Luxury conglomerate Labelux Group — parent company of Bally, Belstaff, Jimmy Choo, Solange Azagury-Partridge and Zagliani — has launched its own blog called The LiP, short for Luxury in Progress. “Luxury in Progress is a concept that has defined the Labelux process since our inception,” said Reinhard Mieck, chief executive officer of the group. “We thrive on discovering and learning from emerging perspectives.” The visually driven site, which stands alone from any Labelux property, features “innovative voices and revolutionary thinking in design, technology, and culture from around the globe.” Launch stories on the site include profiles of international visionaries and artists, interviews with entrepreneurs, and behind-the-scenes coverage of various art and technology installations. With rich photography and in-depth reporting, the content on the site is curated for a cultured, sophisticated and discerning audience.
Luxury retailers creating content is nothing new — in fact, it’s almost become a bit of a best practice with brands ranging from Tory Burch to Barneys New York to Four Seasons all skillfully weaving editorial into their e-commerce experience. However, most branded blogs do have one key goal — to help inspire purchases and ultimately drive more sales of products. The LiP, on the other hand, is completely removed from commerce: there are no links to storefronts, no imagery of runway trends or new products, not even a mention of any of its portfolio brands. For now, the blog seems solely to be a branding exercise for the parent company, helping to position it as culturally relevant and forward thinking.
Although not widespread, there are a few other examples of retail brands that also choose to focus on custom publishing over commerce integration — but that doesn’t mean they’re not selling. LVMH’s Nowness is one example that comes to mind: although commerce independent, the site monetizes by creating paid, “bespoke and exclusive content” for luxury advertisers. More recently, Net-A-Porter announced its intent to launch a print fashion magazine, also referencing advertising (currently in its digital magazine) as an increasingly revenue stream for the retailer. Whether The LiP ultimately decides to embrace commerce, adopt a publishing model, or something completely different remains to be seen. At this moment, we’re just enjoying the content.