Luxury heritage brands take bold moves in re-positioning

Bespoke men’s shoe company, BERLUTI, which has been in operation since 1895 is today owned by luxury giant LVMH and run by Antoine Arnault, the son and heir to the group owner Bernard Arnault. For the past two years, Antoine Arnault carefully choreographed the launch of Berluti’s first ready to wear and accessories line, thus making the transition from a showmaker to a complete look luxury mens lifestyle brand.

Last week, Berluti unveiled its clothing and accessories collection, during The Paris Fashion Week debut featured models ranging in age from 25 to 72, in a theatre stage set up. The collection was at the same time elegant, chic and luxurious, portraying a sophisticated, yet young spirited Berluti Man.

The communications campaign included a revamped Berluti website as well as print magazine ads. The advertising campaign perfectly illustrates Antoine Arnault’s philosophy that bling is gone and consumer and increasingly seeking values through heritage and craftsmanship. The entire collection reminded us of Bottega Veneta’s now unique understated style, which trascends through the most sophisticated old style advertising concepts.

While ready to wear seems to now take centre stage, the brand will pursue its already successful exclusive bespoke lines such as Demesures, which was created by Olga Berluti in 2006. Every year, new styles are added and the service is available at the Berluti Salon in Paris. The website and Facebook page feature innovative ideas such as Shoe Polishing Lesson with a short clip to illustrate.

The Berluti website might make one not familiar with the brand  feel as an outsider, however, once ”emerged” into the Berluti world, a strong sense of warmth and connectivity is conveyed.  A digital graphics video shows guests around the Berluti house, with photos of founder’s family on the walls and shoes presentations being alternated with library and classic furniture set up.

The same library set up, almost theatrical, was the background of Berluti’s fashion show, which marked the debut of the house in clothing an accessories. A group of mixed aged sophisticated men were reading, engaging in intellectual dialogue, books being omnipresent.  As Facebook, the brand has two pages, however, judging from the content and photos, they do not seem as being THE official pages, but rather pages created by two fans / customers.