PARIS— Elie Saab will open its first store in Asia next January in Hong Kong’s Landmark Mall, as part of a plan to double its network of freestanding stores by the end of 2012.
Elie Saab managing director Chucri Cavalcanti said the choice of location was strategic, as the brand hopes to open stores in Beijing and Shanghai by early 2013 at the latest.
“We’re starting to see a lot of Asian customers in our existing boutiques, whether in Paris or in London or even in Dubai, and we feel that the brand has had enough exposure for the consumer to start recognizing it,” Cavalcanti told WWD.
“We think that Hong Kong could be our starting base in Asia from which we can get into mainland China and into other countries in Asia, like Korea, like Taiwan, like Singapore, in a much easier way once the brand is well established in Hong Kong, which is a very cosmopolitan, international market,” he added.
The Hong Kong store will be the brand’s fifth freestanding boutique after Beirut, Paris, Dubai and a shop-in-shop in London department store Harrods.
Cavalcanti said he hopes to increase this number to between eight and 10 by the end of next year, with new additions planned in the United States, Latin America, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
In addition, the executive hopes to increase Elie Saab’s points of sale in department stores and multi-brand boutiques by 10 from around 45 at present.
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