Luxury Brands Turn to Seasonal Pop-Ups to Target Global Travellers


Sarah Ramirez | July 24, 2019

As wealthy consumers increasingly travel to the world's most desirable resort towns, brands like Burberry, Chanel and Gucci are turning to seasonal pop-ups to bring their luxury products to their customers as part of their marketing strategy.

As affluent consumers spend their summers in the world’s most desirable resort towns, brands including Burberry and Gucci are bringing luxury to them through seasonal pop-ups.

Temporary outposts help luxury brands offer consumers unique experiences through fun and intimate settings. Pop-ups require less investment and infrastructure than traditional bricks-and-mortar stores, making them ideal for areas that see a peak in foot traffic during limited seasons.

“Pop-ups have a rich field of inventiveness from which to draw,” said Rebecca Miller, founder and CEO of Miller & Company, New York. “Their very nature invites creative inspiration, curation across mediums, the unfolding and intertwining of products, the arts, food, celebrities and locals.

“Movement is ‘the’ constant that every brand must execute consistently and effortlessly, while not compromising their DNA,” she said. “A perfect example is when brands host events in seasonal locations, placing themselves in front of new audiences, being viewed by their existing client base as fresh and creative.”

Popping up

Among the most popular destinations for affluents during the summer are Mykonos, Greece; Ibiza, Spain and New York’s Long Island.

Summer pop-ups can spring up as early as May and run through October, though some are limited to a few weeks.

Since May, British fashion label Burberry has had a pop-up shop in the village of Nammos in Mykonos based on the recently redesigned flagship in London.

Burberry Nammos Village. Photo: Courtesy.

The two collections housed in the pop-up are chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci’s debut lines for Burberry, the Burberry spring/summer 2019 collection and the Thomas Burberry Monogram line. Burberry’s Mykonos location is fairly extensive for a pop-up shop, but the location will be open until October of this year.

Swiss watchmaker Hublot will also have a presence in Mykonos through a partnership with a local jeweller. It is the only location where Hublot will sell 50 editions of the Classic Fusion Chronograph Mykonos model.

Hublot also launched a pop-up in Ibiza, unveiling its Classic Fusion Chronograph Ibiza. Similar to the Mykonos timepiece, the watch has features inspired by the setting, such as its dark blue ceramic case.

French fashion label Louis Vuitton turned to Italy’s Porto Cervo for its seasonal outpost. In addition to ready-to-wear and home decor, the pop-up retails swimwear and beach accessories.

Elsewhere in Europe, French fashion label Chanel has partnered with a luxury hospitality group for its first temporary boutique in Turkey. Through Sept. 1, Chanel handbags, accessories, shoes and ready-to-wear apparel – including the Coco Beach de Chanel collection – will be sold at at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bodrum.

Across the Atlantic, Chanel is also hosting a J12 Yacht Club pop-up at New York’s Shelter Island. Brand ambassador Billie Eilish performed at the pop-up, which is geared towards the label’s classic ceramic timepieces.

Also on Long Island, Italian fashion label Gucci is taking up residence in Montauk, NY this summer through a collaboration with a local vintage shop.

Open through July 28, Gucci x Melet Mercantile weaves together new Gucci designs, including its Towards Summer line. As part of its embrace of Long Island’s East End, Gucci is donating to the organisations A Walk On Water, Concerned Citizens of Montauk and the Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation.

“Brands should begin by selecting what best exemplifies their brand from each discipline, layer it upon the next until they have a truly unique offering – as seen through their lens,” Miller said. “The formula will be unique to them depending on the assortment, order and style of execution.”

Seasonal strategies

Luxury brands have placed pop-ups at the core of their strategies, allowing these designers to keep up with the changing retail landscape while maintaining their exclusive status.

According to a report from Fashionbi, as consumers become more comfortable shopping online and brands move their inventory to ecommerce, pop-up shops drive more one-on-one experiences. Shoppers often appreciate these shops more, as online options can be prone to induce decision overload.

Other modern elements such as social media and direct-to-consumer subscription models have also pushed the popularity of pop-ups, allowing consumers to take “Instagrammable” pictures they so covet.

Beyond luxury fashion labels and watchmakers, premium automakers are also leveraging pop-ups to present high-end vehicles in unique settings.

This was especially evident during the this past winter.

British automaker Rolls-Royce catered to ski-enthusiasts, a group that has significant crossover with its affluent audience, by hosting a pop-up presence in the Alpine resort of Courchevel 1850, a luxury ski destination. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan was on location to chauffeur skiers to and from the piste throughout the 2019 season.

Italian automaker Maserati also headed to winter resorts to reach the affluent on their seasonal holidays.

The Maserati Winter Experience spanned five countries, as the brand hosted test drives, events and displays. For Maserati, this initiative acted as a launchpad for its 2019 models, allowing consumers to try out the vehicles in winter’s adverse conditions.

“Pop-ups provide a brand exposure often in ‘unexpected’ settings giving them latitude to express a different point of view that is not necessarily their norm,” Miller said. “They must, however, carefully ascertain if the pop-up locale authentically resonates with their brand – is it a viable extension of the brand, a clever accent or a position that will open the eyes of the consumer to them, or will it be seen as incautious and simply trying too hard – a dangerous leap?

“This where the marketing and creative teams must be aligned to ensure it is brand reflective using a more casual environment,” she said.

This article was originally published on Luxury Daily. It has been adapted for clarity and style and is republished with permission. 

Fashion | Hospitality | Travel