PARIS — Lifestyle label Sporty & Rich is partnering with the legendary Le Bristol on a capsule collection geared toward the hotel’s chic clientele.
The co-branded clutch of travel essentials includes pajamas and loungewear, as well as upscale athletic basics with a focus on fabrics such as velour track suits and coordinated cashmere sweatpant and crew-neck sweater sets. Accessories include totes and baseball caps.
“We just always want to work with brands that I like and use and know and admire, and Le Bristol is definitely one of those brands,” said founder Emily Oberg. The collaboration strategy has proved to be a successful brand builder for Oberg, who has partnered with the likes of Adidas, Clarks and Lacoste, among many others, but it’s a first for the hotel.
Oberg first fell in love with the hotel during many trips to Paris. She’s now prepping for a more permanent place in the French capital, where the marjority of her 30-person team is based.
“We’re at a really interesting point in the company and I want to be around for that more. Being on the other side of the world is not really working anymore, so I think it’s time.”
The main markets for the brand are the U.S., the U.K. and South Korea. “The Korean market loves us, so we really have accelerated that a lot,” she said. The brand is now in three stores there through a joint venture.
Even though her team is based in France, it is not a big market for the brand, and outside of Le Bristol, she has no immediate plans to open in the capital. Instead she’s eyeing Dubai and London for new store locations.
That international expansion will follow the opening of the New York flagship in July, which has blown past sales targets, she said.
“It has been way more than we imagined and expected,” she said. “I was a bit nervous because retail is always a pretty big risk, especially when we’re self funded. Financially, it’s a huge risk. It’s proven that people want it and there’s a demand, so I think we would probably look at expanding next year.”
The New York flagship reached $4 million in sales in its first three months, well above the projected $2.5 million, Oberg said. The company racked up $30 million in sales last year worldwide.
The store strategy will be a pillar with its just-launched skin care products. The minimalist product line also comes with gut reset guides and protocols developed with her naturopath. “I definitely do not think any products can change anyone’s skin. I think that’s very gimmicky — it’s food and nutrition and lifestyle first,” she said. And probably a good night’s sleep.
While the collection will debut with a fashion week party at Le Bristol, Oberg has never been to a show and will skip the front row this time around, too. “I’m really not like in the fashion world at all, which is weird because I have a brand, but I’ve just never been interested to be honest,” she said.
Following the Le Bristol launch, the collection will be available at Le Bristol’s boutique, which will morph into a Sporty & Rich pop-up, and online from Sept. 27.