In a rare meeting with the press on Tuesday morning, Ahmad Al-Sayed, chief executive officer of Harrods’ owner Qatar Investment Authority and chairman of the executive board of Harrods, sketched out plans for the store and the brand. The official reason for meeting was to unveil a light installation by Dale Chihuly that hangs in the entrance to the store’s Grand Hall.
Al-Sayed said a previously mooted Harrods hotel remains part of the expansion plans, and for that the firm is looking at sites in London, New York and “other prime cities” as possible locations. “Everything is for discussion, and we are studying different ways of expansion,” he said, but stressed that he would not try to replicate Harrods in its entirety outside London.
Since Qatar Holding, a global investment house founded by the Qatar Investment Authority, bought Harrods in 2010, the firm has invested 250 million pounds, or $410 million at current exchange, according to a spokesman for the store.
Among the most recent investments has been the restoration of a staircase from 1928 and the redesign of escalators at the entrance to the Grand Hall, where Chihuly’s new light installation has been placed. The chandelier, crafted from 1,400 handblown glass elements in amber and gold, is the first piece of artwork commissioned by Harrods, and its unveiling coincides with an exhibition of Chihuly’s work, which opened Saturday at London’s Halcyon Gallery.
Separately, Harrods is set to unveil its first standalone fine watch room at Heathrow’s new Terminal Two, which is set to open on June 4. The room is meant to “recreate the opulence” of the Knightsbridge flagship’s watch space,” said a spokesperson for Heathrow. The new terminal will also have a dedicated personal-shopping lounge and shops including Bulgari, Prada, Smythson, Bottega Veneta, Mulberry, Paul Smith and Burberry.
Asked about the Qatar Investment Authority’s overall investment strategy, Al-Sayed said the fund — which is also the largest shareholder in the U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury’s — takes a broad approach to its future investments.
“I invest in retail, I invest in commodities, I invest in infrastructure — I invest in different kinds of [businesses],” said Al-Sayed. “We are like fund managers: When we decide on our investment, we check what suits our portfolio and then we make a decision,” he said.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
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Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
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For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)