Co-founder & Head of Brands – Kingham Leigh
Piers Schmidt is a world renowned luxury brand consultant and hospitality expert whom Management Today described as “one of the consultancy world’s thinkers.”
A graduate of Cambridge University, Piers began his career in public relations at Charles Barker. He then joined Interbrand where he led the rebranding of British Airways, developed the brand strategy for the airline ‘go’ and created the ‘oneworld’ branding for the Group’s global alliance with American Airlines.
In 1998, Piers co-founded The Fourth Room, a pioneering brand consulting firm, which attracted a blue-chip client list. In 2002, he sold the company to US Interactive, a NASDAQ-quoted e-commerce integrator, for whom he became Vice President, Europe.
In 2002, Piers formed Luxury Branding, a luxury consulting firm that developed the Kerzner International corporate brand and masterminded the conceptualisation and $16m roll-out of One&Only Resorts. Since then, Piers has focused on developing innovative luxury brands in the hospitality, travel and service industries. His experience includes concept and brand development programmes for Annassurra, Armani Hotels & Resorts, C Resorts (Constance Hotels & Resorts), Cottonmill Private Members’ Spa, Dorchester Collection, Globacom, Lionstone Development, LUX* Resorts and Hotels, Paramount Hotels & Resorts, Quintessentially, and a new, soon to be launched luxury hotel brand for PIF. For three years, Luxury Branding was the global agency of record for Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. Between 2015-6 defined a new brand positioning and developed
signature guest programming for Belmond. Piers is currently masterminding ambitious brand-led transformation projects for Villa Hotels & Resorts (Maldives) and Sun Resorts (Mauritius). Since 2020, he has been facilitating an evolution of the brand for Celebrity Cruises.
Piers is a frequent commentator global media and speaker from conference platforms in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the US. He is a permanent visiting lecturer on the MBA programme at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), the renowned hospitality management school in Switzerland where has given lectures in the school’s Distinguished Speaker Series.
In 2019, in partnership with Ian R Douglas, Piers Schmidt co-founded Kingham Leigh, a hotel development company that is creating a new chain of luxury hotels located in the world’s lesser-known wine lands.
In 2021, Piers was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Red Sea Project (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), which will set new standards in sustainable development, pioneering a new relationship between luxury tourism and the natural environment.