In my new article for Forbes I talk about the collaboration between luxury and gastronomy, as well as the innovation in the future of this collaboration.
From Milan to Hong Kong, the collaboration between luxury and gastronomy takes new and innovative paths.
Ever since Armani opened the first store with café and bar inside in Milan during the 90’s and since the so-called “concept store” Collete, set in 213 Rue Saint Honoré in Paris, became famous for its water bar, with more than a hundred different brands; the taste for eating and drinking and the luxury product shopping have crossed paths.
The Trussardi brand becomes a destination, not only for its exquisite purses and leather clothes, but even more for its restaurant, Trussardi alla Scala, set in the first floor of the palazzo that is home to their Milan store. The brand that became famous for decorating the interior of Alitalia planes or upholsting Alfa Romeo cars is nowadays a must-see destination. The Trussardi café and restaurant, a reference point for both locals and tourists, has contributed to revitalize the interest in the brand, founded in 1910.
Another must-see in the capital of Lombardy is the Gold restaurant, property of Dolce&Gabbana. In this dazzling golden place, which has a restaurant, a bar and a café, the designers pay homage to their Sicilian roots, as well as they allow us to discover and savouring the typical food of their land, at the same time that we are immersed in the extremely creative aesthetics of D&G.
From Milan to Hong Kong, the collaboration between luxury and gastronomy takes new and innovative paths. The five o’clock tea, the tradition left in the city by the British, is the best way to sign this alliance. The legendary Mandarín Oriental hotel, a classical tai tai destination, sides with brands such as Jo Malone, Jimmy Choo, Laduree, or Marc Jacobs to personalize the afternoon tea. When the partner is a fragrance, the inspiration comes from the ingredients. If it is a fashion brand, then it comes from the designer, their tastes or their origin.
This is not an isolated case in the Chinese city. The Ritz Carlton hotel and Graff diamonds collaborate to serve tea −invite only− that comes with the prize of trying on the marvellous diamond jewellery. Lanvin or Elie Saab also ally with the Seeva restaurant or the cosmopolitan brasserie in the IFC The French Window shopping centre to show their clients their brands and products and to allow them to experience them.
It is quite revealing that it is in Hong Kong, with its worship of cooking −bigger than in any Western city− and its record auction prices for wine, where the ties between luxury and gastronomy have strengthened in a more creative way. Taste, smell, hearing, sight, and touch combine to create the most exquisite experiences. The thing is that nowadays luxury brands are much more than just the product. They represent a life style that includes the pleasure of sharing a great meal, tasting a good wine, and enjoying both the meeting and the conversation.
It is quite an opportunity for those countries with an internationally renowned culinary culture. Mexico, Peru… and many others can follow the example of what has become a reality in Europe and Asia.
Obama told the members of his campaign that when somebody talks to us, we don’t remember what they said, but the way we felt when we heard it. He explained to his team that is the essence of a memorable speech. Maybe today luxury brands are looking for the same thing that presidential candidates do: They want us to remember the way we felt when we lived that experience and maybe the memory will put a smile in our faces.