Christian Louboutin Takes Stake in Hotel Operator Experimental

experimental group hotel

Skift Take

The French designer behind those coveted red-soled stilettos has just snagged a stake in Experimental Group. Louboutin will now have a say in this chic Parisian outfit that runs a handful of boutique hotels and bars that are catnip for jetsetters.

Christian Louboutin, the luxury shoe designer known for red-soled footwear, has acquired a stake in Experimental Group, a Paris-based hospitality company.

The financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Experimental Group operates over 20 hotels, restaurants, and bars across Europe, including properties in London, Paris, Ibiza, and the Cotswolds.

Details on Louboutin’s hotel stake

  • Louboutin’s role: The designer will become a minority shareholder, joining existing investors Jean Moueix and Brookfield Asset Management.
  • Motivation: Louboutin cites his passion for travel, style, and hospitality as driving factors for the investment.
  • Additional investor: Alexis Dyèvre, associated with Louboutin through French rattan factory Maison Gatti, is also taking a minority stake.
  • Other investors: Experimental Group’s four partners CEO Olivier Bon, Pierre-Charles Cros, Romée De Goriainoff, and Xavier Padovani all have stakes.

Why it matters

This isn’t Louboutin’s first foray into hospitality. Last year, the designer opened his first hotel, Vermelho, in the Portuguese village of Melides.

Louboutin’s move signals a long-simmering trend of fashion brands expanding into the hospitality sector, blending high-end design with travel experiences. There’s a Palazzo Versace Dubai, an Armani Hotel Dubai, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Ferragamo’s series of Portrain hotels, and Elle magazine’s Paris boutique.

LVMH earlier this year bought a stake in Accor’s Orient Express, and the luxury supergroup is expanding its Belmond hotel brand.

By the numbers:

  • Experimental Group runs 10 hotels in Europe, including Cowley Manor in Gloucestershire, U.K., Menorca Experimental in Spain, and the Regina Experimental Biarritz in France.
  • It also runs six cocktail bars, 4 wine bars, and 2 beach clubs.
  • Planned openings for 2025 include locations in Val d’Isère, Rome, and Paris. It plans to soon open two bars in New York City.

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