Falling oil prices, job losses and possible mortgage defaults by borrowers are casting a shadow over Dubai’s real estate boom, but the Persian Gulf enclave continues to attract upscale retailers.
Temperley London is the latest company to bring its upscale brand to the desert. The brand on Dec. 15 opened its first store in the Middle East, a 2,500-square-foot unit in the Dubai Mall. The store’s design is sufficiently grand with an elaborate marble floor, original 19th century French antiques, custom-made chandeliers and Temperley London fabrics.
Bloomingdale’s is set to open a store at the Dubai Mall in 2010. Christian Dior plans to launch its second store in Dubai. Viktor & Rolf, in partnership with Villa Moda, will open units in Dubai and other cities in the region.
Temperley London plans to launch two stores in the United Arab Emirates in 2009, with further development planned for the region. The company is partnering with the Dubai-based Alabbar family for the venture. Salama Alabbar will oversee Temperley London’s Middle East expansion through a new company, Symphony LLC.
Her father, Mohammed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Group, a large property developer, and director general of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, has been instrumental in the transformation of Dubai over the past decade.
The Temperley London store in Dubai offers ready-to-wear, including Black Label, accessories and a bridal boutique as well as a VIP area. A spokeswoman for Temperley London said customers in the Middle East “tend to buy more Black Label pieces and have garments made for them.” The store offers exclusive products for the Dubai location such as embroidered Abbayas, existing styles in new colorways, exclusive beachwear and specialty skin handbags.
The company is bullish “about our prospects in the Middle East,” said Lars von Bennigsen, founding partner and chief executive officer of Temperley London. “Over the past few years we have seen explosive growth in the region and we expect to be able to build a significant presence there. Partnering with the Alabbar family is a fantastic opportunity as they have established themselves as a driving force in the region and represent a solid and powerful partner for the long term.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion