PARIS — Parfums Christian Dior has unveiled a spruced-up beauty institute concept in the Plaza Athenée hotel on Avenue Montaigne here.
The 2,900-square-foot space, which was inaugurated Sept. 16, will be a template for more hotel-based institutes in key cities worldwide, according to executives at the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand. While rollout plans for the concept are in the very early stages, the firm is eyeing openings in New York, Los Angeles, Seoul, Milan and Tokyo.
“We want to help more of our clients to associate Dior with skin care, as well as with clothes and fragrances,” said Louis de Saint Michel, director for skin care at the brand. “Placing the institutes in prestige hotels is a great way to do that.”
Dior’s existing institutes — one each in Moscow and Vladivostok in Russia, Warsaw and Saint Martin — are not associated with hotels. Future spaces may be opened with hotels owned by the Dorchester Group, which owns the Plaza Athenée, de Saint Michel said.
The institute at the Plaza Athenée, which was unveiled with a soiree attended by Dior faces Monica Bellucci and Mylène Jampanoï, as well as actress Vahina Giocante, comprises five treatment rooms, including one 280-square-foot VIP space for two people. While de Saint Michel expects the core client base will be women aged over 35, he hopes that a double room will entice mothers and daughters to have treatments together, thus bringing in a new clientele. It also caters to men. The space, which previously housed the hotel’s gymnasium, features a smaller, non-Dior branded fitness area, hammam and sauna.
Interior designer Patrick Ribes, who specializes in spa design for LVMH-owned brands, created an understated aesthetic for the space. Dominant colors are white and Dior’s signature soft gray hue, while lighting is used to subtly highlight the curving roof vaults.
At all times, clients are reminded of Dior’s couture roots and its founder’s long association with the hotel. The institute, which is below ground level, is accessed by a curving staircase reminiscent of those descended by Dior models during the brand’s early fashion shows. The reception area features a vast flat-screen TV showing the house’s latest runway collection, while walls are decorated with photos of Christian Dior sketches and models posing in Dior outfits outside the hotel. (Dior originally opened his boutique on the Avenue Montaigne to be closer to the Plaza Athenée’s international clients, according to Dior lore.)
Discreet display cases showcase the main product lines used at the institute, namely Capture Totale, Capture XP and Hydration, as well as Dior’s uberprestige antiaging line L’Or de Vie.
Prices of treatments range from 150 euros to 490 euros, or $215 to $704 at current exchange. The least expensive, a 45-minute facial dubbed Total Radiance, is meant to give time-pressed clients’ skin an energy boost. The most expensive, meanwhile, consists of a two-hour treatment including microdermabrasion and the application of an entire 50-ml. jar of L’Or de Vie (which retails for 350 euros, or $503).
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast