There are those for whom diversification in the luxury sector will always be a contradiction in terms: excellence in one area does not – or at least should not – confer success in another, necessarily unrelated field, they’ll argue.
And yet it’s become something of a bellwether of a brand’s ultimate ambition, whether it’s supplying eyewear to match a range of sporty timepieces or, as is increasingly the case, those requisites necessary to the further enjoyment of one’s very own supercar.
Which is why Bentley recently launched its own, highly successful, fragrance and, in short order, Bugatti has come to market with its Lifestyle Collections, launched during Milan Fashion Week last year and from last Friday, available at its first European store in London’s Knightsbridge. (Further stores are planned for Tokyo, Dubai and Doha.)
If the setting isn’t exactly rocket science, then the 428km/h supercar with which the new range of clothing and accessories – together with a collaborative offering by long-term watch partner Parmigiani Fleurier – is designed to chime no doubt owes much of its reputation to the appliance of a considerable amount of combustion theory.
It helps, too, that the mighty Veryon is one of the world’s more above-the-line cult items; a vehicle that presupposes a disposable income sufficient to ensure that each and every vehicle that comes off the production line is different to the last – in turn creating the sort of reliably disruptive one-offs residing in very few mono-brand marques.
Bugatti Lifestyle Collections seeks to elaborate on that individuality, whilst maintaining a close kinship with its automobile customers’ sartorial predilections. The leathers are therefore rare, the fabrics in line with contemporary couture tropes, and the Knightsbridge store’s fit-out adventurous without being off-putting.
A particular feature is the emblematic horseshoe-shaped radiator that frames one window, and other elements of the car’s construction have been used throughout the space to evoke in the customer a feeling of intimacy towards what must necessarily remain a highly prized automotive catch.
Similarly, the Bugatti grille reappears in a range of increasingly capacious bags; satin linings feature the brand’s iconic “dancing elephant” emblem, and the discretion of the branded identifiers is offset by a far stronger intimation of the company’s past in the pervasive use of blue (including a rather gorgeous glen-check wool jacket).
So rather than attempt to entice customers with a series of gateway products relating to, but not necessarily reflective of, the necessary investment required to own an example of its core business, Bugatti Lifestyle Collections feels of a piece with its advanced engineering; part of a new global uniform by which the followers of high-end automotive fashion may recognise each other, whilst simultaneously allaying any fears that their wardrobe hasn’t kept up with their available horsepower.
-Bill Prince/The Daily Telegraph