Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is moving into the hospitality business with the launch of Karl Lagerfeld Hotels & Resorts, a brand that will encompass hotels, restaurants and private clubs.
The announcement was made at the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) in Hong Kong earlier this week, and sees the fashion house enter into a long-term license agreement with Brandmark Collective B.V.
The brand’s debut hotel will be located on the Cotai Strip in Macau and is set to open between late 2017 and early 2018, according to Tony Kurz, CEO of Brandmark Collective.
It will form part of the Lisboa Palace Complex, which is also due to open in 2017.
More properties are expected to be announced in the coming months. Kurz revealed that urban and resort locations in first and second-tier markets in Asia and the GCC are currently being explored.
The first Karl Lagerfeld Hotels & Resorts property will offer 275 rooms – a modest number when compared with other properties on the Cotai Strip such as the 4,001-room Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central and the recently opened 3,000-room Parisian Macao Hotel.
Speaking to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, Kurz said: “We actually think there’s a really interesting opportunity, especially in this region, to bring key count down and room sizes up.”
The luxury Macau property will include “design-driven fitness facilities”, a variety of dining options including fast-casual, signature dining and a bar/lounge, plus a spa.
A modern loyalty programme is also being explored. Kurz said: “We’re looking at some pretty innovative ways of stepping out of the traditional distribution and loyalty game. Imagine, and this is just an example, if you could only book your reservation through an app.”
Lagerfeld is not the first fashion icon to move into hospitality, joining the likes of Bulgari, Versace and Armani. Kurz revealed the brand would be built around “not just design, but experiential hospitality. Taking the signature DNA of Karl, over a lifetime of design, and creating a series of signature experiences.
“Just as Karl has touched the absolute top of luxury, to accessible luxe and everything in between, we will get the woman who wears Chanel suits every day in the lobby as well as the guy who saved up all week to buy a cappuccino and savour the atmosphere.”