As travel has picked back up, consumers are shifting their spend to plane tickets, hotels and other experiences to make up for time lost during pandemic lockdowns. While beauty and apparel spending has been on a steady incline throughout 2023, international travel bookings are surging, up 200 per cent over 2022 as of April according to US travel agent and insurance provider AAA. By collaborating with hotels on retail space, brands are capitalising on a captive audience with excess disposable income. Social media has also fuelled the fire with travel fomo, as influencers showcase what they wore on recent trips. To some, travel and fashion feel more aligned than ever.
“At the core, fashion and hospitality are about storytelling — whether that story is about your sense of style, a destination or a brand,” says New York-based trend forecaster Kendall Becker. “Both industries rely on this to spark emotional reactions and, ultimately, purchases.”
Luxury resale platform Fashionphile has proved the case, frequently hosting retail pop-ups at the The Beverly Hills Peninsula Hotel or The Boca Raton in Florida with rare or sold-out merchandise.
“What’s exciting about these partnerships is that we share the exact same customer,” says Fashionphile founder, president and COO Sarah Davis. “The type of person who is staying at luxury destinations is looking for something that money can’t buy — an experience — and we also have things that you can’t just walk in [to a store] and buy. Waitlist only? Discontinued? That’s our speciality.”
Sleepwear brand Petite Plume has been tapped by luxury hotels since its inception; Hollywood’s storied hotel Sunset Tower carries the brand’s pyjamas, offered to guests in-room. It’s a partnership that Petite Plume founder Emily Hikade believes brings something unique to each hotel’s story, as well as creating a lifelong brand association for guests.
“[It comes down to] recognising a similar customer and marrying the two experiences,” Hikade says. “Both fashion and hospitality offer customers a kind of escape.”