By  on December 8, 2010

Donna Karan is often inspired by the desert. Now she’s taking her Collection there.

Karan will today open a Collection store in Las Vegas, at the city’s upscale Crystals at CityCenter retail development, which is also home to designer boutiques like Tom Ford, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Prada.

The 3,000-square-foot store will showcase a new design created by New York architectural firm Bonetti/Kozerski Studio, and this being Las Vegas, company executives felt it was important to amp up the volume a little. The designer wanted to bring her hometown’s energy to Vegas, and the store, with 20-foot ceilings, has a facade featuring a giant LED screen video wall showing the New York skyline and other Donna Karan-related clips. During collections season, it could also project a live stream of her runway show.

The store will offer ready-to-wear, accessories, shoes, intimate apparel, hosiery and fragrance, in an environment created with polished ivory and black glass walls, limestone floors, and granite, bronze and antique brass touches. Theater projectors and industrial skylights add a cinematic effect to the interior.

Karan recalled how, on her first trip to Las Vegas, she wasn’t exactly enamored with the gambling capital, but since then, she has changed her mind. “Now, I can’t wait to get my kids there,” said the designer, who is scheduled to make a personal appearance at the store in February. “I think with all the theater and the shows, Las Vegas has turned very family [friendly]. It used to be such a nighttime place, and there was no such thing as light. I think the outdoors are really reflected in Vegas now.”

The new store will have features such as a style concierge, allowing shoppers to work with full-time stylists on hand, with fittings available in the customer’s home or hotel room.

“We picked the Crystal Center because of the incredible traffic there,” Mark Weber, chairman and chief executive officer of Donna Karan International, said. “It is one of the most exciting, elegant Collection-level malls in the country.”

Weber declined to disclose sales projections for the store, which is the 13th Collection store in the world. He said, however, that the company was keen to create a store environment that was in line with Vegas’ tradition of megastructures. “There are a number of New York elements in the store that speak so well to the brand,” Weber said. “Remembering that it is Vegas, where everything is larger than life, we expect the store to catch everyone’s attention.”

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