LS: What makes Paradise Row so appealing to the hospitality industry?
NDK: Our handbags and accessories are successful for similar reasons. Our designs are timeless and made to last, our production is local, and we use the highest quality materials. Restaurants have changed dramatically in the last 15 years. Unlike before, there’s a strong focus on high-quality ingredients, locally sourced produce and artisanal practices, and customers want to see this quality replicated across the dining experience. Businesses want menu holders or placemats made by local designers in small batches from the best leather, not something mass-produced for high consumption.
LS: How does the design and production of hospitality collaborations differ from fashion?
NDK: It’s all leather with a strong design focus, but due to the nature of the products and where they are going, the hospitality side of our business is a lot more customer-facing. Coming from a background in law, I’m used to working closely with people and making things happen for them, but also being realistic about what’s possible and which outcomes we think are best. This side is a lot about customer relationships, whereas the handbags are about making a beautiful product that will sell on its own.
LS: Do you see this being the new direction of Paradise Row?
NDK: Not necessarily. Some people have cautioned us on spreading ourselves thin, but we’re still finding out our strongest suit. Until we have a clear winner, we will continue as we are because all areas of the business (hospitality, wholesale, accessories and fashion) are doing well. We may focus on one area, but we’re doing a bit of everything for now, and that’s more than ok for us.
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