By  on April 27, 2005

LAS VEGAS — During a shopping trip to the Dior flagship at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris more than a year ago, casino and resort mogul Steve Wynn — a longtime customer — put down his shopping bags and asked the staff to call the executives in the Dior offices upstairs.

There, in the salon where Christian Dior launched his fashion-changing “New Look” in 1947, Wynn presented his own grand plans for the brand to Sidney Toledano, president and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture worldwide, and Marla Sabo, president and chief operating officer of Christian Dior Inc., North America.

Wynn’s idea was to bring Dior to an überluxe shopping wing of his most expansive venture to date — a planned casino on Las Vegas Boulevard that would outdo the other famous resorts he has built, including The Mirage, Treasure Island and The Bellagio.

The result of Wynn’s Paris shopping trip is the new 3,900-square-foot Dior flagship at the $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas resort and casino, which is set to open on Thursday. The Dior store carries women’s ready-to-wear and accessories by John Galliano, shoes, leather goods and the fine jewelry collection by Victoire de Castellane. It’s also only the second in the U.S. to include a boutique for Dior Homme, which is designed by Hedi Slimane. New York was the first.

“Both Elaine [Wynn] and Steve were in our Paris office and I happened to be in Paris at the time,” said Toledano. “They basically came upstairs and said they wanted us to be at the resort.”

It was the retail equivalent of drawing plans on a cocktail napkin, coming from a man who has built an empire by wheeling and dealing the old-school way. And Toledano and Sabo were instantly sold.

“Steve did a fantastic job [creating the] Bellagio and the numbers [at that store] were beyond what we projected,” Toledano said. “So when Steve came to us in Paris and met with us here and presented his concept, that day we were committed to go with him.”

Dior currently operates one store at the Caesars’ Forum Shops and another at The Bellagio, both about 4,000 square feet. Overall, there are currently 18 freestanding Dior boutiques in the U.S. and 45 other sales points, which include accessories boutiques at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

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