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.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)