08 Apr 2020 World leisure: news, training & property
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Spa Business
2017 issue 3

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Leisure Management - RKF - a touch of luxury

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RKF - a touch of luxury

As a global leader in the field of luxury fabrics for spas and hospitality, RKF is known for pushing the boundaries of design and function. We find out about the company’s latest work

RKF founder Riadh Bouaziz (right) with his creative director Christophe Dijoux (left) in Los Angeles
Our lightweight robe would not look out of place on someone walking down the high street
RKF Luxury Linen has redefined the whole concept of what a spa robe should look like and feel like Studio Harcourt Paris
RKF Luxury Linen has redefined the whole concept of what a spa robe should look like and feel like Studio Harcourt Paris
Riadh Bouaziz

The year to date has seen RKF Luxury Linen – whose innovations include the ultra lightweight DreamSoft fabric – reach new heights in terms of its achievements, awards and innovations.

In June 2017, RKF’s new eco-friendly trenchcoat-style bathrobe received three fashion accolades at the 10th International Design Awards in Los Angeles – bringing the total number of awards the spa robe received to seven worldwide.

An industry first
RKF’s pioneering founder Riadh Bouaziz, along with his creative director Christophe Dijoux, set out on a mission to disrupt the market for spa robes, and their award-winning trenchcoat design – with its slim lines, flattering silhouette and attention to detail – seems to have exceeded their goals.

“We’re the first company anywhere to elevate the spa robe in this way,” says Bouaziz. “Traditionally these garments have always been oversized, unflattering and awkward to wear.

“But today’s spa and hospitality guests really don’t want to feel this way any more. They want to feel comfortable and look fashionable wherever they are in the facility.

“Our lightweight robe would not look out of place on someone walking down the high street,” he continues. “In fact, when we were in LA to receive our awards we filmed our models wearing the trenchcoat on the famous Rodeo Drive in Hollywood.

“It’s possible to wear this robe anywhere – so spa guests can feel comfortable walking through the lobby, having dinner in the restaurant, and walking in the gardens too.”

As well as the recent awards in LA, the robe also received the Golden A’Design Award in Italy in April 2016, followed by the Special Jury Prize at the ESPA Innovation Awards in Belgium in May 2016. To follow was the Prix Spécial du Jury, Trophées Tech’n S.P.A.S in France (November 2016), and finally the Silver European Product Design Award, received from European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium in March of this year.

A day of wellness
The company’s time in Los Angeles was especially busy, as it coincided with this year’s Global Wellness Day in June, with Bouaziz having just been appointed France ambassador for GWD on a three-year tenure.

“I’ve been very involved with Global Wellness Day since it began, so it’s a great honour for me to serve this initiative and help to grow it in the future,” says Bouaziz.

“This year we had 10 French cities take part, and RKF was instrumental in organising many wellness-related events, both in our home city of Belfort, as well as in key locations in Paris like the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées.”

Bouaziz says there was huge enthusiasm in France for the event this year, and RKF’s video showing the highlights received almost 100,000 views on Facebook.

This year, Global Wellness Day was celebrated in 100 countries and more than 4,000 locations, and Bouaziz’s aim as one of four new French ambassadors and key supporters is to greatly expand the number of French cities taking part next year.

“It may just be one day, but it provides a powerful focus on wellbeing, and how important that is in all our lives,” says Bouaziz. “People today are way too stressed. They must learn to slow down, think about how they live their lives, and learn to relax!”

Ambitious digital strategy
However, given the schedule for RKF in the coming year, it’s difficult to see how Bouaziz and his team will themselves have time to relax.

This September will see the launch of a whole new digital marketing and media strategy, aimed at giving a 360-degree view of RKF’s creative work, both at its headquarters and its many offices around the world.

Its new showrooms will open at its HQ in Belfort, Eastern France, in October, offering another way for clients to see the work of RKF up close.

The end of 2017 will see the launch of a new company website, complete with a multi-media blog – the first blog in the company’s history – that will offer a fascinating window into the world of RKF and its partners, complete with interviews and behind-the-scenes vlogs.

Catwalk debut
Early in 2018, RKF will also make its debut at Paris Fashion Week, where it will present a show with at least 30 models wearing bespoke RKF robe designs.

“We have something really special in store for this show and it will wow viewers. It’s a first for a company in our industry to put on such an event,” says Bouaziz. “We’re changing the boundaries and perception of spa fashion and linens every single day.”

Meanwhile, the company’s list of prestigious spa and resort clients continues to grow, each being served with a complete bespoke linens package in line with their brand.

Recently completed RKF projects include the Palazzo Versace Dubai, the Four Seasons Hotels in Kuwait and London, the One & Only Nyungwe House in Rwanda, the Six Senses Spa in Ibiza and the Hotel de Crillon – a prestigious French Palace hotel that has just opened after extensive renovations, and includes suites designed by Karl Lagerfeld.

Next year will also see RKF dip its toes into the B2C market for the very first time.

Bright future
For those who have ever met the effervescent Bouaziz, it’s impossible not to be touched by his infectious enthusiasm.

“I absolutely love what I do, working in wellness and creating high-quality products that touch the lives of so many people. I wake up with a smile on my face everyday, and I like to see the people around me looking happy too,” he enthuses. “My philosophy is think positive, do positive, feel positive.”

It’s certainly a philosophy that has enabled RKF Luxury Linen to scale the heights of the luxury spa and hospitality market, and judging by its achievements and future plans, there is so much more to come.

Originally published in Spa Business 2017 issue 3

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