By Marc Karimzadeh and David Lipke
Dior Homme continued its retail expansion over the weekend, opening a new store in Miami’s Design District on Saturday.
The new unit is Dior Homme’s fifth freestanding store in the U.S., joining a freshly renovated flagship on New York’s 57th Street, a unit in New York’s SoHo that opened this past spring, a shop in Beverly Hills and a San Francisco store that bowed last December.
Additionally, there are men’s shops within larger women’s stores in the Ala Moana Center in Hawaii as well as in the Wynn Las Vegas, CityCenter and The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, all in Las Vegas. Next up is a freestanding Dior Homme unit in Waikiki, Hawaii, slated to open in early 2014.
“The Miami Design District is fast becoming a premier luxury retail destination in the United States,” said Pamela Baxter, president and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Inc. and president and ceo of LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics North America. “With the evolving economic landscape in South America we’re seeing increased tourism among a distinctly affluent social group who, too, are looking to enjoy the best of Miami’s luxury experiences.”
Since August, Cartier, Celine and Louis Vuitton have opened stores in Miami’s Design District. Prada is set to open a unit on Thursday and Hermès, Pucci, Berluti and Agnona are readying stores in the area as well, joining existing tenants like Maison Martin Margiela, Christian Louboutin and Marni.
Much of the retail real estate in the neighborhood is owned by Miami Design District Associates, a partnership between Dacra, a Miami real estate development firm, and L Real Estate, a Luxembourg-based equity fund, in which LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is a minority investor.
The Dior Homme space was vacant prior to the brand assuming the lease. The single-floor shop is fronted by a curtain of stainless steel blades across the facade. Inside, the sleek design scheme includes polished concrete floors, stainless steel accents, white lacquer shelving units and millwork details in white, black or gray lacquer.
Watches and sunglasses are merchandised near the entrance. Ready-to-wear lines the right side, with belts and ties stocked toward the rear. Accessories, denim, footwear and the cash wrap are compartmentalized on the left side.
“We have not operated any wholesale distribution for Dior Homme in the Miami area for quite some time now,” noted Baxter of the newfound availability of the brand in the city.
A seating area at the back is adjacent to a dressing room, facing a four-screen plasma display that will showcase an exclusive Bruce Weber-lensed short film titled “Can I Make the Music Fly,” commissioned by Dior Homme as a permanent installation in the store.
The film will be unveiled at an opening party Wednesday night during Art Basel, hosted by Weber, Dior Homme artistic director Kris Van Assche, and W magazine’s editor in chief Stefano Tonchi.
The film’s cast includes model Mason; violinists Charlie Siem, 26, and Claudius Agrippa, 10; and Sergei Polunin, the Ukranian ballet dancer who was formerly with the London Royal Ballet. Set in New York City, it fuses ballet and classical music through these talents with several vignettes.
“Dior Homme asked me to make a film for their new store in Miami — which is my hometown and also the hometown of a great ballet company and orchestra — and, last but not least, the hometown of the Miami Heat,” said Weber. “I made this film with all of that in mind; as well as my love for classical music and how sometimes the wildness of the fourth quarter of a basketball game is like the giant leap of a ballet dancer.”
Dior Homme gave Weber carte blanche. “He is an incredibly talented photographer and filmmaker, and one of the most influential figures in the world of fashion in the past 30 years,” said Van Assche. “He has a very personal aesthetic. It is always interesting to see an artist’s reinterpretation of my work as it makes them really unique.”