ATHENS — It should have been party time on downtown Voukourestiou Street on Wednesday, where Prada was scheduled to inaugurate a six-floor flagship and boost a local morale dragged low by the international financial downturn.
Instead of cocktails, however, the day marked the fourth day of fierce rioting — and in many cases, looting — which followed the death of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos by police fire in the area of Exarcheia on Dec. 6.
As downtown Athens was in flames, some retailers had managed to act swiftly. Ahead of the rioting, the Attica department store took the necessary measures and saw just a few windows broken. Metal shutters also prevented damage at Dior, Louis Vuitton and Hermès.
However, others were less fortunate: Tod’s and Ralph Lauren had broken windows and were looted. Other stores targeted and damaged included Marina Rinaldi, Nine West, Geox and Zara.
H&M was also hit. “Two of our stores and our support office in Athens have been damaged. Luckily no one has been injured,” said an H&M spokeswoman. “The stores are closed and we don’t know the amount of the damage since we don’t have access to the area. We have set up a crisis team and we have been in contact with all our 70 employees in Greece. All our other seven stores in Greece are open as usual and we are monitoring the development closely.”
In the highly commercial area of Kolonaki, broken glass was to be found all along Skoufa Street, where stores like luxury multibrand Luisa — home to names such as Alexander McQueen and Missoni — had smashed windows, though some, like new arrival Manolo Blahnik, were spared.
Last weekend Oscar de la Renta closed its freestanding store in Kifissia, an area a few miles outside of central Athens, but it has since reopened. Merchandise was removed from the two-story boutique’s first floor and display windows were covered, according to Alex Bolen, chief executive officer. “We’ve had no direct impact on our store other than traffic,” he said.
The company is assessing the situation on a day-by-day basis. Bolen said, “If things turn violent, we will shut the lights off, make sure the staff is safe and take the necessary precautions.”
Through Studio Image, its partner in Greece, Oscar de la Renta is also sells handbags and shoes at the multibrand Image store in Athens’ center. “We were told that store had some windows broken and was looted but not badly in relation to other stores where everything is totally gone,” said Bolen.
Initial reports from business and commerce associations spoke of 1 billion euros, or $1.3 billion at current exchange, in damage, a figure that included locations in Athens and Thessaloniki, where heavy rioting had also taken place.
By Thursday, the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry had registered some 435 businesses with major to minor damage, 37 of which have been destroyed. Sporadic rioting continued throughout Thursday around the city, with very few stores open for business downtown.
Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has pledged financial support to those hit by rioting, including lump sum payments of 10,000 euros, or $13,000, to small businesses.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty