Soho House (club)

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Soho House
TypePublic
NYSEMCG
Founded1995
FounderNick Jones
Headquarters72–74 Dean Street, London, England
OwnerRon Burkle
Websitewww.sohohouse.com

Soho House is a group of private members' clubs originally aimed at those in the arts, politics, and media. The original location is at 40 Greek Street, Soho, London. The company now operates clubs, hotels and venues around the world, and in 2015 changed from SOHO House Group to Soho House & Co.[1] Membership is selective and members are drawn mainly from the media, arts and fashion industries.[2][3]

The company filed for an initial public offering in 2021, and went public in July of 2021, trading under the name Membership Collective Group.[4] The organisation will use the money raised to pay down debt and finance further expansion.[4]

History and ownership[edit]

Nick Jones (Soho House founder and previous managing director) sold 80% of the club to British high-street tycoon Richard Caring in 2008.[5] On 13 January 2012, the Financial Times announced that 60% of Soho House Group had been acquired by the US billionaire Ron Burkle, through his investment fund Yucaipa for approx. £250m, with founder Nick Jones retaining 10% and Richard Caring (Caprice Holdings) 30%. However, in September 2015, the company’s high leverage and limited free cash flow was under scrutiny by fixed income investors.[6][1][7] However, company profit potential has been affected by growth in new clubs.[8]

Clubs[edit]

Soho House in Toronto
The rooftop at Soho House in New York

As of 2021, Soho House operates 28 clubs worldwide.[9] Soho House announced that they will be launching 6 new houses in 2021, including locations in Rome, Paris, Austin, London, Tel Aviv and Canouan.[10]

Membership[edit]

Soho House membership policies focus on creativity "above net worth and job titles" with "studied resistance to ostentation...[and] cultivated status signifiers," and favour moral values over financial success ("several execs were banned because they were thought to be abusive to their assistants").[3] In June 2015, Soho House had over 50,000 members and a global waiting list of over 30,000.[7] In July 2021, Soho House had 119,000 members across 27 houses in 10 countries.[11]

Incidents[edit]

In 2002, the London branch of the club made headlines as Iris Law, the two-year-old toddler daughter of actor Jude Law and his then wife, actress and designer Sadie Frost, was briefly hospitalised after accidentally consuming a part of an ecstasy tablet she found on the floor of Soho House while attending a child's birthday party.[12] The child was ultimately unharmed.

In 2009, more than 80 residents signed an appeal by a neighbourhood association against allowing Soho House to move into the top two floors of Luckman Plaza in West Hollywood, near Los Angeles. The opening of the West Hollywood location also drew opposition from Beverly Hills Mayor Nancy Krasne.[13]

On 9 December 2010, American swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay was found murdered in room 20 of the Manhattan's branch.[14]

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, an attempt to open a new club also met fierce protests.[15] An Amsterdam House nonetheless opened in August 2018,[16] as well as a second house in Barcelona.[17]

In April 2021, a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Berlin led to rising infection numbers, critically overburdened intensive care units in local hospitals, and closure of cultural venues for a citywide lockdown.[18] Bottega Veneta received criticism for holding maskless indoor dance parties at Berlin's Soho House for artists and celebrities flown in from around the world.[19] Though Soho House staff complained about the lack of safety measures and regulatory guidelines,[19] management has remained silent and implied that staff was not telling the truth.[20] Berlin's Soho House staff have stood up to the company's efforts to reframe what happened as "spontaneous", clarifying that the party spaces were booked in advance.[20][21] Additionally, club members have made their dissatisfaction and disappointment known with some considering ending their membership; a police investigation is underway.[21]

In popular culture[edit]

Soho House New York was featured in season 6 of the TV Series Sex and the City in an episode titled "Boy Interrupted". In this episode, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) pretends to be a member by using a stolen membership card.[22]

On 13 August 2017, the film Tulip Fever (starring Alicia Vikander) was first screened at London's Soho House.[23]

In 2022, Soho House was mentioned in the Netflix drama Inventing Anna, where the main character, Anna Delvey, when asked if she was rejected by Soho House in episode two, she replied: "I’d rather hang out at a McDonald’s or start my own club and reject their members."[24]

Further reading[edit]

  • House, Soho (2014). Eat, Drink, Nap: Bringing the House Home. London: Preface Publishing. ISBN 978-1848094116.
  • House, Soho (2016). Morning, Noon, Night: A Way of Living. London: Preface Publishing. ISBN 978-1848094116.
  • Thévoz, Seth Alexander (2022). Behind Closed Doors: The Secret Life of London Private Members' Clubs. London: Robinson/Little, Brown. ISBN 978-1-47214-646-5.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Harmer, Janet (27 August 2015). "Nick Jones on the opening of Soho Farmhouse". The Caterer. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  2. ^ Wong, Pamela (18 April 2017). "Members Only: Soho House Joins High-End Hotel, Condos In DUMBO – BKLYNER". BKLYNER. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b Baum, Gary (27 March 2015). "L.A.'s Soho House Turns 5: Membership Rejections, Success Secrets Revealed in Oral History". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b Hancock, Alice (15 July 2021). "The private members' club throwing open its doors to the public". Financial Times. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  5. ^ Addley, Esther (13 January 2012). "Soho House agrees £250m deal". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  6. ^ Blitz, Roger; Jopson, Barney; Rappeport, Alan (13 January 2012). "US billionaire Burkle buys UK's Soho House". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  7. ^ a b Smith, Robert (25 September 2015). "Finance returns the favour and snubs Soho House". Reuters. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  8. ^ Laurent, Lionel (5 February 2018). "Membership Is Closer than You Think". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  9. ^ Larsen, Peter Thal (23 June 2021). "Soho House depends on IPO to keep the party going". Reuters. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Soho House | Your first look at upcoming new openings". Soho House. Archived from the original on 26 November 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  11. ^ Zainab, Noor (15 July 2021). "From Soho to Wall Street: Membership Collective shares fall in debut". Reuters. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  12. ^ Branigan, Tania (7 October 2002). "Jude Law's daughter in ecstasy mishap at club". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  13. ^ Zavis, Alexandra (16 August 2009). "West Hollywood residents object to plans for new club". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  14. ^ Pilkington, Ed (10 December 2010). "Fashion designer Sylvie Cachay found dead in Manhattan hotel bath". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  15. ^ van der Hee, Sterre (23 July 2017). "Protest tegen Soho House: 'Bungehuis besmet verklaard'". Folia (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  16. ^ Block, India (2 August 2018). "Soho House opens in Amsterdam with a colour palette drawn from the Dutch Masters". Dezeen. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  17. ^ Chang, Katie (25 October 2017). "How Soho House Barcelona Became The City's Hippest Hotel". Forbes. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  18. ^ Klöpper, Anna; Memarnia, Susanne (12 April 2021). "Kliniken sehen Doppelrot". taz (in German). Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  19. ^ a b "Fashion label Bottega Veneta receives criticism amid reports of a Soho House party following their Berghain fashion show". Resident Advisor. 12 April 2021. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  20. ^ a b Oltermann, Philip (12 April 2021). "Berlin police investigate possible breach of Covid rules at Soho House party". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  21. ^ a b Peter, Stefan (16 April 2021). "Aufstand gegen das Soho House". B.Z. (in German). Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  22. ^ Freydkin, Donna (7 August 2003). "NYC's Soho House: Celebrity members only". USA Today. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  23. ^ "Alicia Vikander In Rodarte - 'Tulip Fever' London Screening". Red Carpet Fashion Awards. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  24. ^ Flint, Hanna (18 February 2022). "I mean, would you want Anna Delvey as a member of your club?". www.sohohouse.com. Retrieved 24 February 2022.

External links[edit]