UK – Department store Selfridges is exploring the power of nature and escapism in its latest series of retail programming – encouraging customers to embrace the great outdoors.
The London retailer’s year-long activation, Good Nature, will focus on the sense of pleasure that can be found in the living world. Taking inspiration from the respite many people have found by spending time outside during the pandemic, the thematic campaign will celebrate nature via in-store experiences and seasonal window displays. As part of the initiative, Selfridges has introduced a podcast, The Pleasure Series, which provides inspiration for connecting with nature, from ‘how to’ guides to meditation experiences.
This 12-month marketing approach represents a move away from fashion and luxury retail's convention of working in line with the seasonal fashion calendar. ‘Good Nature will set the tone for the year, which is a feeling of optimism and positivity in anticipation of a time of restoration, when we can reconnect with customers and communities,’ says Hannah Emslie, creative director at Selfridges.
Through this initiative, Selfridges is leaning into the Pleasure Revolution, recognising the growing consumer mindset for unapologetic enjoyment.
Brooklyn – In light of the past 12 months, artist Ekene Ijeoma is encouraging the public to engage in a meditative experience as a form of collective healing.
Through his Breathing Pavilion installation Ijeoma invites members of the public to pause and breathe along with the pulsating lights of illuminated inflatables. The artwork is formed as a 30-feet circle of 20 columns, acting as an immersive sanctuary for reflection and reprieve. Its motive to encourage more mindful breathing is a response to the pressure and trauma of both the global pandemic and continued systemic racial injustices.
‘Between the ongoing struggles in the racial and political movements in the US and the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to find the time and space to breathe deeply and rest well,’ says Ijeoma. ‘Until then… this pavilion is here to invite the public to breathe into the change within each of us, in synch with one another.’
As we explore in the Urban Wellness Market, citizens are re-appraising wellness and demanding healthier civic spaces.
US – Travel platform Orbitz is expanding its inclusivity efforts with a campaign designed to inspire LGBT+ consumers to travel on their own terms – and confidently.
The campaign, Travel As You Are, includes a short brand film and a dedicated microsite spotlighting LGBT+ friendly travel destinations. Created in partnership with creative agency Laundry Service, the film features an all-LGBT+ cast and includes real couples and friends enjoying a range of travel experiences.
Beyond this visual message, Travel As You Are encourages people to ‘stay where you’re celebrated, not just tolerated’, and features a range of content exploring LGBT+ travel. The initiative follows Orbitz’s recent partnership with the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA). John Tanzella, president and CEO of IGLTA said: ‘Now more than ever, our industry needs to step up its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and help rebuild travel in a way that makes everyone feel invited to explore the world.’
As the travel sector re-opens, brands have an opportunity to create safer, more inclusive options for LGBT+ travellers.
London – The Design Museum has opened an artist-led supermarket to address the importance of creativity in our daily lives.
Seizing on the fact that non-essential retail has re-opened in the UK, the pop-up Supermarket promotes the message that creativity should be as accessible to the public as groceries. Created in collaboration with artist Camille Walala and gin brand Bombay Sapphire, the colourful store features repackaged ‘essentials’ such as tea, coffee, bread and toilet paper, each featuring limited-edition label artworks designed by a group of emerging artists.
‘Our high streets, museums and galleries have been hit hard by the pandemic; this is an opportunity to get people back to enjoying our cultural institutions safely and creatively,’ says Tim Marlow, director and CEO of The Design Museum. Proceeds from the supermarket's sales will go to the museum’s Emerging Designer Access Fund – a scheme that enables burgeoning design talent to access its events and exhibitions free of charge.
This installation is an example of how an institution affected by the pandemic can take cues from – or playfully subvert – other sectors. For more, explore LS:N Global’s Inter-covid Roadmap.
France – Luxury brand Louis Vuitton has debuted its most exclusive scent to date, containing a high concentration of a rare natural ingredient.
The scent, Pur Oud, will only be available in 2,000 bottles, making it the brand’s rarest perfume offering to date. Consisting almost entirely of the natural essence of oud – a substance derived from agarwood – the simple yet opulent fragrance acquires its luxurious status owing to the process of its creation. While oud occurs naturally in agarwood, it often takes hundreds of years for the resinous substance to form as an oil that can be converted into perfume. The result is an earthy, amber scent with spicy accents offset by just two soft white musks.
‘I wanted to offer enthusiasts the chance to smell true oud, which is rare, without altering the scent with additional notes and instead letting it express itself on its own,’ explains Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, the perfumier behind Pur Oud. ‘Three ingredients, that’s all. Richness doesn’t preclude simplicity, quite the contrary.’
In our Ascetic Luxurians community, we identify a subset of luxury consumers who reject mass consumption.
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