News 20.02.2023

Need to Know

Louboutin’s lavish hotel, denim powered by cotton waste, debit cards subsidising fresh food prescriptions and US Gen Z are more likely to try a new beverage.

Footwear designer Christian Louboutin opens lavish hotel

Vermelho by Christian Louboutin, Portugal
Vermelho by Christian Louboutin. Photography by Stefan Giftthaler, Portugal
Vermelho by Christian Louboutin. Photography by Stefan Giftthaler, Portugal
Vermelho by Christian Louboutin. Photography by Stefan Giftthaler, Portugal

Portugal – French-Egyptian designer Christian Louboutin, who is best known for his signature scarlet-soled shoes, is opening a luxury hotel in Portugal. Named Vermelho, (meaning red in Portuguese, referencing Louboutin’s shoes), it is located in the coastal village of Melides, where the designer’s home, atelier and compound are.

Vermelho’s interior pairs inlaid wooded floors with extravagant furnishings, including customised mosaics and hand-painted murals. The lavish 13-room hotel is decorated with statement pieces such as a baldachin bed and a monkey-shaped rattan table, North African and European antiques hand-picked by Louboutin, and it also has a suite that pays homage to the designer’s Egyptian heritage.

Hotels are the next retail frontier, offering consumers the opportunity to engage with the essence of a brand and build loyalty through immersive experiences. Although not a space of direct commerce for Louboutin, Vermelho does allow guests to connect to the styles and local culture that inspire the designer and fuel his brand – a strategy we explore in Guilded Luxury. Vermelho will open for visitors on 1 April 2023.

Strategic opportunity

Build loyalty with consumers by creating spaces for them to connect with the heart of your business and its values; this is about a luxury brand moving beyond product to become a cultural connector

​Pangaia drops sustainable denim jacket powered by cotton waste

Pangaia and Evrnu release The NuCycl Denim Jacket, US Pangaia and Evrnu release The NuCycl Denim Jacket, US
Pangaia and Evrnu release The NuCycl Denim Jacket, US Pangaia and Evrnu release The NuCycl Denim Jacket, US

US – The fashion brand and innovation platform Pangaia has joined forces with textile tech trailblazer Evrnu to drop 20 ground-breaking Renu denim jackets made of 100% recycled fabric.

The jacket is the first denim product made entirely from NuCycl, a sustainable fibre developed by Evrnu. Named one of the best inventions of 2022 by Time, NuCycl liquefies discarded textiles like pre-consumer material waste (fabric scraps that have not been used or sold, like production offcuts) and post-consumer material waste (like old clothing) before reforming the original fibre molecules into new fibres. The new fabric can be recycled again into a yarn of the same high quality.

‘Our other denim products have had to be washed or blended with cotton. In terms of our push to find alternatives to traditional cotton as well as reduce waste, [NuCycl] hits both those points and is a breakthrough on the technological front,’ said Dr Amanda Parkes, Pangaia’s chief innovation officer.

The brand’s ground-breaking work shows how the fashion industry of tomorrow will find inspiration and purpose via emerging biotechnologies and experimentation with bio-textiles.

Strategic opportunity

Invest in textile innovators to set new trends and move away from fashion’s costly reliance on unsustainable materials like cotton, man-made cellulosics (MMCFs), nylon and polyester.

Debit cards subsidising fresh food prescriptions land in Boston

US – The Fresh Connect programme provides Boston-based patients with a new health perk – fruit and vegetable prescriptions and debit cards with pre-loaded funds to redeem in grocery stores.

Boston-based non-profit organisation About Fresh believes that better food accessibility has the power to improve health outcomes. This belief drove the Fresh Connect initiative, which allows patients experiencing food insecurity and health conditions to benefit from fresh food prescriptions. After a consultation, a healthcare team defines a monthly budget and eligible foods. Beneficiaries receive the Fresh Connect debit card in the post, which they can use to buy produce at local grocery stores. Healthcare organisations financially backing the programme can track the impact of access to healthier food on patients’ medical records.

The initiative hopes that democratising access to healthier – and often pricier – foods will improve the lives and health outcomes of underprivileged communities in Boston and nationwide. It is a great example of a Food Austerity Innovator.

Fresh Connect, US

Strategic opportunity

The amount of consumers facing challenges with access to healthy food is exacerbated by rising prices, leaving businesses and organisations with a social responsibility to nurture the underprivileged and help them afford not just necessary calories but also essential nutrients

​Stat: Gen Z in the US are more likely to try a new beverage every month

Eager rebranding by Ragged Edge, UK Eager rebranding by Ragged Edge, UK

US A new study by Morning Consult says US Gen Zers are 21 percentage points more likely than the general population to have tried a new beverage in the past month.

Among a panel of more than 3,000 individuals, including 1,000 Gen Zers aged between 13 and 25, the latter said new experiences and novelty drive their tastes. They also claim to spend more on food and drink (packaged goods and restaurants) than apparel, electronics and beauty.

Nearly half (45%) of the Gen Zers surveyed said they tried more than one new beverage in a month, and almost as many (44%) said the same about trying fresh packaged foods.

As we revealed in our report on Adaptive Appetites, the food and drink market has no choice but to embrace frugality, innovation and new indulgence models to navigate this uncertain landscape and pique the interest of novelty-seeking Gen Z consumers. That’s why whisky brands, among others, are coming up with new experiences, designs and marketing strategies targeting younger drinkers.

Strategic opportunity

Appeal to Gen Z’s adventurous palates with constant innovation and re-invention of flavours and sensory experiences

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