The lifestyle sector, which includes tableware, furnishings and decorative items, continues to attract many fashion brands. FashionUnited takes a look at the latest launches in this segment, and the reasons behind the craze.
Much more than a fashion brand
Lifestyle allows fashion companies to diversify their offerings. They are becoming much more than just ready-to-wear and accessories labels. They are transforming into lifestyle brands.
This phenomenon has been largely driven by luxury brands, which are keen to position themselves as "cultural brands with a global audience", French press agency AFP explains. This desire is reflected in the proliferation of projects of various kinds: hotels, cafés, art foundations, etc. and homeware.
But the luxury sector is not alone in turning to homeware. Premium brands and mid-range ready-to-wear chains are also being tempted by this segment, which, combined with their original sector of activity, is a way of increasing the loyalty of customers who no longer need to look elsewhere to decorate their homes.
Fashion companies, whatever their positioning, tend to enter this market through collaboration. They turn to a company specialising in lifestyle or hire an artist to design a capsule collection. This strategy allows them to assess the success of products designed for the home with the support of an expert partner.
Feeling good at home
Since 2020, the interior design market has been undergoing a period of increasing change. According to a study by Allied Market Research, a market research company, the interior design sector is expected to reach 838 billion dollars (770 billion euros) by 2027, compared with 616 billion in 2019 (566 billion euros).
One of the main reasons for this craze is the new relationship that consumers have with their homes since the health crisis and its successive lockdowns. They now want to feel good in their homes, and are not hesitating to invest in home furnishings to achieve this..
The daily newspaper Les Echos points out that in 2020, 46 per cent of purchasers of decorative products will be "renewing elements of their living space at least once a year", with the majority turning to "small household linen (cushion covers, plaids), objects (mirrors, frames, vases, etc.) and textiles (curtains, rugs, etc.)".
Finally, according to data from the International Association of Department Stores (IADS) as reported by US fashion B2B platform WWD, "the home and decoration sector will account for 15 percent of all department stores' business on average in 2022". A market that is also likely to be increasingly influenced by trends in the fashion sector.
Companies letting themselves get seduced by the lifestyle trend
A few weeks ago, the French label American Vintage announced its entry into the lifestyle segment. It unveiled its first collection with Mediterranean influences, including aprons, tablecloths and tea towels. Prices range from 45/50 euros to 750 euros for Berber rugs.
At the beginning of May, Morgane Sézalory, founder of the ready-to-wear brand Sézane, relaunched her first brand, Les Composantes. Now specialising in home furnishings, the company offers lighting, furniture, decorative objects and other items designed to dress up any interior. The range is available on Sézane's e-commerce site and at its new pop-up store at Le Bon Marché from 29 April to 18 June 2023, to mark the brand's tenth anniversary.
Jacquemus, the lifestyle brand supreme, is stepping up its collaborations with homeware companies and in April 2023 produced a collection with the Italian company Exetat which featured a furniture line. This followed a partnership with Danish linen brand Tekla at the end of 2022.
In May 2023, AZ Factory, a brand created in 2019 by designer Alber Elbaz with the Richemont Group, also strengthened its presence in the lifestyle market by unveiling a collaboration with Italian company FerrilloBelli, which featured around 35 stools with graphic details. The furniture is sold for 3,000 euros on the brand's e-commerce site.
That same year, the American ready-to-wear chain Banana Republic decided to expand its homeware offering. The selection included bedding, rugs, pillows and decorative items. It completed the series of wall posters developed by the brand in autumn 2022.
The Yoox marketplace (Yoox Net-a-Porter Group), which specialises in fashion, art and design, also introduced a "Home Décor + Art" category last November. With this launch, the company aims to develop "a 360-degree lifestyle offering". Decorative items and furniture have been added to the marketplace's range of over 300,000 items.
For its part, Louis Vuitton, the flagship brand of the LVMH group, is continuing to position itself as "a brand of culture", relying on lifestyle to achieve this. In November 2022, the luxury brand opened an ephemeral shop dedicated to decoration and furnishings in Shanghai. The aim of this initial test launch was to gauge the success of this new offering. To date, Louis Vuitton has not yet announced the next stage of its retail project.
At the end of 2021, the Milanese luxury label Dolce & Gabbana launched its first "Casa" line. The brand chose to pay homage to its roots, offering decorative objects and furniture in shimmering colours and abundant patterns typical of Italian style. The launch was accompanied by the inauguration, a few months later, of two complementary special shops that showcased the range.
Following in the footsteps of Zara and H&M, Spanish retailer Mango has now moved into the lifestyle sector. Its new Mango Home range, due to be launched in early 2021, includes a wide range of items from crockery and household linen to candles, baskets and trays. The items are sold on the brand's e-shop and in all its boutiques, at prices ranging from 3.99 euros to 99.99 euros.
British luxury brand Paul Smith chose to expand its offering in November 2022, unveiling its first homeware items. The selection includes cushions, blankets and towels styled with the brand's signature colourful stripes. The products are priced from 24 euros to 295 euros.
Recently, US retail giant Walmart announced its intention to change its image, in particular by integrating higher-cost fashion and lifestyle products into its shelves. According to Reuters, Walmart is currently renovating 700 shops as part of a record 17 billion dollars (around 15.5 billion euros) investment plan. By the end of the year, it will be showcasing its new clothing and interior design in the sleeker windows of the renovated facilities.
Finally, when in April 2023 the investment companies Chimera and Haeres Capital decided to relaunch the French fashion house Vionnet, it was through the creation of a joint venture that aims to become the new European player in luxury and lifestyle, ChimHaeres.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.FR. Translation and edit from French into English: Veerle Versteeg.