Author: Maryanne Njeri Maina | An MBA student in Luxury Brand Management at HEC School of Management in Paris – Twitter: @njerimaina. E: email@example.com
Madame Coco Chanel was one of the masters of the private client experience in the universe of luxury. The privé salons (private salons) give the client the ability to enjoy a luxurious environment. After all, luxury is enjoyment. Luxury is taste. Luxury is a culture. The private salons put you in the taste and culture of that designer.
Chanel privé salon is found in Paris, on Rue Cambon while the Christian Dior privé salon is on the beautiful luxurious avenue, Avenue Montaigne for private viewing by the clients and celebrities who did not attend the runway shows.
The rise of the Chinese luxury consumer has led to privé salons being designed in China where the objects are showcased in private fashions shows or delivered to private clients for those who do not want to travel to Paris. The houses represent the heritage and culture of the designer.
Private salons offer but, the desired intimacy, discretion and exclusivity of a private presentation of a beautiful object.
To date, there are at least 1 000 clients of haute couture from various houses such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad, Giorgio Armani amongst others. There are new customers and younger customers with an appreciation for haute couture. Clients range from China, Hong Kong, Middle Russia, and the list goes on.
The ambience of the climate-controlled studio is spacious, relaxed and contemporary. It is set up like a modern take on a private salon of the couturier of the 1950’s. Clients sit on comfortable sofas and over drinks view the sample gowns at their leisure. The changing area is large enough to accommodate the bride and a couple of her friends at the same time.
“The client has to feel special when they walk into my studio and I only see one client at a time (with her party if applicable of course) and to ensure this is the case, all visits to the studio are by appointment,” says Kosibah. Yemi Osunkoya is the award winning designer being the Kosibah label. “My business is about experience, a luxury experience from the moment you walk into my private salon.”
Selection of a wedding dress needs ultimate service for the bride and her bridal party. During wedding planning, giving private client’s service of the highest luxury is part of the experience. This is where the designer and the bride select the fabric, design and accessories for the objet d’art to be worn for her wedding.
“Some of my gowns are made with pearls, where each pearl is individually knotted to the surface fabric so they didn’t fall out when the fabric was being cut,” explains Kosibah. “In my salon, the bride and her bridal party are hosted with champagne, luxury tea and other assortments as they familiarize themselves with my work. My work is luxury; all my gowns are bespoke and made especially for each client.”
The dress is packaged with the bodice stuffed with tissue paper and covered in polythene and delivered in a Kosibah garment bag. The designer of Kosibah, Yemi Osunkoya also goes to personally dress some of the brides on the day of the wedding, in Nigeria.
Photograph Courtesy of the Atunbi Expreience
For men who are private clients of design houses, such as Berluti, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and the like, the universe of made to measure is delivered with client service, served with sophistication and personal touch. Made to measure suits are moulded to fit from the shoulder to the ankle, comfortably without any resistance. This is tailoring with excellence.
The appointments with the tailors, for these private clients, are handled in private salons as well. Part of the process in made to measure includes in the client choosing the cloth for his suit or suits. This is dependent on the occasion where the suit will be worn. Briefing is done with the tailor who then commences on the designs. Trousers are made by the trouser maker and the coat by the expert tailor.
During the first trial sessions, some houses host the clients, over fine whiskey, champagne or cognac. There are usually three to four appointments and it takes six to eight weeks to complete the suit. The suits are sometimes delivered to the clients around the work by the master tailor, and presented in the most luxurious packaging, suitable for a King, the client.
Take a look below at what one can experience in a privé salon.