Five years after warming up Harrods shoppers with his signature collection of furs and ready-to-wear, Dennis Basso has taken on a third location within the London department store, this time for his first assortment for girls.
Building off the success he has seen in his two designated areas in the retailer’s designer section and its international shop, Basso unveiled dresses and fur items for more pint-sized shoppers. First brought into Harrods by Marigay McKee in 2009, the designer has cultivated a loyal following among the store’s clientele. Although McKee has since moved on to Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods executives encouraged Basso to delve into children’s wear.
“These are not the kind of clothes to go to school in or to go out and play in,” he said of the collection, which is aimed at girls ages four to 12. “These are dresses for special occasions and weddings. When Harrods approached me, I wanted to do something special that had embellishment and beading. I translated for young people the same kind of quality and sophistication that my women’s collection has.”
Going to various social events over the years, Basso said he noticed that there was a lack of social occasion dresses for girls. For the exclusive launch at Harrods, his offerings retail from $4,210 for an embroidered party dress to nearly $50,600 for a sable coat. As for what he might say to those who consider his collection an overindulgence for children, Basso stood his ground: “In today’s world, we’re getting to a point where people are doing what they want to do. For some, it’s too much. For others, it’s not.”
The designer is counting on Harrods’ steady base of international shoppers to fuel growth in children’s wear. “All of Harrods’ success is built on its international clientele. On any given day that I’m there, the store is really filled with people from all over the world,” he said. “You can buy everything from a car at Harrods to an aquarium.”
With his Sept. 8 runway show at Lincoln Center fast approaching, Basso plans to check out his new children’s wear in the London store this fall. “I love happy things, so designing for beautiful little girls was an easy decision for me,” he said.