High Life, the luxury lifestyle brand, had a big reveal at the end of last year. The Swiss-established brand has created quite the stir in the world of luxury fashion with its audacious claims of living a completely new lifestyle. This brand is infamous for its expensive cocktails, exclusive parties, and luxurious gatherings. So, what is its secret for creating such a buzz?
The Big Reveal
The fashion house took the wraps off an interactive guide to life at High Life, its updated manifesto, and a glamorous range of merchandise, all in the name of spreading the luxury lifestyle brand’s unique brand of creativity and extravagance.
The new brand guidelines, ‘The Art of Inventing One’s Life’, put the emphasis not only on consumerism but also on self-expression. The guidebook is packed with stories of creative individuals who managed to live an unconventional life and inspired the fashion house to reinvent itself yet again.
“Our customers want a brand that speaks to them, that evokes emotions and ideas, both positive and negative,” Commented CEO of High Life, Stefan Schmid. “By sharing the stories of our customers in the guide, we can offer a glimpse into the human condition and how we as humans continue to reinvent ourselves.”
The Making of the Book
It all began in 2011, when the fashion house released its ‘Creative Design Manifesto 2011’. The designers, Florian Uhlig and Dorian van Cleef, had previously worked together at Dior Homme, and their collaboration soon became an instant hit. The luxury fashion house brought out a ready-to-wear line, aptly named ‘High Life’, in the following year.
The designers used their newfound freedom to question the very foundations of luxury fashion. The manifesto began as a way of expressing discontent with the industry norms. “We wanted to do something different,” Florian Uhlig said of the brand’s early days. “We didn’t want to be a typical luxury brand.”
The designers aimed to deconstruct luxury fashion and bring it back to its basics. They started with fast fashion staples, such as hoodies and sweatshirts, and worked their way up. The designers believe that the luxury industry has become so bloated that it has prevented smaller brands from growing. The goal was to give individuals the opportunity to showcase their unique personalities and styles through unique pieces that are not over-priced.
So, how close are we to seeing a ‘re-invention’ of luxury fashion? Is the zeitgeist moving towards more affordable fashion? Are individuals realising that uniqueness and individuality can be highly curated and do not have to be restricted to expensive goods?
The Brand’s Inspiration
High Life is all about expressing yourself through your style. You are free to take inspiration from any source and combine it with modern fashion to create your own personal style. You are free to be creative, to be different, and to invent your own style. This brand was born out of frustration with the way society, and specifically luxury brands, define ‘style’.
The fashion house draws its inspiration from a range of sources, both high and low, mixing the finest of French and Italian design with pop culture references and everyday style. In the past, style was dictated by the rich and famous, and oftentimes the most famous creators had the most style. Today, with the rise of influencers and content creators, this is no longer the case. Instagrammers now have the power to dictate fashion trends, especially in youth culture, and High Life embraces this new era of style freedom.
“Our biggest fans are definitely millennials,” said Dorian van Cleef. “They grew up with the internet and social media and have adopted a more casual approach to life. They want to be able to express their creativity through fashion and enjoy life how they want to. They don’t need to imitate the rich and famous but can instead follow the examples set by famous creatives through unique pieces that suit their tastes.”
Matching Is Everything
Dorian and Florian aim to create a luxurious experience when a customer shops at High Life. This goal is best served through matching outfits, whether it’s a whole collection or a capsule wardrobe. The designers want customers to feel like they’ve spent hours finding the perfect pieces to create an outfit just for them. As a shopaholic myself, this is a goal that I can definitely get on board with.
The designers call their matching approach ‘The High Life Way’. They want customers to feel that they’ve been hand-picked by their favourite fashion house to bring their unique style and creativity to life. It is a sentiment that I can relate to. When you choose a brand that you know and trust, you are confident that you are making the right choice and that the quality will be exceptional. This is especially important when purchasing luxury items, as the chances are you will not be able to satisfactorily sample the product before purchasing it. This is where a brand’s reputation comes in. It is all about standing for quality and trustworthiness. Customers are more likely to engage with a brand that they know is going to deliver an exceptional product. If you’re searching for a brand that offers good quality and value for money, High Life is a trustworthy choice.
The designers want customers to feel that their needs are personalised, even if the product is an automated process, so that they can enjoy a truly unique experience. Florian and Dorian aim to set up a bespoke relationship with each individual customer, creating a sense of friendship and trust that will hopefully result in long-term purchases. They want customers to see brands as a source of personal inspiration rather than just a provider of goods.
Friendships are built on sharing unique stories and experiences, and the designers encourage their customers to be as creative as they can be in the process of telling their own unique stories. The more a customer can be themselves, the more authentic the friendship will be, and the better the results will be in inspiring long-term customer loyalty.
Branding, Quality Control, And The Power Of Word-of-mouth
This brand does not want to be known for cheap fashion, nor do they want to damage their reputation by producing low-quality merchandise. They want to set themselves apart from the rest of the industry through their branding and marketing campaigns. This is why they are determined to create a unique identity for the brand. As you probably know already, fashion houses that don’t stand out within their industry rarely survive long, so it is crucial that High Life sets itself apart from the rest. In the next few years, the brand will be expanding globally. This means more stores and more countries to work in. In order to make sure that each country’s quality is up to par, the designers need to have total control over every aspect of the brand and its design. They need to work with the best suppliers possible, hire only the most experienced staff, and invest heavily in machinery.
These brands can be incredibly difficult to get right. The last thing that High Life wants to do is put a product out there that isn’t of a good enough quality. If they can reduce their chances of having a bad experience with a brand, they will. When it comes to trust and reliability, nothing beats positive word-of-mouth, so the designers are doing everything they can to encourage customers to share their experience.