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A Stylish Bite

Join us at these new culinary playgrounds conceived by the world’s leading fashion houses, where every bite is a taste of the avant-garde.

January 6, 2023

These days, luxury goes beyond simply owning a piece of haute couture. Never satisfied with the ordinary, fashion houses are constantly striving to push themselves creatively and to reinvent without losing sight of their heritage. And with younger social media-savvy consumers placing value on impressive branding, good storytelling, cross-industry concepts and multi-sensory experiences, these maisons de couture have extended their influence to other industries in order to capture this new audience’s attention.  

In the last year alone, we have seen dozens of luxury maisons turning their prestige retail addresses into restaurants or cafés, partnering with Michelin-starred restaurants, and creating eye-catching brand activations worthy of the ’Gram. What once felt like a roped-off world reserved only for the elite suddenly became more accessible. 

Photo: Monsieur Dior

Branching out into the culinary world seemed to be the natural choice. The crossover has been an opportunity for leading fashion houses to not only diversify revenue streams but attract new customers, bring back old ones and offer an experience that online competition cannot. By blending fashion, food and art, these influential labels have created entire universes that showcase the fashion house’s DNA through brand touch points – from colour palettes to signature scents, trademark patterns, monogrammed tableware and special dishes. It’s a walk through the archives, almost as if a piece of the heritage were being passed down to the new generation. The restaurants and cafés are always located either inside or within walking distance of the retail space, allowing clients to spend more time with the brand. 

With the latest series of restaurant openings, from Saint-Tropez to Chengdu, these legendary fashion houses are bringing guests into their inner circle, sharing the house’s vision and story through food and design. Which one will you be visiting? 

 

MONSIEUR DIOR 

Photo: Monsieur Dior

When he first opened Dior’s flagship store at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris, Christian Dior proclaimed, “It had to be 30 Avenue Montaigne. I would set myself up [here] and nowhere else! My desire [was] to create a house in my name. A house where everything would be new.” 

As per Monsieur Dior’s wishes, everything is indeed new again, as 30 Avenue Montaigne recently reopened its doors after two years of renovation to unveil a Dior wonderland. It is a rebirth; a reinvention that blends retail, hospitality and exhibition to create a cultural destination that embodies Christian Dior’s visionary spirit. The esteemed address now sees a retail store, a restaurant, a café, a pâtisserie, an exhibition gallery, an atelier, three gardens and the Dior Suite come together under one roof. 

Photo: Monsieur Dior

Restaurant Monsieur Dior, along with pastry shop La Pâtisserie Dior, was created as an homage to the legendary designer, who himself was a true epicurean. Helmed by chef Jean Imbert, accompanied by his long-term collaborator Anthony Clémot, the restaurant celebrates the French art de vivre – elegant, refined, yet simple. The Dior DNA runs through the menu, which draws inspiration from the founding couturier’s cookbook, La cuisine cousu-main, and features original recipes and culinary favourites such as the renowned Christian Dior soft-boiled egg sliding on a bed of caviar and cream as well as the ‘New Look’ truffle croque-monsieur and entrecôte frites.  

The Dior heritage and codes have also left an imprint on the light-filled space, from the houndstooth clad-chairs – a signature Dior pattern – to the dinnerware and waiters’ uniforms. Exclusive artworks were commissioned for the restaurant, including a large portrait of the designer, entitled Christian Dior à Table, by René Bouché; a beautiful geometric mirror by Claudia Wieser; and an eye-catching black, white and red pictorial work by Guy Limone that adorns the feature wall, displaying hundreds of pictures from the archives that trace the history of the house of Dior.  

Monsieur Dior, 32 Av. Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France 

 

MAISON MARGIELA CAFÉ 

Photo: Maison Margiela Cafe

While renovating its retail store in Chengdu shopping mall Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li, Maison Margiela expanded its space to accommodate the first ever Maison Margiela Café. The coffee shop maintains the fashion house’s avant-garde brand identity, displaying a monochromatic stone palette that can be found everywhere from the gypsum-cast coned standing lamps to the blouse blanche of the staff. The juxtaposition of architectural elements, geometry and texture is seen throughout, staying in line with the fashion house’s notion of “appropriating the inappropriate.”  

Photo: Maison Margiela Cafe

When it comes to culinary offerings, Maison Margiela Café offers a selection of coffee choices along with three desserts. Not only do the desserts stay in line with the monochromatic palette, but they are also a nod to some of the brand’s signature clothing and accessories. The Tea Room dessert is shaped like the iconic ‘Tabi’ split-toe shoes that sent shockwaves through the fashion industry and prompted bidding wars on auction websites. The Scorching Mark dessert, meanwhile, is a replica of the four-stitch logo found on the Maison Margiela bags and clothes, and the Derelict Garden is an ode to the classic splash ink element found on the Replica shoes or ‘Tabi’ canvas. 

Photo: Maison Margiela Cafe

Brand activation extends out to the exterior, where a series of giant coffee cups serve as the perfect ‘Instagrammable’ backdrop next to a Maison Margiela coffee van.  

Maison Margiela Café, Shop L1236, No.8 Shamao Street, Jinjiang District, Chengdu, China 

 

MORY SACKO AT LOUIS VUITTON 

Photo: Mory Sacko - Louis Vuitton

A summer in Saint-Tropez is indelible. The beating heart of the French Riviera has long been known for its international jetsetting crowd, yachting days and epicurean delights. But tucked away along the seaside in a quieter part of town is White 1921 Hotel, the legendary residence on the storied Place des Lices. Originally named The White House, the hotel became White 1921 Hotel when purchased by LVMH a decade ago, to reflect the year the villa was built as well as an exceptional year for champagnes. It seems only natural that this would be where Louis Vuitton would open its first ever restaurant, Mory Sacko at Louis Vuitton. 

Photo: Mory Sacko - Louis Vuitton

Steered by Michelin-starred chef Mory Sacko – head of the restaurant MoSuke in Paris – the tranquil escape unveiled this June was inspired by travel and diversity, reflecting the meeting of minds and cultures that is very much found in Saint-Tropez itself. 

Having worked closely with Sacko on the interior design, the fashion house plunges its guests into an ethereal universe that harmonises natural elements with the contemporary. Louis Vuitton motifs can be found throughout, from the LV flower monograms found on the entrance’s moon gate and the manicured vertical gardens to the hanging rattan lanterns from the Objets Nomades collection. The travertine, light wood, rope and rattan details bring an airy feel to the breezy terrace. 

Photo: Mory Sacko - Louis Vuitton

Protected from the Mediterranean sun by a large canopy, guests can enjoy the freshest ingredients the basin has to offer with a travel-inspired menu heavy on Japanese and African influences. The lunch menu features an array of daily and locally sourced ingredients mixed with Japanese flavours and displayed in an elegant ekiben, a typical meal tray found at stations or on trains in Japan. Dinner time calls for an imaginative tapas and traditional plating menu that takes guests on a journey to the Caribbean islands, Africa and Asia before circling back to Europe. 

Restaurant Mory Sacko at Louis Vuitton, Place des Lices White 1921 Hôtel, 83990 Saint-Tropez, France 

  

RALPH’S COFFEE 

Photo: Ralph's Coffee

When Ralph Lauren opened the first Ralph’s Coffee in New York in 2014, it was to create an extension of the Ralph Lauren world, where people could take a much-needed break from city life and create memories and friendships around a good ol’ cup of joe. Since then, Ralph’s Coffee has taken that spirit all around the world, opening cafés, kiosks and trucks splashed with its signature green and offering its special blends made from organically grown beans from South America, Asia Pacific and Africa as well as Ralph’s Coffee merchandise – from canvas tote bags and baseball caps to coffee mugs and canisters.  

Photo: Ralph's Coffee

After a successful debut in Ocean Terminal, Ralph’s Coffee has landed on the mezzanine of the Ralph Lauren Prince’s Building flagship store, the fashion house’s first permanent Ralph’s Coffee on Hong Kong Island. The art deco touches impress throughout the coffee shop, with the rich mahogany interior, aged brass details, white marble counters and Ralph Lauren signature green producing the ideal setting in which to slow down and enjoy a cup of coffee. The smell of the signature Ralph’s Roast blend – in both decaf and espresso – may be what lures customers in, but Ralph’s signature brownie and The Polo Bar’s New York Cheesecake are not to be glazed over. Guests can enjoy the treats from the comfort of the saddle leather banquettes and chairs found in the seating areas.  

Ralph’s Coffee, Shop M12-16, M/F, LANDMARK PRINCE’S, Central, Hong Kong  

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