October 2, 2015
Shopping Heaven: Another New Luxury Store Opening Gives Houston True French Power
Another stunning new store has opened in the River Oaks District. It’s Christian Dior day and with the luxe retailer open, PaperCity Style Editor Francine Ballard gives us a closer look at the new Houston store and the brand itself with an exclusive interview with one of Christian Dior’s most important figures.
Stocking: Two stories of leather goods and accessories, fine jewelry and timepieces, women’s ready-to-wear, luxury handbags and shoes.
Luxe Factor: As one of the few remaining true couture fashion houses in France, Dior is considered the crown jewel of LVMH (the world’s largest luxury fashion group) and is part-owned by its chairman, Bernard Arnault. Dior is one of the two original couture ateliers in the world (the other being Chanel).
The brand is steeped in tradition — its namesake designer was hailed as the architect of the feminine silhouette with his New Look in 1947. Ava Gardner, Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and the Duchess of Windsor all flocked to Dior’s signature style: extravagant proportions and luxurious use of fabric in long, flowing skirts with fitted waists and softly rounded shoulders and hips. Raf Simons, Dior’s newish design czar, has a reputation in the industry for being notoriously mysterious — a deep intellectual who’s reserved, sensitive, private and romantic. As artistic director for the brand, he oversees haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessories.
Dior Houston at River Oaks District takes its inspiration from the original concept of the Paris Avenue Montaigne flagship boutique designed by Peter Marino, with several commissioned pieces for the boutique from notable contemporary artists, including a Rob Wynne installation on mirrored walls, Philippe Montels chain curtains in the shoe salon, Laurent Chauvat tables and a Franck Evennou mirror installation positioned above the antique fireplace in the ready-to-wear salon.
We now interrupt this discourse for three minutes with Dior president/CEO Pam Baxter, who talks with PaperCity about competition and the decision to bring Dior to Houston.
WHY HOUSTON? WHY NOW?
Houston is one of the most diverse and fastest-growing luxury destinations in North America, and River Oaks is the wealthiest neighborhood in all of Texas. With growing industries such as technology and energy, we are seeing a substantial increase in the demand for luxury. Houston’s retail growth is fueled by the city’s rising economy, as well as it being a major international hub that attracts more than 2 million international tourists annually from Europe, Asia and Latin America.
ARE HOUSTON SHOPPERS ALIGNED WITH THE DIOR BRAND?
The Houston client is very sophisticated and appreciates brands with history and heritage — much like the house of Dior, where both Mr. Christian Dior and Raf Simons have drawn inspiration from various forms of art when designing their collections. There is a thriving culture and art scene in Houston, with its opera, ballet, symphony and world-class museums linking the community to both fashion and art. The Houston client is also highly educated when it comes to luxury and demands excellence in the products they choose. Quality and craftsmanship are at the top of their expectations from brands.
SO MANY BIG BRANDS WILL BE COMING HERE THIS FALL. DO YOU SEE THIS AS A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE IN TERMS OF COMPETITION?
The commitment of many high-fashion brands, in addition to Dior, will solidify River Oaks as Houston’s top luxury destination. We see this as a positive, as it will attract both new and existing clients and further increase growth within the industry.
Link to the original article here.