Qatar’s biggest shopping mall remained closed on Tuesday as authorities investigated a fire that ripped through its daycare center and other areas, killing 19 people, including 13 children, according to local media reports.
The Villaggio Mall, which opened in 2006, features attractions such as the Venetian-inspired Gondolania theme park in addition to brands ranging from luxury labels like Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton to high street chains like Zara, Gap and Marks & Spencer.
A spokesman for The Body Shop said the L’Oréal-owned brand’s store in the mall had been affected by the fire. “I do not know to what extent at present,” he said. “But our staff are all safe. Our thoughts are of course with those less fortunate.”
A spokeswoman for Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M said all its employees were unharmed.
“This is a tragic accident and our thoughts go out to the families affected,” she said. “According to the latest information we have received from our franchise partner, the store has not sustained any material damage. The mall will stay closed until further notice.”
A spokesman for retail-to-luxury group PPR, whose Bottega Veneta and Gucci brands are present in the Via Domo section of the mall, said none of its employees were harmed and its stores did not sustain any damages.
A spokesman for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said it was still seeking information about the potential impact of the fire on its employees and stores, but its partners in the region had been unreachable so far.
The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.’s MAC Cosmetics- and Jo Malone-branded stores in the mall were not damaged, and none of its employees were harmed in the blaze.
“It’s truly a tragedy that many innocent lives were lost,” said a company spokeswoman. “The Estée Lauder Cos. remain available to show support of any kind to our retail partner Alhaya.”
Located in the western part of Doha, Villaggio receives an average of 42,000 visitors daily and has an average footfall of more than 1.2 million people a month.
The fire has raised questions about safety measures in the huge shopping centers that dot the Gulf region.
“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