In recent years, the fashion industry has seen a fascinating intersection with the restaurant business. Luxury brands have been opening cafes and restaurants that carry their prestigious logos, and this trend has gained even more momentum as life slowly returns to normal after the pandemic. With consumers eagerly looking forward to going out again, the restaurant industry has become a new frontier for the luxury industry to conquer.

The concept of experience has become a central focus for luxury brands, as studies have indicated a shift in consumer spending towards wellness, hospitality, and dining. Gastronomy, in particular, has seen a surge in popularity, and luxury brands are capitalizing on this trend by transforming underperforming retail spaces into unique dining establishments. By doing so, these brands can reinforce their image and positioning as lifestyle brands.

Leading luxury labels such as Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton have taken significant strides in the restaurant industry. Dior, for instance, renovated its historic Parisian address to introduce the “haute couture” Monsieur Dior restaurant, alongside the Dior Patisserie. On the other hand, Louis Vuitton opened its first gastronomic location in France, the “Mory Sacko at Louis Vuitton” restaurant.

Not only have these established fashion houses ventured into the culinary sector, but other renowned brands such as Giorgio Armani, Versace, Bulgari, Chanel, Prada, and Ralph Lauren have also followed suit. These brands have recognized that opening restaurants not only grants them visibility but also diversifies their revenue streams and expands their target audience. By creating a complete universe centered around their brand, they can cultivate customer loyalty and capture attention more effectively.

In addition to these advantages, the “instagrammable” factor of dining experiences has become crucial for certain brands. Customers, particularly younger individuals, love sharing photos of beautifully presented dishes on branded tableware, further amplifying the brand’s image and core values through social media.

This trend has also attracted more subtle brands and emerging designers. For instance, Simon Porte Jacquemus launched the Citron café within Galeries Lafayette Champs Elysées, while stylist and influencer Jeanne Damas introduced the Chez Jeanne bistro in her Parisian boutique, Rouje.

As of late, there have been numerous announcements of new restaurant openings, with mid-sized brands forming partnerships to enter the restaurant industry. Borsalino, for example, collaborated with entrepreneur Gualtiero Vanelli to establish the Panama Restaurant Beach Versilia by Borsalino in Tuscany. Other alliances include Isabelle Saglio, the owner of café de l’Esplanade in Paris, teaming up with Lorenzo Serafini, artistic director of Philosophy, and designer J.J. Martin of the La Double J brand taking over the terrace of the Passalacqua luxury hotel on Lake Como.

Luxury brands are capitalizing on consumers’ growing adoration for gastronomy, particularly among younger demographics, by creating new touchpoints through their gastronomic spaces. These spaces offer customers a multi-sensory experience and form part of the brands’ strategy to transform their points of sale into multifunctional destinations. The objective is to create places where customers can have various experiences and spend quality time, ultimately recapturing local customers and market shares that may have been lost to online shopping.

In summary, the fashion industry’s entry into the restaurant business showcases its adaptability and willingness to explore new avenues for growth. By venturing into the culinary sector, luxury brands can tap into the changing preferences of consumers and create remarkable experiences that surpass the mere selling of products.

Useful links:
Vogue: Fashion Brands Turning to Restaurants
W Magazine: How Fashion Brands Became Big in the Restaurant Business