A Club Spirit

It was bound to happen. The first Soho House establishment has just opened in Paris in the Trinité district. Although it was close to department stores and the highly fantasized SoPi, it has not yet received the favors of the trendy press. With the Rue des Martyrs close by, we can bet that the space between these three spots will soon be filled. Soho House, for those who don’t know yet, is a ” hotel chain ” born in London, with thirty addresses in the world (Los Angeles, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Tel-Aviv, New York…) whose trademark is to address only its community members. As a result, only those who have paid a registration fee and have been co-opted by a committee of artists, actors, entrepreneurs and designers whose names are kept secret can access the establishments. It’s all in the details.

With a spirit of coolness inherent to modernity, the company claims to favor creative profiles (scriptwriters, artists, plastic artists, actors…) to justify its ambition to be a networking place. A kind of elitist co-working place where it would also be possible to sleep. Still, these professions must not be too precarious, since the annual fee is 2,800 € (900 € for those under 27, that we imagine as “sons of” or as start-ups in the fund-raising phase…). 

Thirty-six Art Deco rooms await all these people, but we hardly talk about them as the essential is elsewhere. Who would think of staying in their room when there are so many possibilities for socializing? A sheltered rooftop, a winter garden patio, a stylish restaurant, a cozy library, a neat cocktail bar, a gleaming gym… all in the fashion of the moment: rattan, stone, floral prints, mottled furniture, pleated fabric… Isn’t the club spirit first and foremost based on consensus? No inscription on the outside, of course. Too commonplace.

Luxury, glamour and privacy as declared values. Soho House perfectly reflects the evolution of luxury over time. At first a sign of distinction, then of recognition and affirmation, it has become a sign of discreet belonging combining entre-soi and power—like the executive circles. A new sort of elitism.

So What ?

The Soho House is perhaps the first expression of a new form of exclusive consumption. When will we see stores that are only open to holders of their membership cards?

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