I’m a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe, and I have been since I was a teenage girl, so you’d think that the fact I’m also a big fan of spas would mean that the news of a huge new themed Marilyn Monroe spa development in America would fill me with excitement and a desire to hop on over to Orlando to see it for myself?
Well, no, not really.
I can’t see any real common ground between Marilyn, who died 50 years ago this year, and a spa franchise. She was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful film stars we’ve ever seen, and so yes, I suppose you could link the idea of ‘beauty’ to one of the world’s most beautiful icons, but that’s surely where it stops?
The spas, financed by the ex-president of Worldwide Operations for Disney Parks and Resorts along with Niki Bryan Spa Management, is going to be a mega-bucks franchise I can imagine. No expense will be spared in creating the range of spas, salons and shops, all approved by the Authentic Brands Group who hold IP rights to Marilyn’s image. Of course, there will also be an associated beauty range to purchase online.
They’ve said that creating the brand is a natural fit with the spa industry because of Marilyn’s ‘allure and glamour’ – but to me, her allure and glamour are actually a very good reason NOT to build a multi-million dollar industry around her image. Even Chanel, who could have capitalised many times over on their association with Marilyn after she confessed to not wearing anything in bed other than Chanel No. 5 have resisted the urge to name a perfume after the star, or brand a treatment range with her image.
The first spa is due to open its doors to the public late in 2012, and according to the brand’s mission statement, they will ‘honour the memory of Marilyn Monroe’. We’ll just have to wait and see whether they can manage to do just that; or whether a spa in Florida just turns into another tacky theme park with facials.
What do you think? Tacky…or genius?