Haute and Hot
Food and fashion categories
are increasingly blurring as luxury and
department retailers seek to whet shoppers’
appetites for spending.
The blending of fashion and food within
a singular retailer can be traced back to
European department stores in the mid-
19th century. The department store was
meant to attract an emerging urbanized middle class. Armed with disposable
income, these consumers came to display
their status via the acquisition of modern fashion styles and imported items. As
curated food products were integrated into
the merchandise assortment of department
stores, these large sections became known
as food halls. These food halls became the
aspirational alternative to public markets
and street vendors.
The term food hall is often used in the
U.S. to refer to a collection of indepen-
dent local restaurateurs with quick-service
counters. But in the classic British term,
a food hall is a large section of a depart-
ment store where unprepared food is sold
by the artisan cheesemaker, butcher, fish-
monger, baker, etc., alongside gourmet
prepared foods, or a retail section where
epicurean nonperishable food items can
be purchased. Iconic examples of grand
European food halls include Harrods and
Fortnum & Mason in London, Galeries
Lafayette and Le Bon Marché in Paris, and
KaDe We in Berlin.
Food halls, both old and new, within
department stores continue to have durable
appeal that lure and entice visitors. Modern interpretations of food concepts within
retail settings are flourishing, with food
perceived as far more than a necessity for
Feeding the trend
The food hall has become a hot phenom-
• Baby Boomers and Millennials have
enon globally, notably in North America.
Saks Fifth Avenue will be the first major
American department store this year to
open a full-service food hall inspired by the
traditional European model, yet with a bold
contemporary aesthetic. Driving forces
behind the popularity of the food hall are
also prompting retailers to seek alliances
with food brands or to expand their offer-
ings with in-store restaurants:
become diligent in scrutinizing food sourc-
ing for ethical reasons.
• Food plays a leading role in the pursuit
of healthy living and wellness.
• The sharing of culinary discoveries
through social media, popularly known as
food porn, has become widespread.
• Celebrity chefs—having risen to
prominence through cooking shows, reality TV cooking competitions, and chef-branded restaurants—have popularized
We live in a society where the word
gourmet is no longer the domain of the affluent,
but has become a buzzword of the masses.
Fashion and food are increasingly pairing
By Debbie Kalisky
Learn more about the hot new fusion of
food and fashion at GlobalShop. Debbie
Kalisky will be joined by GH+A Principal
Paola Marques and Markopolous Award
Winner Michael Cape, president of Cape
Marketing Services, for the “Food Is
Fashion” session Thursday, March 24.
Ève Café at Simons’ new store in West Vancouver
encourages shoppers to relax with a coffee,
tea, or craft soda.