Why Do the Resort Collections Matter?

Unlike fashion week, where brands share a busy schedule, cruise presentations allow fashion houses to stage themselves exclusively, customizing marketing methods with formidable efficiency.
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While, previously, haute couture enjoyed unmixed supremacy, and ready-to-wear fashion shows were seen only by a relatively small group, today, it is the more commercial resort collections that have taken their place. Here's why (and how) brands are placing more and more emphasis on this season every year. 

Location, location, location

First of all, it's a question of geography. As in real estate, location is everything. That's why brands in the four fashion capitals are constantly on the lookout for new sites to showcase their creations. As Sidney Toledano, CEO of Christian Dior Couture, points out, "The cruise collections are exclusive collections, presented to VIP customers and the international press in exceptional settings around the world. These places always resonate with the history of the house and illustrate the inspiration of the collection. For example, the instinctive and wild woman, imagined by Maria Grazia Chiuri for her first Dior cruise collection, marched through the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon nature reserve, a place where nature reigns supreme." 

It's about giving to their collections atmosphere and local color, which a dream site allows immediately. With the resort shows, by inviting guests to distant and exotic destinations, the largest luxury brands have pushed this concept even further. For his part, Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton's artistic director, believes that "the cruise is synonymous with travel and movement. A unique architectural trip to the Louis Vuitton House. We move in a relationship between nature, geography, architecture and the vision of a great architect, as was the case with John Lautner and Oscar Niemeyer."

"These collections are rather commercial, so easy to wear, and presented in such magical contexts, they may seem even more exciting than fashion week fashion shows." Caroline Issa

Ultimate exclusivity

We must thank Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel for the advent of the resort collections. In 2006, the German fashion designer had the idea of ​​chartering a vintage bus to take a tour of Paris to a selection of editors and fashion editors, with models wearing parts of his resort line that went up and down the bus to selected stops. The first time the house presented a collection outside the walls. "A cruise parade is a show. A live performance inspired by certain facets of a place and its culture. Going to meet new horizons is a way of nurturing the imagination around the Chanel house and renewing its vision while sharing the culture and the richness of the place where you walk, " explains Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion Activities at Chanel. 

Gradually, since this Chanel fashion show, the biggest luxury houses have been overbidding: it is about finding ever more sumptuous and more select places to present their cruise collections - Havana, Kyoto, Los Angeles, Florence, Singapore, São Paulo, Dubai, and New York, to name a few. And an invitation to one of these shows is almost the ultimate guarantee of success among the elite of the fashion world. 

In most cases, with the exception of a handful of journalists who are still funded by their magazines, it is the brand that pays for the travel expenses of its select group of guests. In general, it is a cultural circuit, with visits to museums as well as dinners and evenings in the most sumptuous local establishments, with the cruise parade constituting both the pièce de résistance and the final bouquet. 

"These parades, all over the world, are truly the ultimate luxury experience - in general, to get there, you have to travel, and on the spot, there is more to enjoy the scenery exotic and spectacular, " says Caroline Issa, editor-in-chief of Tank magazine and often invited to such events. "If the catwalk shows amaze us so much is that these collections are rather commercial, so easy to wear, and presented in contexts as magical, they can seem even more captivating than the fashion week parades of fashion weeks."

Time to "breathe" on social networks 

This new type of ultra-selective event was actually created in response to the democratization of the fashion industry as a whole. With the proliferation of multimedia platforms, 360-degree videos and streaming shows, it's almost as if anyone can now be part of the world of fashion — a world that is constantly bombarded with new images. Especially during the ready-to-wear parades, where designers have only a few hours, the maximum, to make an impression with their collection before the next parade comes to supplant it on the front of the stage. In such a climate, where everything is linked without the least dead time, it is almost impossible to distinguish in the saturated space of social networks. 

This is why resort shows, held in isolation, are also a financial winner for the brands. As they do not take place during fashion weeks, they have time to "breathe" on social networks, making more buzz for a longer period and dominating the news cycle all by themselves.

Delight customers 

"Today's consumers are saturated with information and they are overwhelmed by the choices they constantly need to be stimulated by fashion houses, in the form of experiences (context) and visual and interactive media," analyzes Uché Pézard, founder of the prestigious consulting firm Luxe Corp. "At the same time, because of the impact of global warming and the emergence of new markets in warmer climates, the scale and frequency of collections are changing as well. This adds to the importance of cruise collections; they have become an absolutely essential tool to delight customers, " she adds.

The cruise shows are also a welcome strategic gesture to thank an international clientele. Presenting a collection in a country with a number of high fashion buyers can also be a great way for a home to show its gratitude and dedication to its local base. In addition, nothing like a cruise parade to promote the opening of a new flagship store in a growing luxury market. "A cruise is a parade, a collection, the most important economically and strategically; but it's mostly a point of view, " says Michael Burke, the CEO of Louis Vuitton. 

So that's the main thing, we come back to it: creating a point of view. The fashion industry's recent effort to be more inclusive is a wonderful thing that has helped it expand its audiences globally and regain consciousness. But the essence of fashion is also to dream, and to continue to do so, it must give its faithful landscapes, places and clothes that inspire adherence. The desire to belong to a vision. Most people will never experience a direct resort show. But the fashionista who buys a lipstick, a pair of sunglasses, a handbag or a garment from her favorite designer can feel, in her own way, that she contributes to the story of the house she follows with fidelity.

Below is a recap of where the biggest houses chose to show their resort collections this year.


Where: Florence, Italy 
Location: Palazzo Palazzo Palazzo Palazzo Palazzo 
Theme of the collection: the Renaissance electric version 
Number of guests: 400 
Front row: Elton John, Jared Leto, Kirsten Dunst, Dakota Johnson Soundtrack: A live performance by Beth Ditto



Where: Paris, France 
Location: The Grand Palace 
Theme of the collection: Ancient Greece 
Number of guests: 800 
Front row: Charlotte Casiraghi, Keira Knighley, Isabel Huppert, Pedro Almodóvar 
Soundtrack: the music of the film "Medea" by Pier Paolo Pasolini


Louis Vuitton 

Where: Kyoto, Japan 
Location: Miho Museum 
Theme of the collection: Japanese traditions 
Number of guests: 600 
Front row: Michelle Williams, Jennifer Connely, Sophie Turner 
Soundtrack: duo frenchie The Blaze


Where: Milan, Italy 
Location: the Fondazione Prada Osservatorio, in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II 
Collection theme: Beautiful era with sportwear trend 
Number of guests: 200 
Front row: Courtney Love, Mila Jovovitch, Susan Sarandon 
Soundtrack: the soundtrack to David Bilin's "Bilitis" by Francis Lai



Where: California, United States 
Location: Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Reserve 
Collection theme: western spirit gaucho 
Number of guests: 800 
Front row: Rihanna, Charlize Theron, Moore Demi, Brie Larson 
Soundtrack: a Solange live




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