LONDON, United Kingdom — As consumers are directing their spend away from products and towards experiences, luxury brands are increasingly looking to capitalise on experiential initiatives. The latest comes from accessories designer Anya Hindmarch, who will host an immersive experience, inspired by her Chubby collection, during London Fashion Week from September 14 to 16.
Hosted at London’s Banqueting House, the event will include a one-off installation — a giant “Chubby Cloud” beanbag that people can sit on, while admiring the ceiling painting by 17th century Flemish artist Sir Peter Paul Ruben — as well as live readings of bedtime stories from Poppy Delevingne and Claudia Winkleman, lullabies sung by the London Gay Men’s Chorus and guided meditations from Poppy Jamie’s mindfulness brand Happy Not Perfect.
A Chubby-themed café will be installed alongside an on-site shop stocking the Chubby collection and Chubby Cloud merch.
There will also be live talks over the course of the weekend from a number of speakers, including Hindmarch herself, in conversation with Telegraph fashion director Lisa Armstrong; Serpentine Galleries chief executive Yana Peel and British artist Marc Quinn, discussing body image in art; and futurist and AI expert Sophie Hackford, who will talk about the technical cloud and connectivity.
Speaking to BoF, Hindmarch explained that the event was an opportunity to amplify the brand and engage directly with consumers. “Fashion week is always about the brand and visibility and communicating to your customer what you stand for,” she said. For the designer, it was important that these experiences weren’t replicas of what consumers could access online, thus the curation of the event programme was a key part of the strategy. “That can speak to a customer as much as an advertising campaign with the latest handbag,” she said.
Hindmarch could not be drawn on how much the brand had invested in the upcoming event, but said it was building on the success of the brand’s “Chubby Hearts” project across London in February, which saw over two dozen heart-shaped balloons suspended over landmarks across London.
While the event will be ticketed, with prices ranging from £7.50 to £15 ($9.76 to $19.50) all profits will go to the Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity that ensures the upkeep of unoccupied royal palaces in the UK.