The effects of the terrible recession have not disappeared yet. Many global economies continue to battle financial uncertainty. But things are looking up for the luxury sector. There have been a few hiccups along the way. But overall, there is a sense of optimism. This optimism is expressed in various ways, including in the opening of new luxury stores. In recent months, several luxury brands have sought to expand their operations in Europe and the United States. New luxury retail outlets have popped up at upmarket locations around the world. In the coming years, we will see more such openings. Meanwhile, check out the prominent new stores on the shopping block.
1. Luxury Brand: Mulberry
Where: New York City, USA
When: 6 September 2011
Mulberry has added to its tally of luxury stores in New York by opening its third outlet in the city. Located on Spring Street, the new store is Mulberry’s flagship store in the US. The interiors are largely inspired by the luxury brand’s flagship boutique on London’s New Bond Street. The boutique stands in NYC’s former printing district. The store pays homage to this history through circular follies lined with over 8,000 hardbound books.
2. Luxury Brand: Christian Louboutin
Where: Paris, France
When: August 2011
This August, Christian Louboutin opened his first retail store in Paris. Since then, the best-dressed men of the city have been flocking to the store to buy Louboutin’s high-end shoes. According to Louboutin, the more expensive designs have proved more popular. Studded high-top sneakers priced at $993 and crystal studded versions costing $2,278 are among the top sellers. Customers can even get their new shoes inked at the tattoo room of the store on 19 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
3. Luxury Brand: Chopard
Where: New York City, USA
Quite recently, jewelry and watch brand Chopard opened its flagship store in New York City. Located on 709 Madison Avenue, the new retail outlet is Chopard’s 100th international boutique. Spread over 3,000 square feet, the Chopard boutique has a main floor and a mezzanine. Materials like white oak, fine leather, velvet, nickel and glass mingle to create a fantastic effect. LED lighting and special UV light-filtering glass windows provide the illumination.
4. Luxury Brand: Lamborghini
Where: Berlin, Germany
When: March 2011
Luxury car manufacturer Lamborghini has opened a concept store showcasing the firm’s Collezione Automobili Lamborghini’ fashion line. The Berlin boutique is the luxury brand’s first European flagship store in the German city. The new store is an attempt to attract customers who are not necessarily drivers. This fashionable new address will attract the fashion-forward people of Berlin to look beyond Lamborghini’s status as one of the premiere sports car brands of the world.
5. Luxury Brand: Piaget
When: October 2010
Piaget took its fine jewelry and luxury watch collections to London in October last year. The Swiss luxury brand opened a standalone store on London’s New Bond Street. French architect Gerard Barrau designed the Piaget store, which also happens to be the brand’s first exclusive standalone store. The London store is Piaget’s 71st exclusive retail outlet.
6. Luxury Brand: Jimmy Choo
Where: Zurich, Switzerland
When: October 2010
In October last year, international luxury accessory brand opened its flagship store in the high-end shopping district of Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich. The retail outlet spans 1,250 square feet and offers the luxury brand’s range of shoes, handbags, eyewear and more. The high-end store also features a special section paying homage to Choo 24:7. The section is named Perfect Shoe Wardrobe. The subtle color palette of the interiors highlight signature Jimmy Choo shades like ivory, pale rose, sand and lilac. A 1940s feel permeates this luxury store.
7. Luxury Brand: Miu Miu
Where: Capri, Italy
In recent times, Miu Miu has been expanding in a big way. The luxury brand’s expansion strategy involves opening standalone stores throughout Europe. Architect Roberto Baciocchi was roped in to design Miu Miu’s new luxury boutique in London. In keeping with the Prada family name, the swank entrance and large display windows add glitter and glamour to this high-end shopping destination. The cozy 50-square-meter store offers ready-to-wear, as well as shoes and other accessories, to the brand’s discerning customers.
8. Luxury Brand: Vivienne Westwood
Where: Los Angeles, USA
When: 30 March 2011
British designer Vivienne Westwood made a trip to the United States recently. The destination was Los Angeles. The reason was the inauguration of her new flagship luxury store in the city. A gala opening ensued. Guests included the likes of Mad Men star Christina Hendricks, who also happens to be the poster girl for the Vivienne Westwood Get A Life Palladium Jewelry Collection. The store itself is spread across 10,000 square feet of space in the prime Melrose Avenue. Customers visiting the Los Angeles store will find showcased all Westwood labels alongside accessories and jewelry.
1. Luxury Brand: Tom Ford
Where: Paris, France
American fashion house Tom Ford has inked franchising deals to open not one, but two, flagship stores in the fashion capital of the world. Local retailer Simon Ibgui will be running the operation of the Paris stores. The two stores will mark the arrival of Tom Ford in Paris. One store will provide the brand’s menswear line, while the other will offer menswear and women’s apparel. The outlets will be located on Francois 1er Street and Saint Honore Street respectively.
2. Luxury Brand: Prada
Where: Barcelona, Spain
When: 2011 end
Meanwhile, Prada is eyeing the Spanish luxury market. The Italian brand is planning to open a 1,200-square-foot store in Barcelona by the end of 2011. The luxury boutique will be located on 88, Passeig de Gracia. The high street location should prove profitable for the company. Prada’s Miu Miu fashion brand also has a store in the same location.
3. Luxury Brand: Prada
Where: Vienna, Austria
When: 2013 end
Prada is also looking to expand its operations within central and eastern Europe. The luxury fashion brand is planning to open a boutique in the Austrian city of Vienna. The selected retail space covers 1,500 square feet on the ground floor of the upcoming Park Hyatt Vienna Hotel. However, customers will have to wait until the end of 2013 to start shopping at this high-end store. Prada currently operates out of a smaller outlet on Vienna’s Weihburgasse Street.