PARIS — The transformation of Berluti from cult cobbler to luxury lifestyle label is gathering steam, with a slate of new stores and an arsenal of communication tools.
Next week, the French brand, part of luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is slated open a 3,700-square-foot boutique at the IFC Mall in Shanghai, billed as the first in China to showcase the entire Berluti product offering, spanning leather bags, small leather goods, shoes and ready-to-wear.
The sumptuous unit, with a whiskey-hued facade and walls padded with Venezia leather, is to be equipped with a “patina bar” — a nod to the brand’s unusual footwear finishes and polishing ceremonies — and a private lounge for by-appointment fittings for suits or shoes.
The Shanghai unit is among almost 20 new locations or refurbished units programmed to open in 2013.
Antoine Arnault, Berluti’s chief executive officer, is also putting advertising firepower behind the heritage brand, having tapped British actor Jeremy Irons and young royal Pierre Casiraghi to star in the fall campaign, as reported.
Founded in 1895, Berluti has been part of the LVMH group since 1993, with Arnault assuming the management helm in 2011 following a stint as communications director at Louis Vuitton.
The executive is banking on leveraging Berluti’s following for its elite shoes — and the design prowess of handpicked artistic director Alessandro Sartori — to make it the men’s wear powerhouse at the family-controlled group.
“The [ad] campaign will help give [Berluti] a significant push and bring it to another level in terms of notoriety and visibility, especially in new markets like the U.S.,” Arnault told WWD.
The spots, the first in Berluti’s history to feature footwear and fashion, are slated to break in Le Figaro this weekend before rolling out to a range of newspapers, weeklies, supplements and magazines in France, China, the U.K., America and Japan.
Arnault declined to pinpoint budgets but offered, “We have invested proportionally to the size of an up-and-coming business — that is to say, enough to raise its profile.”
Berluti also plans to unveil a revamped Web site during men’s fashion week here in June.
Arnault said enlarged stores — designed to showcase Berluti’s push into rtw and its expanded range of accessories — are key communication vehicles for the brand.
In total, 10 new doors are planned this year, along with at least half a dozen refurbished locations. The Shanghai location will be followed by the reopening in June of Berluti’s Conduit Street store in London — billed as the first Maison Berluti and located only steps away from Savile Row. To follow are new units in Miami’s Design District this summer; Rue de Sèvres here in September in the former flagship location of Arnys, and Madison Avenue in New York this fall.
Arnault also promised a strong creative statement with its window displays, “all with a sleek and masculine feel.” He said windows worldwide would showcase the new direction in the second half of the year.
Unveiling the new ad campaign exclusively, Arnault said its broad theme is the passing of tradition, with Irons, pictured thumbing a newspaper on a velvet sofa in a private club in London, citing Peter Sellers as a key influence on his career.
Casiraghi, pictured in an unfinished building in Monaco, a hard hat propped on his thigh, chose Belgian race car driver Jacky Ickx as the source of his cultural initiation.
The campaign’s tag line — “initiated by,” or in French, “parrainé par” — is “there to suggest how they discovered Berluti as the brand has been around since 1895. I myself was introduced to it by my father,” Arnault said, referring to Bernard Arnault, the founder, chairman and ceo of the world’s biggest luxury goods player. The business titan gave his son a pair of chocolate brown Berluti boots for his 16th birthday.
According to the younger Arnault, the ads reflect that men’s style is highly personal.
“You can belong to the same circle of people with like-minded elegance and have your very own take on it, unconventional or perfectly classic. Jeremy Irons and Pierre Casiraghi both reflect this difference,” he explained.
Arnault has stated ambitions to double the number of Berluti boutiques around the globe in three to four years. “The response is good in all markets,” he reported, adding, “and the best is yet to come.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)