As fashion designers and brands like Off-White embrace the hospitality industry – creating furniture, wallpaper, and decorative pieces – consumers experience the lifestyle, but do they want to bring it into their homes?
PARIS, France – Developing homeware at an accessible price point and scale without diluting brand equity may be challenging, but with the home furnishings industry poised to exceed 1 trillion dollars by 2025, many fashion brands are vying for market share.
Virgil Abloh launches Off-White home goods for Millennials
Though brands have been known to branch out into new sectors – Giorgio Armani launched Armani Casa home furnishings in 2000 and opened its first hotel in Dubai in 2010 – the trend has been accelerating. Just in the last few years, we have seen luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Loewe, and Gucci launch home decor collections, designing products either in-house or in collaboration with artists. Virgil Abloh recently launched a home goods collection with Off-White.
Virgil Abloh recently launched a home goods collection with Off-White. The cult brand is offering its followers an opportunity to buy into the brand at an accessible price point. Of course, the entire collection is now sold-out, a testament to the Off-White effect.
Whether it is a designer creating a special product in collaboration with a brand, like Draper James is doing with its textile line at Crate & Barrel, and Mercedes Salazar creating a raffia home line for Moda Operandi, or the Peter Pilotto and LaDoubleJ homeware collections, the product is there.
This business model is trickling down to niche brands
Some markets are particularly susceptible to luxury branding: Chinese consumers, for example, now account for 33% of global luxury spending, according to consulting group Bain & Company. This is one of the reasons why Versace and Armani, partnering with Mind Group, chose to expand into residencies in China, with luxury home elements combining with traditional regional cultures. This business model is trickling down to niche brands such as Maison Kitsuné, which is tapping into its customer base by launching a hotel in Bali in 2020.
“Being able to offer their clients a way to expand that lifestyle concept beyond clothes makes perfect sense.”Raffaella Vignatelli, CEO of Luxury Living Group
“Fashion has done such a good job of creating identities and moods through their ad campaigns and social media”, says Raffaella Vignatelli, CEO of Luxury Living Group. “Being able to offer their clients a way to expand that lifestyle concept beyond clothes makes perfect sense.” The fashion lifestyle is interesting for retailers with a designer fashion perspective. The strong brand awareness makes for easier conversion, so complementing their homewares department with fashion brands that resonate with their clients is understandable.
“Generational change and digital media may be shifting the cultural emphasis from ‘standing out’ (individuality) to ‘belonging’ (community). But in the minds of luxury consumers, belonging is really about standing out through belonging to the right group,” says Luca Solca, head of luxury goods research at Bernstein Group.
As people cultivate their social media personas, they view their environment as an extension of themselves and a reflection of their personality. Everything from one’s wardrobe, home, and pastimes becomes part of the lifestyle. Even though we witness a shift in consumerism, with less interest in acquiring things and more into living experiences, products that serve a clear purpose are part of daily experiences. Consumers yearn to belong to a community and all that is associated with it. So much the better for retailers if that community is associated with one’s favourite brand or designer.
At Lambert + Associates, our homeware experts attend the major international trade fairs and salons to keep abreast of the up and coming interior brands, trends and products. Find out more about our sourcing services for homeware here.