The luxury fashion café is not a new phenomenon, the original, « Le Café Blanc » was established by Marie Courregès, daughter of Coqueline Courregès next to their Paris boutique on François 1er, in 1996. And, like everything the Courregès dynasty created, it was revolutionary!
It should come as no surprise, after the year we’ve had, that the idea is returning at a time when people want to feel a stronger physical connection to their preferred brand – the luxury fashion café environment is, after all, one of ultimate fandom. One need only to look at the role branding plays in the napkins, swizzle sticks, cups, glasses, plates… The possibilities are endless for the fashion fan in our social media savvy world.
The first Saint Laurent Café opened during Paris fashion week in 2019. A perfect exercise in top-to-toe branding, with minute attention to detail. The interior mirrors the Saint Laurent retail concept perfectly, with black surfaces, black and white marble, neons, and black logo branded cups and bottle openers, plus, the promise of a new playlist weekly from creative director Anthony Vaccarello for free via a QR code download! Its location, just behind their store on Faubourg Honoré, promises foot traffic from the shoppers heading to the Jardin des Tuileries for a well-deserved coffee break…
After the phenomenal Insta-success of the Fendi pop-up café on the fifth floor of Harrods, a collaboration with Guatemalan-American artist Joshua Vides, also in 2019, Harrods welcomed the first Tiffany’s Blue Box Café pop-up in Europe in 2020. The original Blue Box Café opened in 2018 in New York, followed by the first Blue Box Café in Asia in Hong Kong in 2019 and The Tiffany Café in Tokyo. After the acquisition of Tiffany’s by LVMH was finalized earlier this year, it is surely only a matter of time before a more permanent Tiffany’s Café opens up in Europe!
One of the newest luxury fashion cafés comes from LVMH who opened its first Louis Vuitton café – Café V – in February this year, in their new Osaka flagship store designed by Jun Aoki. A remarkable building that references the city’s historical shipping trade, by cladding the exterior in symbolic ship sails. The café is invite-only for customers of the brand, giving it, even more, fashion-fan-FOMO, and sits on the top of the building with a magnificent terrace. Above the bar are fluttering sheets of dichroic material that bring to mind our iconic Magic Mirror film, whilst referencing Aoki’s new Tokyo flagship for Vuitton, which is clad in undulating dichroic water-shaped glass tiles.
Exclusivity is something that will always appeal to lovers of luxury – if something is difficult to get, we couldn’t desire it more! The idyllic Café V environment is sure to appeal to the Tokyo-ite as a perfect luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of the city below.
Browns London is the latest luxury brand to launch a café, having just opened their brand new concept store in London’s Brook Street, entrusting the café to Native, to house the Native at Browns. Native are renowned for their wild approach to food, with a propensity to forage for ingredients and a forward-thinking zero-waste policy. This goes to the core of fashion’s important sustainable discourse, serving nose-to-tail in a space decorated with sustainable practice in mind. We can’t wait to visit and see what’s on the wild menu!
The luxury fashion café interior is the perfect place to instill the material identity of the brand and embodies this concept via the food, the packaging, the furniture and the architecture. In our increasingly image driven world, especially after a drought of real lived-experiences, the luxury fashion café could be the perfect environment for loyal fans of brands to experience the unique luxury vision of their preferred luxury fashion house.
Here is a small selection of materials that we offer for this kind of environment, tailored towards hospitality applications, eco-conception, and the constraints required for this kind of business – note the individual images can be clicked on for more information – Do not hesitate to contact us for your material identity research, we will be happy to help you translate and materialize your creative vision.
Credit Photo: All photos courtesy the brands cited