Alexander McQueen, Mercedes-Benz & Burberry all look to digital tools to bring stores to life, as Saint Laurent Paris debuts its first retail concept under Hedi Slimane
At McQ?s new Dover Street store, a mirror allows customers to take a picture of themselves in an outfit and share it with friends via e-mail. Whilst a digital table top on the ground floor displays runway shows and look books that can be projected onto screens covering the walls.
At Mercedes-Benz in Milan, users can connect with WiFi, tablets and smartphones to experience vechicles using augmented reality. Whilst at Burberry, RFID chips in garments unlock interactive content on neighbouring mirrors, that double as screens.
As the digital revolution gains further traction in the physical retail world, there is another revolution brewing over at Saint Laurent Paris, under the direction of creative director Hedi Slimane. Following its controversial re-branding and the launch of its first photographic campaign, the brand has unveiled its first concept store design in Shanghai.
Speaking with WWD, CEO Paul Deneve revealed plans to open up to 15 directly operated stores and shops-in-shop a year, all under the new Saint Laurent banner. The second Slimane-designed unit will deut in Berlin this year, when its Kurfürstendamm is re-imagined and expanded. A two-level flagship at 53 Avenue Montaigne, Paris, is slated to open in February 2013.
Alexis Mabille, Paris
Alexis Mabille has opened its first flagship in Paris?s Saint-Germain-des-Prés, designed by architects Emil Humbert and Christophe Poyet. The store?s door adorned with a signature bow opens onto a black-and-white marble staircase leading down to the shop floor, where metal rails and mirrored partitions house the designer?s day and evening creations.
As Berluti moves further into ready-to-wear and bespoke tailoring, it has unveiled the first home of its full collection at Harrods, with a 70sqm concession in the department store?s Men?s Tailoring ground floor. The brands flagship on Harriet Street, London, is in the midst of being expanded to house Alessandro Sartori?s full collection of menswear.
For the first time Balenciaga has opened doors in Rome, with a 350sqm dual-level boutique on Via Borgognona, realised by creative director, Nicolas Ghesqui?re and French contemporary artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. Three reception rooms are accented with marquetry mixing rare wood and marble, housing women?s wear, men?s wear and accessories across the two floors.
As part of Belstaff?s re-launch under the direction of Harry Slatkin, the brand has unveiled a 200sqm space on Madison Avenue, featuring Art Deco moulding, cork walls, steel trims and black rubberized hangers. The shop is divided into five rooms, each showcasing accessories, men?s, women?s, shoes and exotics.
Brunello Cucinelli, Bucharest
Following its recent IPO, Brunello Cucinelli has opened a mono-brand boutique in Bucharest, Romania, situated on Calea Dorobantilor, as part of a franchise agreement with the local distributor of Canali and Moschino. The luminous store will house Cucinelli?s signature mix of cashmere and accessories.
Burberry has unveiled its first flagship location, fully integrated to blur the lines between the digital and physical retail realms. Full-length display screens double as mirrors in the 4000sqm Regent Street space, where products have been chipped with radio-frequency identification technology, meaning that multimedia content relevant to the product is triggered when an item is placed near a mirror.
Cartier, Sao Paulo
Cartier has launched its largest Latin American store in Sao Paulo, Brazil, within the Cidade Jardim Mall. The 280sqm space highlights bridal jewellery and men?s watches, and includes a VIP room with references to Brazilian aviator Santos Dumont, for whom Cartier created on of the first modern wristwatches.
LVMH?s Chaumet has opened its second boutique in the Chinese province of Liaoning, in the city of Shenyang, bringing the total number of Chaumet boutiques in China to twenty. The region is said to account for over 60% of the brands revenue. (Ginza boutique pictured)
Christian Louboutin, NYC
Shoemaker Christian Louboutin has unveiled its first U.S. men?s store in the Meatpacking District of New York City, featuring exposed piping and utility conduits in a homage to the neighbourhood?s industrial heritage. A geometric rawhide border frames the company?s signature red carpet, while the rest of the store?s flooring features leather panels created especially for the store by Mexican artisans.
DeBeers Diamond Jewellers has opened a new store in Shanghai, at IFC Mall in the Pudong District. ?We are proud to continue to build the brand in China with the opening of our first store in Shanghai after the successful openings in Beijing, Tianjin and Dalian. We are delighted to share our exceptional passion and expertise in diamond selection, craftsmanship and diamond jewellery design with one of the most discerning markets,? explained CEO François Delage.
Dior Homme, NYC
Dior Homme has reopened on 57th Street, New York City, adjacent to the women?s boutique, following a five-month renovation. The near 200sqm space features a new second floor that will be dedicated to VIP services and tailored clothing. A new facade encompasses both stores, fashioned from an opaque double layer of glass, etched with the signature Dior ?cannage? pattern, backlit with LED lights.
UK-based designer Christopher Jenner has conceived a new store luxury fragrance brand for diptyque Paris, within London?s Leadenhall Market. Products are displayed in oversized library cabinets furnished with multi-layered classic mouldings, and fitted with cupboards that are embellished with English brass, stained-glass fretwork and antique mirror.
Dolce & Gabbana, Kiev, Milan
Dolce & Gabbana has opened two distinct stores in Kiev and Milan. The Ukraine boutique will house full product range for both men and women, from leather accessories to ready to wear and jewellery across 350sqm, operated under a franchising agreement. Whilst the 900sqm Milan boutique holds a dedicated floor for children?s apparel, as well as a makeup and fragrance boutique with a separate entrance, dotted with furniture from antique perfume shops on floors made of pink Portuguese marble.
Hublot, Gstaad, Singapore, Ulaanbaatar
Hublot has launched its first ever pop-up store in Singapore, made up of more than 35,000 individual black ?gems? in collaboration with Singapore designer Chris Lee of Asylum. The store ran for 14 days to coincide with the Singapore Grand Prix, in the Paragon Shopping Mall on Orchard Road. The brand has also launched in Gstaad, Switzerland and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The 120sqm Ulaanbaatar boutique is housed within the Central Tower Mall and will be operated in partnership with Madame Darima Tumur of Chevalier LLC.
IWC, Taipei, Zurich
IWC Schaffhausen has unveiled a new Swiss location on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, where IWC?s own interior designers have created an atmosphere that embodies the watches? clear-cut design and the philosophy of engineering and innovation. The 60sqm boutique has been fitted out with dark wood, glass, chrome, leather and polished aluminium. The timepiece brand has also re-launched its Taipei boutique, five years after its initial opening. Customers entering the refurbished boutique are welcomed with a glossy black glass facade that segues into a series of displays showcasing the six families of the IWC collection.
Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre has debuted a new retail concept on Paris?s famed Place Vendôme. The 500sqm salon houses both Grand Complications and Haute Joaillerie, alongside space for temporary exhibitions, a VIP lounge and an exceptional view over the Place Vendôme.
Little Marc Jacobs, NYC
Little Marc Jacobs, the children?s collection by the celebrated designer, has launched a new retail concept with the expansion of its New York City boutique. Architecture firm Jaklitsch/Gardner have realised a clean yet imaginative space, with white lacquered millwork, floating shelves housing a trove of teddy bears and geometric accents in poppy hues.
Louis Vuitton, London
As part of its collaboration with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, Louis Vuitton has fashioned a concept store at Selfridges department store in London, where perforated giant lamps hang over display tables while walls, floors and display cabinets are covered in an infinity of bright dots in various sizes.
In partnership with its official importer Alfardan Motors, Maserati has returned to Oman, Muscat, with a high-spec showroom for the local market. Eight cars can be displayed on the first floor, in addition to a reception area, consultation lounge, and ?configuration area? for specification selections post-purchase. (Factory Showroom pictured)
McQ, the contemporary line from Alexander McQueen, has launched its own 280sam store on Dover Street, London. The tri-level space has been designed by creative director, Sarah Burton, in collaboration with David Collins Studio, and features concrete walls, steel columns and metal ceilings, deep pile cream carpets, plush red velvet armchairs and latex-coated clothing rails.
Milan has been chosen as the home to the ?Visionary Store,? a first-of-its kind retail concept by Mercedes-Benz, dedicated to the A-Class. The digital concept has been designed for customers to experience the vehicle in the real and virtual senses, and is equipped with Wi-Fi, Kinect, tablet PCs, and augmented reality technology.
Miu Miu, Berlin
Prada Group?s Miu Miu brand has unveiled its second Berlin location, with a 120sqm shop-in-shop at KaDeWe Department Store. Designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi, it is characterized by walls in gold damask and gilded metal ?safe? counters, housing full collection of ready to wear, shoes and accessories.
Roberto Cavalli, Hong Kong
Roberto Cavalli has chosen Hong Kong to launch its second largest Asian flagship, with a 320sqm boutique in Pacific Place Mall. The new boutique is in keeping with the latest retail design concept seen in New York in Paris and will carry the full collection for men, women and children.
Saint Laurent Paris, Shanghai
A 300sqm Saint Laurent Paris boutique has debuted in the Reel Department Store on Nanjing Road West, Shanghai. It?s the first unit in the world to reflect a new floor-to-ceiling store concept developed by Hedi Slimane, which references the French Art Deco and Union des Artistes Modernes (French Union of Modern Artists) movements. Key materials include black and white marble, raw concrete and Thirties-esque display furniture with gold, silver, mirror and glass.
Selfridges Men?s, London
Selfridges enlisted architect Alex Cochrane to reimagine its designer menswear space, which now features a geometric sculpture growing from a column, branching across the ceiling. Manequins are lined up like soldiers at the end of each row of brass clothing rails, selected garments slide in and out of a mirrored wall.
Trussardi has arrived in Shanghai, with the brand?s first flagship store in China. The 400sqm dual-level store is housed in the historical building of Shanghai?s Yifeng Galleria. To celebrate the inauguration, the Italian brand organised a retrospective photographic exhibition, showing the history of the brand founded in Bergamo, near Milan, in 1911.
Vacheron Constantin, Las Vegas
Vacheron Constantin has opened its second North American location, in the Palazzo Hotel Resort & Casino, Las Vegas. The new boutique fuses contemporary elements with the interior?s traditional design, and will offer the entire range of collection and exclusive boutique models for watch connoisseurs.
Yigal Azrouël, NYC
Yigal Azrouël has unveiled a new 80sqm flagship on Madison Avenue, replacing the original downtown boutique on West 14th Street. Realised by the designer himself, it features a facade of concrete, distressed white oak floors and wood beams on the ceiling. The brand will open in Russia in 2013, its second biggest market after North America.
As part of a franchise agreement with Reliance Brands, Ermenegildo Zegna has inaugurated its second flagship in Mumbai, within the Palladium Annexe that will connect the Palladium Mall to the Shangri-La, launching in 2013. The 1600sqm boutique features the full range of Zegna products for all the group?s lines.
JustLuxe is a luxury Web publication providing objective analysis and information to affluent consumers to assist with their decision making, such as chartering a yacht, purchasing a jet membership card, booking a luxury hotel, traveling to a specific destination, or buying real estate. Our writers conduct interviews with industry executives and leaders in their fields, analyze product offerings and review the Web sites of leading companies to ensure our readers have up-to-date data to make informed decisions. Consumers can find purveyors of fine luxury goods, services and travel solutions throughout the pages of JustLuxe via content or with our advertising partners. See our Best of Luxury high-end brands and partners.