Why luxury beach club takeovers were THE retail trend of the summer

Linen, rattan, social media’s obsession with aesthetics and curated identities collided with luxury fashions exponential quest for authentic experience to create THE definitive retail trend of the summer: beach club takeovers.

Top influencers social media feeds have been transformed to visions of la dolce-vita inspired bliss. (Credit: @kyliejenner, @haileybaldwin and @wolfiecindy on instagram)

Tomato-girl summer

Gen-z’s answer to ‘La Dolce Vita’ (coined “tomato girl summer”, amongst other things) is an aesthetic and trending hashtag (including, but not limited to): woven baskets, tomato salads, parasols, peaches, sunhats, silk scarves, books and (ideally) the Amalfi coast or the South of France. It’s less about whether displays of wealth are more or less overt, and more about the aesthetic. In the wake of quiet luxury mania, Kardashian-core has been traded for eurotrash and we cant get enough.

Searches for terms like “tomato girl summer,” “quiet luxury,” and “Mediterranean style” dominated TikTok this summer, and influencers like Hailey Bieber, Kylie Jenner and Cindy Kimberly have transformed their Instagram feeds into showcases of la dolce vita inspired luxury lifestyle content.

Valentino at Palazzo Avino, Amalfi Coast (image credit: Vogue)

luxury beach club takeover in st tropez by Dior

Dior at Shellona, St Tropez (credit: Harpers Bazaar)

Experience Experience Experience (and exclusivity)

Luxury brands perpetually seek unreplicable experiences to captivate their audiences. What could offer a more enticing combination than the sun-kissed beaches and stunning vistas of locations like St. Tropez, Marbella, Sicily, and Lake Como?

These beach club takeovers provide an entry into the world of the affluent, ensuring exclusivity by default. The most popular destination for takeovers this summer, St. Tropez, is renowned for jet-set Mediterranean luxury and grants brands a pre-established sense of prestige.

Dolce & Gabbana at Grand Hotel Quisisana, Capri (image credit: Dolce & Gabbana)

Gucci, Saint Tropez (Credit: Gucci)

Production-waste conscious (win-win)

Unlike elaborate pop-ups, beach club takeovers are more environmentally conscious. By branding existing spaces with umbrellas, upholstery, and towels, brands sidestep the need for extensive new production and its associated costs.

This approach fosters mutually beneficial partnerships with venues. Jacquemus exemplifies this balance with a beach club takeover at St. Tropez’s iconic beach Pampelonne, and leaves flashy production stunts to CGI.

Jacquemus staged a beach club takeover at St. Tropez’s iconic beach Pampellonne, and leaves flashy production stunts to CGI. (Image credir: (left) Jacquemus and Ian Padgham animation @origiful)

Using Target Markets to generate organic content

The genius of beach club takeovers lies in uniting target markets and generating organic content. By infiltrating affluent hotspots such as St. Tropez and Mediterranean rivieras, luxury brands create a stage for their audience to produce authentic content. This strategy effortlessly expands the brands reach, introducing them to new customers within the spaces they already frequent.

“This strategy effortlessly expands the brand’s reach, introducing them to new customers within the spaces they already frequent.”

luxury beach club takeover by Loro piana in st tropez

Loro Piana, St Tropez (image credit: Haute Living)

What’s next?

As summer’s beach club takeovers wind down, luxury brands could be considering the natural evolution: ski resort takeovers for the upcoming winter season. Just like beach clubs ruled summer, could luxury ski resort takeovers, and exclusive alpine retreats be the next target for 2023 pop-ups?

Could Alpine resorts be the next target for luxury brands this winter? (image credit: Gucci, Dior)

We created a luxury cable car-chalet experience in the heart of London for Grey Goose and ME hotel. (image credit: Formroom)

Want to create something special this winter?