PARIS — Luxury titan Bernard Arnault is expanding his role as innkeeper.
Signaling an additional path of expansion, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said Thursday it would open Cheval Blanc-branded hotels in Oman and Aswan, Egypt, as it launches a new business activity, LVMH Hotel Management.
Named after the famous vineyard LVMH controls, the new hotels are already under construction in partnership with Samih Sawiris, chairman and founder of Egyptian property firm Orascom Development Holding AG. They are slated to open in 2012, in collaboration with Jean-Michel Gathy of Denniston International Architects.
Each hotel will boast 30 to 40 suites — along with luxury boutiques and spas under other LVMH-owned banners. The Oman project, on a small island in the Indian Ocean, will boast 32 private villas, each larger than 5,000 square feet and with its own beach and swimming pool.
Group Arnault, a holding of Arnault, LVMH’s chairman and chief executive officer, opened the first Cheval Blanc hotel in the French ski resort Courchevel in 2006. Today, it boasts a Givenchy spa, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior boutiques, and has enjoyed occupancy rates in excess of 90 percent despite room rates that start at 1,450 euros, or $1,938 at current exchange, during high season.
LVMH does not plan to own future Cheval Blanc hotels, but simply collect fees for management contracts. Under the business model, the French firm “maintains complete control over the concept, distribution, brand and image” of the hotels, including recruitment of staff, “while minimizing capital commitment,” the company said, noting “other projects are currently under study in exceptional destinations.”
The luxury firm cited “considerable demand” from its clients for luxurious resort experiences.
Last week, LVMH appointed architects for the revamp of La Samaritaine, the department shuttered store that will be reborn as a retail-to-housing complex and include a hotel. However, it has yet to reveal who will be involved in managing and operating the hotel, the LVMH spokeswoman noted.
A growing list of fashion and luxury players has entered the hotel business in recent years under various business models, including Versace, Missoni, Moschino and Bulgari, which has opened two hotels with Marriott International Inc. Giorgio Armani’s first hotel is slated to open in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa tower on April 21.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)