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“We’re all blinged up!” said Keira Knightley, the face of the upcoming Asprey campaign, at the mega-bash Tuesday night to open the brand’s 40,000-square-foot store on Bond Street in London. Knightley, who was wearing strand upon strand of diamonds around her neck, couldn’t quite get over the turnout. “I walked through the front door and thought ‘Oh my! I can’t even move.’”

“I feel like a proud papa,” said Lawrence Stroll as he and co-host Silas Chou surveyed the place, decked out in purple, right down to the garbage bins.

This story first appeared in the May 20, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Purple-uniformed shoeshine men sat outside Asprey’s front entrance to give the 1,500-strong crowd — including Jade Jagger, Molly Ringwald, Sir Elton John, Hussein Chalayan and Zara Phillips — a last-minute polish while male window-washers in overalls and no shirts shined the glass until it sparkled. Inside, servers passed around boiled quails’ eggs packed into purple Asprey gift boxes while the luxury firm’s artisans sat at worktables polishing silver plates and mounting diamonds in rings.

“It was a very understated affair,” announced Kenneth Cole, with a smile. “A very moderate display of mid-priced merchandise.”

Stroll later hosted a dinner at Annabel’s for 150 Asprey brass and personal friends, including Norman Foster, David Mlinaric, Sarah Ferguson, Crown Prince Pavlos and Marie-Chantal of Greece.

“Now we shareholders want to make our money back,” Chou told his guests. “And please, don’t just buy Asprey for yourselves. E-mail your friends! E-mail your enemies! And tell them all about our new store.”

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