Gucci Osteria is part of the brand’s Florentine palace, which houses a boutique and showrooms – Gucci

Long before Dior and Vuitton, other fashion houses ventured into this segment and paved the way, such as Giorgio ArmaniVersaceBulgariChanel

PradaRalph LaurenBurberryGucciTrussardi

In addition to the visibility that these prestigious locations bring, it is also a way to diversify a brand’s revenues, something much needed after the pandemic, and to broaden its audience, while encouraging the customer to prolong their presence in their spaces to encourage them to consume more of their products, since the culinary experience is ideally offered inside their points of sale or nearby. By creating a complete universe around the brand, you also manage to better build customer loyalty and capture their attention.

Not to mention the publicity generated on social media by photos of beautiful dishes presented naturally on clearly recognizable branded tableware. This ‘instagrammable’ aspect, which young people love when it comes to sharing an image on social media has been a focus of attention for certain brands, such as the British footwear brand Jimmy Choo

The seaside restaurant recently opened by Borsalino – DR

This opportunity of displaying a brand’s image and values through this new segment has also attracted more subtle brands and young designers. Like Simon Porte JacquemusGaleries LafayetteJeanne Damas

Announcements of new openings have continued in recent weeks, with the trend of mid-sized brands forging partnerships. BorsalinoRivieraLorenzo SerafiniAlberta Ferretti

Capitalizing on the new gastronomic love of consumers, particularly younger ones, luxury houses are creating new touch points through their gastronomic spaces, while offering their customers a new type of multi-sensory experience. This incursion of fashion into the kitchen is also part of the houses’ new strategy around the transformation of their points of sale. The objective is to make them once again full-fledged destinations, no longer focused solely on selling products, but designed as multifunctional spaces, where to live different experiences and spend time, to win back local customers, but also market shares lost to online shopping.


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