Hermès is trading the established Bal Harbour Shops for the burgeoning Miami Design District, an 18-square-block area with a hip undercurrent that’s in the throes of gentrification.
The move gives Hermès the opportunity to open a 10,000-square-foot two-level flagship in the Design District in fall 2013, more than double the size of its existing 4,500-square-foot unit at the Bal Harbour Shops. The retailer’s lease expires Dec. 31, 2012. Hermès in January will operate a temporary store in the district until its permanent store is ready.
Robert Chavez, president and chief executive officer of Hermès USA, said the move in Miami is as dramatic as Hermès’ 2000 decision to replace a 5,000-square-foot store on East 57th Street with a four-floor 15,000-square-foot flagship on Madison Avenue and 62nd Street.
“The plans Craig Robins [the Design District’s primary landlord] has for it are quite dynamic,” Chavez said. “It’s a great thing he’s doing, and we want to be a part of it. Our business in Miami has been very strong.”
Men’s will receive a much larger space, there will be a more significant presentation of watches and jewelry, shoes will be expanded, and accessories, which is “sorely represented, will get a new presentation.” Chavez doesn’t see any need to expand women’s, as it has a fair amount of square footage already.
Furniture will also be added. “We’ll increase our home offering significantly. Now we’re carrying home in six stores and only three of those stores carry it in a pretty significant way. Adjacent to our new store will be a small St. Louis crystal shop, the first of its kind in the U.S.”
Chavez isn’t worried about Hermès customers traveling to the Design District. “What Craig is doing in the district is going to significantly change that whole area, and will become a major draw over a longer period of time,” he said. “We think other luxury retailers will join us.”
Already, Louis Vuitton exited Bal Harbour at the end of May, when its lease expired, and announced its intention to open a Design District store in 2014. Vuitton will also open a new location at the Aventura Mall. Other luxury brands in residence at the Design District include Christian Louboutin and Marni.
Robins has said his goal is to sign leases with 20 to 30 luxury retailers over the next five years, and he’s targeting other LVMH brands, as well as Prada, Chanel and Gucci.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast