Luxury Living Group wrote its first chapter in the hospitality industry
Luxury brands and stretching
Initially, luxury was about high-quality goods made by skilled craftsmen, and luxury brands only produced what they were known for: Louis Vuitton only made luggage and trunks, Hermes was only a saddler…
After WWI, luxury houses started to “stretch” their portfolios by branding products they weren’t historically known for.
Since then, luxury brands continuously embark on projects with different directions to capitalize on their growing fame, thus creating a lifestyle around the brand name.
Kapferer and Bastien, in their book The Luxury Strategy, state that “stretching has allowed luxury houses to grow more quickly, without being limited to organic internal growth, or finding themselves prisoners of the regression of their original trade”. They also stated that brands have a zone of legitimacy which requires a “coherence between the original trade as the public and the proposed stretch perceive it”. However, luxury brands are now moving further than their zone of legitimacy. An example and a popular stretch among fashion houses have been their presence in the culinary and hospitality industries.
In general, luxury brands either stretch vertically or horizontally.
Vertical stretching is price centred. If a brand moves downward, it will attract a larger clientele while facing the risk of diluting the name; on the other hand, it will attract an even wealthier client base if it moves upward.
Horizontal stretching, instead, is based on brand identity and portfolio diversification through different product lines or entering different markets. With horizontal stretching, the price tags remain untouched, but brands are able to give customers experiences that are now considered the most important aspect to keep the new luxury clientele interested and loyal.
Luxury Living Group
Luxury Living Group was founded in the late ‘60s by Alberto Vignatelli. The company is an Italian brand, owned since 2020 by Lifestyle Design, which manufactures, designs and distributes furniture for international luxury brands such as Fendi, Trussardi, Bugatti, and Bentley. “Luxury Living Group has been a world leader in the high-end furniture with an overall turnover of 90 million euros and an export rate equal to 95% of sales in 120 countries”, the former CEO Renato Preti stated in an interview.
As a luxury furniture brand, the collections are designed for each brand yearly, just like fashion collections. The brand aims to create exclusive atmospheres with a unique charm, where luxury and class are perfectly balanced.
LLG’s values are; elegance and creativity, excellent quality, maintaining the traditions of Made in Italy; continuous research in terms of innovation and quality.
The Hospitality project and Zulia
The brand is “stretching” in a new direction. In 2019 Luxury Living Group announced at the Salone del Mobile their new division: Luxury Living Hospitality. Raffaella Vignatelli, daughter of the founder, stated that each hotel would be a stand-alone based on its surroundings. For each of these projects, LLG will first search for an investor, and then the company will put their logo, brand and furnish the interiors; the daily operations will be trusted upon management companies under the supervision of LLG.
These structures aim to manifest the real meaning of luxury, which is immaterial, whilst still being conscious about the environment as each hotel will be Pure Air Zone certified, thanks to a collaboration with U-Earth, which will ensure that the air is purified.
The first hotel will open in Bacalar, Mexico, and will be named Zulia Luxury Living Lagoon resort. The resort aims to be sustainable, with 60 unique suites, 3 gourmet restaurants, a VIP beach club, and an activity and wellness centre. There will also be 80 villas surrounded by the greenery of Bacalar’s tropical forest. Bacalar is famous for its history and beautiful lake. The lake is long and narrow with clear blue waters and a white limestone bottom.
The message and the possible start of a new trend for the luxury furniture market
Considering the brand’s name, goals and values, this “stretch” comes as a continuation of its own philosophy. LLG believes as a brand that it does not simply sell objects, but rather it sells experiences, and for a brand with this detail in mind, it is only natural to aim for the hospitality business. With this new project, the brand communicates its focus on their customers who get to enjoy the luxurious designs in the comfort of their homes and experience them in unique places where they are cared for in every possible aspect. This idea of luxury sees every aspect of the costumer’s life, from their office to the comfort of their home to the places they go to enjoy their free time.
This project could be perceived as quite unconventional as most frequently, furniture brands design and furnish the interior of many hotels without actually entering the hospitality industry. On the other hand, after reaching certain fame, hotels frequently launch furniture brands to match their demand as often clients compliment and search for similar furniture, bedding, and upholstery.
This idea could become a new trend in the luxury lifestyle world as it not only will reach larger audiences, but it would create a sense of homeliness and excitement for their loyal customers who now can get the opportunity to experience vacations in spaces that reflect their tastes and desires.
Sources: (Charsoo Marketing, Zulia Bacalar, Business News)