Co-branding in the luxury industry

According to Marek Reichmann, executive VP and CCO at Aston Martin Lagonda, “when you have a common understanding of luxury and heritage, it makes sense to partner [with companies] that believe the same things”. High-end collaborations and partnerships, ranging from hospitality to automotive to fashion, are increasingly spreading through the whole luxury industry, to expand brands’ market share and grow customer awareness. Here some of the most noticeable collaborations that struck gold in the past decade.

Maserati Quattroporte Zegna
Ermenegildo Zegna, the prominent luxury brand active on the apparel industry, and Maserati, the brand name synonymous to speed and style, have also been among the ones to connect their powers for an iconic result. Bearing the brands’ Italian legacy and excellence, the Maserati Quattroporte provided a holistic approach to luxury with limited edition designed interiors in the 100 units launched. The collaboration celebrated Maserati’s Centennial anniversary in 2014 and to ensure a truly premium experience, innovative and sophisticated silk was used, called Mulberry.

FBG par Hermès
An excellent representation of technical and aesthetic finesse. The collaboration rekindles a relationship initiated before the First World War when Ettore Bugatti commissioned saddles and other tacks from Émile Hermès’ saddlery workshops. By the 1920s, Hermès leatherwork began to feature on Bugatti’s jewellike cars, and a dream team was born. In 2008, the modern VW-owned Bugatti paid tribute to the enduring connection with a two-tone Veyron Fbg by Hermès. The name refers to the main Hermès store on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the eighth arrondissement of Paris, with “Fbg” standing for “Faubourg”. Priced at 1.55m euros (plus tax), this special edition of the Veyron 16.4 was limited to four units and was refined by the designer Gabriele Pezzini in coordination with Hermès artisans. The partnership was continued with a six million unique cream-coloured Chiron Hermès created for supercar collector and real estate mogul Manny Khoshbin back in 2016.

2006 Lamborghini Murciélago LP 640 Versace Edition
Built-in a series of just ten cars, the Versace LP640 was more of an advertising trick rather than an attempt at a meaningful model. More specifically, Lamborghini released a special edition of their flagship LP640 during the Milan’s Fashion Week and the Paris Motor Show of 2006. There, the offspring of this prestigious partnership between Gianni Versace SPA and the prestigious Automobili Lamborghini SpA was displayed. Coming with a factory-tuned 6.5-litre V12 engine capable of 631hp in additions to Versace’s very own design motif around the car, the car borrows the iconic features of both companies. Among those, the brand’s Greek meander design on the Lamborghini’s doors, leather seats stitched with the Versace Greco motif, Gianni Versace logo plaques, and a complete set of Versace-branded luggage. The collaboration was continued with later editions such as the 2008 Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 Roadster Versace, with an MSRP of USD 1,000,000.

Princess 32M by Fendi Casa
In the first week of December 2013, the latest Princess 32M left the Princess yachts shipyard at Plymouth, destined for Hong Kong. Being the most ambitious interior designer partnership of the brand, the yacht constituted a perfect showcase for Fendi’s interior design expertise. Including fabrics, seating, furniture, accessories and floor coverings from the bespoke design house, Fendi Casa, each piece of furniture is individually tailored to the 98 Motor Yacht and designed to accompany the smart layout harmonically. The elegant yacht is destined for long-range cruising, accommodating up to 10 guests in refined and elegant luxury with a choice of 4 or 5 cabins.

The world of luxury, specifical fashion, is seeing a turnout of collaborations like never before. The emergence of street fashion disrupting the fashion industry is speeding up a process that started in the 2000s, with Karl Lagerfeld collaborating with H&M in 2004.

Supreme x Louis Vuitton Fall ’17
Kim Jones, Creative Director of LV menswear at the time, commented that he “wanted to create excitement.” And he did. The collection marked the beginning of an era of collaborations at the centre of luxury. The pieces of the collection have enormously appreciated in value, with the hoodies now being resold at approximately $10,000 (with an original price of $850) and t-shirts at $5,000 (originally at $450).

Moncler Genius
The Italian company decided to create a groundbreaking project, named the Genius Group – featuring designers like Pierpaolo Piccioli, Simone Rocha and Craig Green – to bring different perspectives and personalities into the label, and tap into the new ways in which consumers are buying. The drops and their unique campaigns and designs have been successful so far, bringing into Moncler a more juvenile and artistically-interested clientele.

Sterling Ruby x Raf Simons Fall ’14
The celebrated designer and current co-Creative Director at Prada released a collection featuring prints and fabrications based on Sterling’s paintings and collage work. The duo designed the pieces as one entity, combining the labels (denominating the partnership ‘RSSR’) and their characteristic silhouettes.

Gucci x Dapper Dan
Legendary tailor Dapper Dan collaborated with Gucci for a 90s themed collection that reimagined Dan’s pieces with the Italian fashion house’s touch. The collection pays homage to the Harlem native, looking back to his New York City roots, and contains a limited stock of jackets and accessories, all costing above $1,100.

The luxury hospitality industry has as well contributed to the collaborations and partnership landscapes of the last decades.

The Ritz-Carlton and Asprey International Limited
A partnership serving as a reminder that true luxury is often entailed in the small details. Asprey has been creating and designing bespoke pieces with the highest quality and finest craftsmanship for more than 230 years. In 2018, the luxury goods brand designed a tailor-made drink trolley exclusively for The Ritz-Carlton, at the price of $79,000. Guests enjoyed an exclusive silver-plated trolley with expert mixologists serving up handcrafted drinks, using local ingredients for regionally curated cocktails. A concept that travelled around the world to Ritz-Carlton hotels from Japan to Europe and the U.S. As Asprey’s VP expressed “The quality of the glassware, the feel and weight of the glassware in your hand and the thickness of the rim all add to the experience when partaking in a cocktail. And when you’re drinking out of an Asprey glass, we hope it’s not just a drink, but a moment to truly enjoy and remember.”

Hilton Worldwide and WWF
When one of the world’s largest hotel chains collaborates with one of the world’s biggest environmental NGOs, in 2015, Hilton Worldwide announced a three-year commitment with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to reduce its impact on the environment. The collaboration aimed at evolving the company’s global business practices from accelerating the adoption of renewable energy to developing a water stewardship strategy, using the WWF as a resource. As Jennifer Silberman, Hilton’s VP indicated, the main goal was to reduce water usage and protect clean water resources in the areas surrounding the hotels. In today’s world sustainability is a need rather than a choice, and such exemplary actions take the lead.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Johns Hopkins Medicine International
The crisis that has hit the worldwide community in the past months has undeniably forced companies to follow undiscovered trails. To not sink amidst the difficulties, companies find innovative ways to deal with them. The “Lead with Care” program, implemented at Four Seasons properties around the world, serves as an example. The high standard hotel chain has set the global standard for excellence in hospitality and service for nearly 60 years and is currently following the same pattern. The newly founded program is focused on providing comfort to all Four Seasons guests, employees, and residents within the new COVID-19 environment. It outlines clear procedures with an educational purpose to both employees and guests while ensuring that they feel safe and reassured.


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