DUBAI — The world’s largest selection of shoes under one roof will debut in Dubai next month. With 96,000 square feet of retail space, Level Shoe District, a new concept by Dubai-based Chalhoub Group, will be the largest shoe store in the world, offering women’s and men’s contemporary and fashion footwear.
With more than 250 footwear brands, as well as a foot spa, in-house cobbler, private VIP lounges and a Vogue Café and Vogue Espresso bar (operated by Condé Nast Restaurants), Level is a pioneering department store concept that will be exclusively dedicated to shoes. “It’s a place for shoe lovers to come together, where our customers can spend the whole day,” said Rania Masri, general manager of Chalhoub Group Retails Fashion Own Concepts.
Level, located at the Dubai Mall, will be anchored by a Louis Vuitton flagship shoe store, the first of its kind in the world, with eight rooms as well as a bespoke shoe service. In addition to the anchors, the shoe megastore will host more than 40 individual branded shops-in-shop ranging from Prada and Yves Saint Laurent to Dior and Gucci, as well as designer and trend multibrand areas. The “sneaker avenue” will offer limited-edition collections from leading lifestyle brands.
“The thought is that the same customer who might buy a Lanvin shoe will also want the latest Nike collaboration,” said Masri.
Masri noted that there is strong demand for retail outlets that can serve as a platform for the footwear. “Design houses are spending a lot on developing this category. For instance, Gucci now has over 800 styles, but not many places can stock such a large selection.”
Also launching for the first time outside of London will be a Sole Lounge by foot specialist and celebrity favorite Margaret Dabbs. Podiatrists and nail technicians will offer treatments, including oxygen revitalization therapy for the feet.
The Chalhoub Group, one of the largest franchisers of luxury brands in the Middle East, brought in SHED, a London-based interior architecture and design agency whose clients include Vertu and Harrods, to design the concept. One of the hallmark pieces will be a central digital art installation designed by United Visual Artists, the team behind the visual installation at Buckingham Palace during Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee celebrations.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)