The well-wishing remark by Christian Dior chief executive officer Sidney Toledano encapsulates the increasingly strong commercial and social relations between France and Italy. Discussing the official opening of the brand’s new boutique in Florence this week, Toledano said he was “very positive” about the potential of the venue. He also is proud of the opening of a new handbag manufacturing plant in Scandicci, outside Florence, which he was visiting Wednesday.
“We have the petites mains [French term for seamstresses] in Paris and in Florence, too,” said Toledano.
The ceo also pointed to the French-Italian axis by voicing his “emotion” at seeing a photograph of the late Christian Dior and Salvatore Ferragamo on board the Queen Elizabeth sailing to the U.S. to receive the Neiman Marcus Award in 1947 — a photo displayed at the Ferragamo headquarters in Palazzo Spini Feroni on Via Tornabuoni, opposite the new Dior boutique. “We have been very well received here,” remarked Toledano, who hosted a dinner at Palazzo Antinori on Tuesday night.
“I am confident for the future, all Europeans are very proud of their tradition and know-how, while they are also looking for modernity, although some people are trying to depress [us],” said Toledano. “The winds are different, but it depends on how you position your sails,” he added, referring to the European economy.
“There are still successful people who don’t feel depressed, who have good assets and are looking for high-end quality,” he said, pointing to the “quality” of cities such as Florence and the boutique’s location near hotels and restaurants that draw affluent tourists. In particular, he expected brisk business generated by ready-to-wear designed by creative director Raf Simons. “It’s going to sell very well here, it’s very successful and now we can sell it in the best conditions, as customers who shop for apparel need time to try, to be seated and advised. It’s a different ceremony.
“Raf is very successful with Italians, they like modernity, with a couture spirit, and thanks to Raf, we are having a strong impact in Italy,” Toledano continued. “We recently opened in Capri, we are extending the Portofino store. These are unique, magic locations. We are doing very well in Italy last and this year.”
The new unit covers more than 2,700 square feet, doubling the space compared with a previous location farther along the same street, known for luxury shopping in the city. Located in a 14th century building, the unit blends Parisian and Florentine elements, such as the carefully restored vaults, in Dior’s staple gray color palette, and was designed by Peter Marino.
“As a policy, we need more space, it’s our strategy everywhere. We want to give VIP rooms, and to be able to present more products, without having a giant store. We like to convey the intimate mood of a home, of a French maison, with a kind of couture and feminine feel. We had been looking for the right location for seven months,” said the executive.
With two large windows on the street, the two-story venue carries women’s rtw, bags, shoes and accessories. A wrought iron staircase, silk velvet curtains, mirrored walls and plush seats and sofas are among the standout elements, as well as glass text artworks by American artist Rob Wynne.
“Product is the star, the presence of artists in our stores is important, but it must be discreet like in a beautiful house,” said Toledano, who was in Cannes on Sunday night hosting a dinner with Elle magazine to celebrate the film festival.
A new Dior boutique will open in Vienna in the first week of June, and, before the end of the year, in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. “We continue to be very selective, and grow organically, also extending and renovating [units],” noted Toledano.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews