Art and commerce collide as luxury brands promote goods at Art Basel Miami Beach
Would you like a designer tie with that painting, a collage on your new Mercedes? Or how about an art iPad app to complement your stock tips?
Art Basel Miami Beach often makes for unlikely pairings as luxury brands capitalize on the prestigious art fair to promote their goods in the ultimate fusion of art, music, fashion, real estate and commerce.
From alcohol to architects, low-end brands like Club Monaco to luxury luggage makers, companies are pitching deep-pocketed art consumers and party-goers who come from around the globe. And there's usually a little celebrity star power to help grease the wheels.
Street style artist Olek crocheted 200 pieces of Club Monaco duds to toast the clothing store's new location on Lincoln Road on Friday. Watchmaker Hublot turned to the fastest man in the world to crown their new store with a twist on the standard ribbon cutting ceremony. Six-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt will sprint alongside a track outside the store and run through the inaugural ribbon at an event in the Design District on Saturday.
And if you're in the mood to buy a luxury South Beach condo (priced up to $20 million) so you don't have to stay in a hotel for next year's Art Basel, 1 Hotel & Homes will whisk you over from the fair to the property in a chauffeured Tesla and to any other parties you're hitting up during the week. Not to be outdone, Mercedes is partnering with digital artist Laurence Gartel, who wrapped a $200,000 RENNtech Mercedes-Benz Super in an abstract digital collage. The car will be unveiled at a private event in Fischer Island Club on Saturday.
Earlier this week, Miami HEAT star Chris Bosh promoted his Mr. Nice Tie collection by unveiling a piece by artist Jerome Soimaud, along with a freestanding piece inspired by the tie collection from artist Leandra Arvazzetti at the Yeelen Gallery on Wednesday.
Wealth management group UBS announced Planet Art at Art Basel's opening reception on Wednesday. The new iPad app offers a snapshot of the most relevant and trending topics in contemporary art, said John Mathews, Managing Director and Head of Private Wealth Management, UBS Americas.
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid unveiled a new homeware collection, luxury furniture maker Moroso created a limited-edition table and portal chair and Absolut Elyx launched a pop-up, roof-deck club. And naturally, the Absolut lounge, served as the venue for several other promotions, including a new book and a collective of blind photographers from Mexican NGO.