Luxury hotel chain Ritz-Carlton has raised the bar for luxury hotels – 118 floors high to be exact. Occupying the 102nd to 118th floors of the International Commercial Centre, the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong officially opened March 29. A one-night grand opening package is being offered for $641.
“One of the exciting marketing communications prospects with an iconic opening like this is the ability to position The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company strongly not only in Hong Kong, but across China and indeed around the world,” said Chris Gabaldon, chief marketing officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC, Chevy Chase, MD. “We are creating global awareness of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong which sits atop a beacon of luxury in China.”
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is the newest addition to the brand’s expanding global portfolio of 75 luxury properties and its 16th hotel in Asia.
Ozone layer The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong offers breathtaking views of Victoria Harbor and the iconic Hong Kong skyline as the backdrop.
bonus video : Preview of The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
With the passing of Elizabeth Taylor yesterday, a chapter closed in the book of glamour. Are there enough celebrity spokespersons with her stature and pulling power who can move the needle for luxury brands?
Ms. Taylor, 79, who succumbed to congestive heart failure, led a full life: actor, AIDS activist, lover, entrepreneur, brand ambassador and passionate customer of Bulgari, Cartier, Krupp and Harry Winston.
“Celebrities can work for luxury brands if consumers believe that they are likely to use the product and if it is a good fit for them,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, New York. “It’s the image that the celebrity gives as a halo effect for the product.
“Elizabeth was a natural at endorsing a fragrance that exemplified the Jet-Set, glamorous and exciting lifestyle,” he said. “She had that element that brands were trying to exude and that part of her imagery could enhance a product and drive sales.
“However, celebrities are a small part of the social media equation. Real users of the brand, who in an unpaid and unfiltered way, can provide insights into the products and thereby be even more credible endorsers.” In addition to her many lives, Ms. Taylor found time to launch a line of fragrances. Ms. Taylor was also an avid activist for the fight against HIV/AIDS. She founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation that set up clinics, hospices, school health programs and family counseling for those affected by the disease.
Scent of success At the height of Ms. Taylor’s stardom, it was harder for luxury brands to relate to their customers who did not lead a digital lifestyle and in the absense of interactive media. Would Ms. Taylor have been as successful in this day and age? “She probably would have been relevant at any time,” Mr. Pedraza said. “She has a tremendous amount of credibility and would have in any decade.” Ms. Taylor was her own spokesperson for her fragrance collection, which encompassed White Diamonds, Forever Elizabeth, Passion for Women, Gardenia and Violet Eyes. She also launched Passion for Men.
Campaign for the “White Diamonds” fragrance
Print and television ads for the Elizabeth Taylor collection were run worldwide. Additionally, Ms. Taylor and her most famous husband, Richard Burton, were well-known collectors of jewelry from brands such as Bulgari, Cartier and Harry Winston.The pair even had a jewel named after them, the Taylor-Burton diamond, which was bought from Cartier for a staggering $1.1 million. Not coincidentally, Bulgari showcased an entire collection of Ms. Taylor’s personal jewelry in its mobile application earlier this year. Ms. Taylor’s affiliation with these jewelers certainly influenced both her own and the brands’ status in the luxury sector. Better known than her appetite for luxury brands were her partnerships with and her founding of charitable organizations. “She was a master of her craft, but she did also stand for positives such as AIDS,” Mr. Pedraza said. “She took a stand on something that was unpopular, but certainly the right thing to do,” he said. Affiliating with a celebrity who does philanthropic work looks good for luxury brands, whose customers often have the same core values.
For example, Lexus teamed up with Baron Davis and his foundation, Rising Stars, which teaches positive role models and ethics through sports. Also, Swiss watchmaker Hublot tapped Veronica Varekova, ambassador of the American Wildlife Foundation, to push a special model from its Hublot lady collection while also raising awareness of the foundation.
Paper tigers There are many luxury brands who choose to have celebrity endorsers and promote them through print, out of home, Internet and mobile ads. Luxury brands hire celebrities and musicians as spokespersons rather than well-known entrepreneurs because the former can literally “act” the part of endorsers. “Actors and musicians are entertainers by nature,” Mr. Pedraza said. “Other people in other professions are not as good at presenting a case or delivering a speech or being on camera or in an interview as famed actors and musicians. “They lead very glamorous and public lives as opposed to entrepreneurs and their lives, if lived in a way that is in sync with what a luxury brand’s values are, can be great examples of what the brand is trying to promote,” he said.
High-fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Versace, Chanel, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana are tapping actors and musicians to model their accessories, handbags and apparel. For example, Chanel recently picked the CW television network’s “Gossip Girl” actress Blake Lively to promote its new Mademoiselle handbag line.
Other brands pick spokespersons based on mutual interests. Swiss watchmaker Breitling, whose products are designed for athletes and pilots, chose actor John Travolta as a brand ambassador. Mr. Travolta has his pilot’s license and is certified on eight different aircraft.
Furthermore, Ralph Lauren’s Polo Black fragrance label has tapped professional polo player Nacho Figueras as one of its celebrity endorsers. The brand is known for its preppy, polo-inspired clothing and the match makes sense.
However, there is an element of uncertainty with celebrity spokespersons.For example, when Tiger Woods’ indiscretions were out in the open, many of his sponsors, such as Buick and Gatorade, quickly pulled their advertisements and canceled their contracts because they did not want to be associated with him.
“Things can spiral out of control when there isn’t a strategic alignment or when either the spokesperson or the brand itself falls from grace,” said Rex Whisman, founder and principal at BrandED Consultants Group, Denver, CO.
This is even more relevant for luxury brands and their sponsors, whose names are synonymous with pristine reputations.
“It’s not going to feel authentic if the partnership doesn’t have the consumer in mind, and sometimes that doesn’t happen,” Mr. Whisman said.
Mirage, not barrage A popular way for brands to promote new products is through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter which act as hubs for brands to interact with their customers through community discussions.
Social media also serves as a platform for brands to push new campaigns and products through their spokespersons by posting on a feed or uploading a video.
However, experts doubt that spokespersons actually do anything for affluent consumers.
A study by the Luxury Institute shows that affluent consumers are not impressed by celebrity endorsements.
Ron Kurtz, principal of American Affluence Research Center, agrees. The research done by his company proves that these efforts influence those who aspire to the luxury lifestyle, rather than those who actually live it.
“The primary exceptions are sporting goods endorsed by professional golfers or tennis players, where the endorser has a relevant expertise, and then the favorable effect is somewhat limited,” Mr. Kurtz said.
“I feel celebrity endorsements, and particularly having their own branded product as Elizabeth Taylor did with her perfume, are more influential with teenage girls and the aspirational affluent,” he said.
People around the world have been awestruck by the destruction caused by earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last week, and since then there’s been an outpouring of support from charities and relief organizations all over the world. The fashion community is no different, and its members have taken to a variety of tactics to raise support, money and simple awareness about the overwhelming obstacles Japan now faces. Herein, a few examples of how people in fashion have been trying to help — and how you can help, too. And if there’s anyone we missed, please let us know!
Lady Gaga and Nicola Formichetti
Lady Gaga started selling a simple rubber bracelet that says “We pray for Japan” in English and Japanese. It’s $5, and all proceeds are donated to tsunami relief efforts. Gaga Dailyreported today that $250,000 has been raised already. You can get yours here, and you can make an additional donation when you buy the bracelet. Gaga’s friend and stylist Nicola Formichetti has been tweeting about the bracelets to his 43,000 followers, which has no doubt helped sales.”
Yesterday, Lady Gaga started selling a simple rubber bracelet that says “We pray for Japan” in English and Japanese. It’s $5, and all proceeds are donated to tsunami relief efforts. Gaga Dailyreported today that $250,000 has been raised already. You can get yours here, and you can make an additional donation when you buy the bracelet. Gaga’s friend and stylist Nicola Formichetti has been tweeting about the bracelets to his 43,000 followers, which has no doubt helped sales.
Prabal Gurung and Anna Dello Russo
Prabal Gurung tweeted a link to the International Red Cross‘s disaster relief page, asking his followers to make donations to the Japan relief effort there. Stylist Anna Dello Russo has been a big proponent of the Save Japan Project, a Twitter campaign organized to keep the world up to date on the status of the Japanese people.”
Designer Prabal Gurung tweeted a link to the International Red Cross‘s disaster relief page, asking his followers to make donations to the Japan relief effort there. Stylist Anna Dello Russo has been a big proponent of the Save Japan Project, a Twitter campaign organized to keep the world up to date on the status of the Japanese people.
Gilt Groupe’s Gilt City has partnered with Global Giving and encouraged its members to make donations to the relief effort. If you’re not a member, you can still make a contribution here.
Uniqlo reported yesterday that Uniqlo‘s CEO Tadashi Yanai has donated almost $26 million to the relief effort. If you don’t have that kind of money, you can still donate clothing and shoes at North American Uniqlo stores, but we hear the one in New York’s SoHo neighborhood is not quite ready yet.
We reported yesterday that Uniqlo‘s CEO Tadashi Yanai has donated almost $26 million to the relief effort. If you don’t have that kind of money, you can still donate clothing and shoes at North American Uniqlo stores, but we hear the one in New York’s SoHo neighborhood is not quite ready yet.
Designers on Twitter
Kenneth Cole, Vera Wang and Michael Kors, just to name a few. But Diane von Furstenberg posed the question “How can we help?” and it got us thinking that it doesn’t really matter what you do here. If you can do something to help, however small or large that something might be, you probably should.
Designers have been expressing lots of support and concern for the people of Japan, mostly via Twitter. We’ve seen missives from Kenneth Cole, Vera Wang and Michael Kors, just to name a few. But Diane von Furstenberg posed the question “How can we help?” and it got us thinking that it doesn’t really matter what you do here. If you can do something to help, however small or large that something might be, you probably should.
Bergdorf Goodman on Facebook
Bergdorf Goodman is using the power of social media to guide its Facebook followers to a variety of donation and support options. From the Earthquake Relief tab on their profile page, you can visit Charity Navigator to figure out what kinds of contributions go where, donate money through your iTunes account, find out how to text a donation to the Japanese Red Cross or even buy a shelter kit for people who have lost their homes.
There was much blogging and tweeting last night and from my reading the vast majority of experts and passionate enthusiasts were happy with the selection of jewelry at last night’s event.
I hope you enjoy this rundown of Oscar jewelry looks as much as you no doubt enjoyed the other excellent coverage on the Web.
On the right :
Amy Adams wins the “Red Carpet Bling” award wearing $1.35 million worth of emerald and diamond jewelry from Cartier, including a platinum and diamond emerald haute joaillerie secret watch bracelet worth $1.025 million.
The bracelet features a 30.75 carat carved emerald and 575 diamonds (15.38 cts.). It’s matched with platinum and diamond ct. stud earrings worth $35,000.
1 Best Actress winner Natalie Portman accessorizes with Tiffany’s jewelry, including a Tiffany rubellite tassel earrings set with rose-cut diamonds, an Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the yard bracelet. In addition, she wore diamond earrings as hair accessories and a diamond ring by Jean Schlumberger.
2 Portman’s Black Swan co-star Mila Kunis wears Neil Lane diamond and platinum cocktail ring, line bracelet, bangle and earrings totaling 30 carats.
3 Supporting actress winner Melissa Leo in a Forevermark 2.05-ct. diamond drop earrings paired with a 10-ct. Forevermark diamond flower ring.
Dear Readers let us wish You a Happy Valentine’s Day, especially for You who have reason to do, and hope all of You have one.
We choose this day to make the launch of our free luxury magazine as a gift especially for those who are members in our Group and our Community. I have to admit that we release it although there are some minor problems due to letter fonts but we decided it to launch today. Please consider this as a pilot of what expected to come. We want to have Your feedback, to hear Your recommendations and to welcome Your proposals. We will more happier to assist You in one of the various buys we propose in this issue.
click the image to view the magazine
In this issue among others:
Is it maybe time to buy your own Castle?
Bugatti what? Learn first!
Is it a Jewel or a hands-free?
Mission in Paris : Maison et Objet. Highlights of Maison et Objet 2011
Lost and Found: Peru and the lost city of Machu Picchu
The World’s Best Villas : private
11 ideas for 2K11 : our list with Luxury must-have items
theULC members write
YOU” RE THE TOP?: HIGH END DESIGN IN A LUXURY MARKETPLACE by Gail Green, Green & Company Interior Designers
ON HOW TO PLAN AN EVENT by Sofia Bianchini Ciribifera, Owner and art director of 1000e20milleventi – Event and Wedding Designers Agency
We hope You had the most exciting New Year of Your Life. HAVE A BEAUTIFUL 2011
A non-stop mix of the hottest pop dance tracks by the ladies during the last month of 2010 to the New Year of 2011!!
1. Shakira – Loca (Freemasons Club Vocal)
2. Pink – Raise Your Glass (Jump Smokers Extended Mix)
3. Katy Perry – Firework (Jump Smokers Extended Mix)
4. Ke$ha – We R Who We R (Liam Keegan Extended Mix)
5. Rihanna – What’s My Name (Liam Keegan Club Mix)
6. Kylie Minogue – Better Than Today (StarLab Club Mix)
7. Robyn – Indestructible (Svenstrup & Vendelboe Club Mix)
8. Nelly Furtado – Night Is Young (Manhattan Clique Club Mix)
video=”http://ultimate-luxury-community.com/wp-content/myVideos/2011 NEW YEAR DANCE MIX.flv”
description=”2011 Dance Mix”
Dear theUltimateLuxuryCommunity Members and Visitors,
New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, and, like most of the times, some of us have organized how to spend the night, some others not. What are your plans to ring in the New Year? and most important where are You going to celebrate? It’s that time of year! Outdoor block parties, dining and dancing, crooners and champagne are among others on the agenda.
A lot of people like to spend New Year in different countries rather then their home country. When deciding where to go for New Year’s Eve You have many options open to You. You have the option of staying in your home country for the New Year, or You can take one of many New Year breaks around the world, so that you can experience a new culture and see how they celebrate the New Year. Click here to view our recent post Top 10: 2010 New Year’s Eve Destinations
I hope most of us are in their favorite location, either Copacabana Beach, Champs-Elysees, Las Vegas Strip, London Eye or elsewhere while the rest of us will celebrate their best Eve in homeland. My choice for the New Year Eve would be to Celebrate 2011 in Times Square and although I cannot be there I will have my share by the watching the following video(livestream from New York).
Let us give You our best wishes for New Year; may 2011 bring health, prosperity, business-job opportunities and lot of Luxuries for You and Your families! May the joys of the Season lead the way to a bright and prosperous New Year!
After the unexpected attraction Pagani Zonda’s special and highly collectible versions, the company decided to create the 750. If anything, the new Pagani stimulates the senses with a purple body and is based on the Cinque Roadster that produced in just five cars.
The changes are very small and located on the rear aerodynamic diffuser and the design of the crystal. The Italian supercar’s equipped with a V12 engine of 7,3 that will deliver at least 670 PS while 0-100 km / h is in about 3 sec.
This is the third one-off model built by Pagani as the previous two were acquired by a software developer in Chicago and a Royal family in Qatar. The hypercar follows the Zonda Uno and Zonda HH, both two brand new one-off models.