PARIS — Taking the designer hotel concept a step further, designer and entrepreneur Christian Audigier is out to apply the same brash rock ’n’ roll formula he’s used to build his fashion empire to the French all-inclusive resort concept Club Med.
This story first appeared in the November 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Audigier said Friday he plans to use his celebrity connections to heat up Club Med’s image and draw more traffic to its 80 resorts worldwide. Audigier’s proposal is likely to be tested out first in Club Med’s North American centers following a meeting with Club Med chief executive officer Henri Giscard d’Estaing in January, said Hubert Guez, chief executive of Audigier’s Ed Hardy brand. Guez added the designer also would likely be involved in “spiffing up” Club Med’s boutiques and products.
If tests are successful, Audigier plans to invest 10 million euros, or about $15 million at current exchange, in Club Med, Guez said.
“Club Med is a French institution so I’m really happy to get involved. It’s a family resort, so any celebrities with children are welcome to come along,” said Audigier.
Having burst onto the fashion scene earlier in the decade as designer of Von Dutch Originals, the French native last month opened a sprawling showroom here with a view to rev up business on his home turf for his various labels.
The Ed Hardy group owns five main brands, comprising its namesake line and the Christian Audigier, Smet, Paco Chicano and Crystal Rock brands, and operates 60 licenses. Guez forecasts sales generated by Ed Hardy brands in 2009 will reach almost $400 million.