AGNSW’s Luxury Syndicate offer

Members of the Luxury Syndicate will be able to hold bespoke events at the gallery. Art Gallery of NSW.

Georgina Safe, Art Gallery of NSW’s Luxury Syndicate offers high-end brands exclusive access, Financial Review, 27 March 2018

When The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry series arrived in Sydney from France in February, the Art Gallery of NSW held a private preview before the exhibition opened to the public. As befitting a French national treasure often referred to as the Mona Lisa of the Middle Ages, there were a few little luxuries on hand in addition to the usual champagne and canapes.

A tasting of vintage single-malt whiskies and organic chocolates was offered by the Scottish distillery Glenfiddich, French beauty brand La Prairie treated guests to caviar hand massages, Ladurée provided pink macaroons in the shape of unicorn horns and guests drank from Waterford crystal rather than your standard catering glassware.

The sensory overload was in line with the tapestries’ representation of the five senses – sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell – but the lavishness was also designed to mark the launch of the Luxury Syndicate, the gallery’s new fundraising program devoted to mixing business with pleasure.

Created to offer high-end brands money-can’t-buy experiences with one of Australia’s pre-eminent museums, the Luxury Syndicate offers access to exclusive activities and VIP events as well as networking, collaboration and business-development opportunities.

Curated events for the top tier

For a fee of $50,000 a year, members can hold bespoke events at the gallery and access a curated series of 10 luxury events and other experiences designed with their top-tier clients in mind. There are masterclasses in photography, art collecting and gemmology, artist studio visits, and lectures from international authorities in arts and culture. There’s a luxury treasure hunt at the gallery, a super-yacht sailing on the Sydney Harbour, and the inaugural black-tie ball in celebration of the Archibald Prize, to be held on June 30.

“These luxury brands all share the same values of design and quality, and we have created a like-minded community where they can activate together to create money-can’t-buy experiences in a non-competitive space,” says the art gallery’s head of business development and partnerships, Hanneleh Salonen. “We offer members much more than they could do in a boutique. Putting them in an arts and culture context just amplifies the whole experience for customers of engaging with these brands.”

Among the first to sign up as members are Graff, Bang & Olufsen, Vera Wang, Tod’s, Waterford, Glenfiddich and La Prairie.

“Apart from the obvious opportunities that come with being part of a small like-minded group, it’s also a chance to be inspired, to collaborate and reimagine business out of a business arena,” says Kennedy Luxury Group communications manager Yvette Caprioglio, whose company distributes brands including Graff, Bang & Olufsen, Loewe and Kenzo.

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