The German fashion designer is branching out into the hospitality arena. WGSN Global News Editor Nigel Taylor reports
The Karl Lagerfeld Group is big and getting bigger. The German designer’s brand that is part-owned by GIII Apparel, has announced a major expansion move for the global business. It plans to build an international hospitality brand called Karl Lagerfeld Hotels & Resorts.
It has entered into an exclusive, long-term license agreement with Brandmark Collective BV to make this happen.
The company said the new hospitality brand “will translate Karl Lagerfeld’s vision and unique aesthetic into bespoke projects including hotels, residential properties, restaurants and private clubs.”
“Expanding our brand into the hospitality sector reflects our greater vision to broaden Karl Lagerfeld’s comprehensive lifestyle experience,” said Lagerfeld group CEO Pier Paolo Righi.
Brandmark was founded last year and is a licensing platform that translates, launches and manages a suite of existing brands in the hospitality space. The founders have helped to create, launch and/or operate more than 25 hotels around the world, with extensive hospitality experience across all key disciplines.
Lagerfeld has already begun work on its move into hospitality and has been developing the Karl Lagerfeld six-star hotel in Macau, which is scheduled to open in 2017 and it is currently exploring opportunities in gateway markets and resort destinations worldwide.
Lagerfeld’s announcement is part of a wider trend we are seeing with traditional retail brands moving into the hospitality sector. Just last week lifestyle and interiors retailer West Elm announced plans to open a string of branded hotels in 2018, and Detroit-based fashion retailer Shinola is also planning to open a hotel in 2018. Why the rush to open hotels? It’s part of a wider company strategy to expose consumers and potential consumers to the complete brand offerings and get them to buy into the full brand lifestyle.
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