By John O’Ceallaigh
For people in the luxury-travel industry in London, the capital’s Christmas season doesn’t really kick off properly until Claridge’s unveils its latest Christmas tree. Every year, the Mayfair hotel collaborates with a high-profile creative talent who’s also a regular guest to create a one-off Christmas tree that will be displayed at the property for just a few weeks each winter. This time round, Jimmy Choo’s Creative Director Sandra Choi has the honour.
To be unveiled on 23 November, her design is called ‘The Diamond’ and will be crafted from reflective mirrors and accented with light which will pulse and undulate off the prisms. Alongside the appropriately festive glow the sculptural, reflective tree will cast, its diamond design is a motif that’s long had significance for Jimmy Choo as a brand, and Sarah apparently has “often dreamed of what it would be like to step inside one”. For that reason, guests will be able to enter and stand inside the tree, to admire its equally dazzling interior. The Diamond will be topped by a giant, glittering bow, in reference to another motif used in the shoe brand’s current winter collection.
Commenting on the collaboration, Sandra Choi said “Claridge’s is a London icon. The perfect blend of glamour and decadence – great things happen at Claridge’s… Claridge’s is a London jewel, it’s multifaceted, like the diamond that inspired our tree, like Jimmy Choo.”
In previous years, the Claridge’s Christmas tree has been designed by the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Apple’s Jonny Ive, Diane von Fursternburg and Manolo Blahnik. It’s something that has always impressed me as a PR and branding strategy too – as each winter approaches there’s speculation about who will be the hotel’s creative partner, alongside anticipation about the unconventional way in which they might interpret their brief to create a knockout tree for Claridge’s checker-floored lobby. (I regularly give workshops on PR strategies for hotel groups and communications agencies as it happens, and I reference this incredibly successful strategy repeatedly – great ideas always seem obvious afterwards, and the team at Claridge’s have lots of them.)
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