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Annika Meller, COO, Anine Bing
Annika Meller, co-founder and chief operating officer of fashion house Anine Bing, emphasized the link between boutique hospitality and fashion during an interview at the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association’s annual Boutique Hotel Investment Conference.
Meller, who co-founded Anine Bing with the company’s namesake – a former model – in 2012, cautioned against over-relying on social influencers to garner attention and demand at a boutique hotel, saying that it’s just as important for the hotel to have its own unique identity.
“Whoever you work with needs to be authentic and to try to represent what you stand for,” said the Sweden-born Meller, who worked with L’Oreal and Telenor before joining Anine Bing. “Anine is the DNA of the brand, but it speaks to so much more than being a model. The brand can stand on its own even when Anine isn’t speaking about it at all times.”
Based in Los Angeles, the company, whose ethos is largely inspired by Scandinavian design concepts, operates stores in Barcelona, Berlin, London Madrid and New York. Anine Bing opened its second Los Angeles outlet this fall.
With boutique hotels largely catering to guests seeking out higher-end amenities, Meller stressed the importance of personalization as a differentiator, both from other independent properties and chain hotels.
“There are a lot of opportunities to engage,” she added. “We really want any customer to feel like it’s a home away from home. It’s really about utilizing the data that we gather and create that personalized experience.”