LONDON — Modern-day style is evolving to encompass travel, interiors and homeware and Matchesfashion.com wants to keep up to speed.
That’s why the luxury fashion retailer debuted a home category last summer and, seeing traction from its global network of consumers, it’s now looking to expand its home offer, dabble in art and take its fashion edits to glamorous holidays — starting with the Il Pellicano hotel this summer.
“It’s a question of taste, it’s not only about how you dress but how you dress your table, how you dress your home and how you entertain. It’s all part of what’s a lifestyle,” said Martina Mondadori, editor in chief of Cabana magazine, which has just debuted a tabletop collection in partnership with Matches.
This concept of fashion beyond one’s wardrobe has become a growing focus for the retailer. It’s planning to highlight homeware more prominently on its web site with a new “At Home” column that will spotlight “lifestyle experts talking about style across all categories,” exclusive partnerships like the one with Cabana and a home offer that will expand beyond tabletop to include more ceramics and soft furnishings.
Additions include a new homeware line by Peter Pilotto — whose colorful aesthetic lends itself to ceramics just as well as it does to fashion, according to Matches buyers; a line of linens by Emilia Wickstead’s mother, Angela; ceramic vases in the shapes of women’s body parts by jeweler Anissa Kermiche, and rainbow-hued, quirky table mats and delicate porcelain by popular interior designer Matilda Goad.
The overarching idea is to provide all the different elements that make up an “artful home.”
For Cabana, which has been releasing tabletop ranges twice a year to coincide with the release of its new issues, this was an opportunity to take its collections a step further with a takeover of Matchesfashion’s townhouse at 5 Carlos Place here that highlights the Cabana point of view across fashion and interiors.
The collaboration, which is the brand’s biggest to date, includes a signature tabletop collection filled with linens, glassware, plates and trays featuring striped prints, patterns inspired by the Renaissance period, ecclesiastical textiles and porcelain plates hand-painted with arty splatter prints.
Mondadori used them to create spring-appropriate, bright table arrangements in her signature pattern-clashing style and sprinkled equally colorful, bold pieces from the retailer’s fashion edit — from Lisa Marie Fernandez kaftans to Rebecca de Ravenel bright maxi dresses — around the rest of the room.
“Fashion and home are becoming more and more intertwined. We first did a collaboration on a product with a fashion house with Gucci in 2016 – they designed a set of Cabana covers and chairs in the same patterns and it’s becoming more and more popular since. With patterns being everywhere in fashion and being so naturally in home, there’s a synergy,” added Mondadori, who has also been working with Loewe to create the covers of the latest edition of the Cabana magazine.
Natalie Kingham, Matches’ fashion buying director, said the Cabana collection has already been performing strongly thanks to its strong visuals and collectors’ feel.
“Our customers are searching for special pieces for the home in the same way that they seek out unique pieces of clothing or accessories — they’re interested in finding pieces which are an extension of their own style. [That’s why] we started working with lots of our ready-to-wear designers and started offering their interiors collections; such as La Double J, Gucci, Kilometre Paris and Loewe and have extended our offer to work with lots of emerging homeware designers such as Lily Pearmain whose ceramics are made in her studio in Peckham,” said Kingham, adding that interiors offers an attractive category for many fashion designers that has more longevity. “Our existing customers have been investing in our homeware collections and we have also attracted a new customer through our offer and collaborations.”
By making use of Carlos Place, Matches can also create a more interactive environment for its home collections: Cabana is hosting a pop-up café and workshops sharing tips on table setting, while the retail floor often doubles as art gallery.
Earlier this month, the retailer joined forces with artist Barry Reigate to preview his work ahead of a Phillips auction to raise money for the Carney’s Community charity, while an exhibition of Danish visual artist Katja Angeli is in the works for May.
“Some collaborations with larger pieces lend themselves to being displayed at 5 Carlos Place, the environment works well,” added Kingham.