A couple of years ago, the trend in luxury fashion acquisitions was suppliers. Chanel bought out the lamb hide tannery that had been providing it with leather. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton bought Heng Long, a crocodile tanning company. And Hermès, certain to not be outdone by any brand, started breeding its own crocodiles. Now that the top luxury houses and conglomerates have their supply chains on lock, they’ve turned to … patisseries. And not just in the Chanel café-themed Fall/Winter 2015 runway show sense.
According to the New York Times, Prada and LVMH are initiating a trend by acquiring heritage cafes. Prada, for instance, acquired, revamped and reopened (just in time for last week’s Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 collections) Pasticceria Marchesi, one of Milan's most iconic cafes. Close by sits the LVMH-owned Caffe Cova, which the Paris-based conglomerate purchased last year. Speaking about the LVMH acquisition, Yves Carcelle, the late chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, told System Magazine: “For LVMH, it is very important to own our own shops, but also to invest in the environment that surrounds them. We’re able to bring a broad concept that encompasses fashion houses, watch houses, Sephora, and now a café like Cova that adds a touch of class. I’ve nothing against Starbucks but I think it makes more sense to have a Cova next door to our family of brands.”
Your move, Hermès.
IMAGE COURTESY OF THE COVETEUR