PARIS — Hublot is lighting up Place Vendôme — literally.
To mark the opening of its store at 10 Place Vendôme — Hublot’s second in Paris — the Swiss watch brand on Friday gave something back to the City of Light, financing a new installation to illuminate the 200-year-old column erected by Napoléon Bonaparte in the center of the square.
Hublot chief executive officer Jean-Claude Biver threw the switch. “It is a crowning glory for a luxury brand to be admitted to the select club on this square,” he told WWD.
The 1,700-square-foot unit was designed by Peter Marino and sits alongside rival watchmakers Piaget, Patek Philippe, Rolex and Breguet, as well as jewelers such as Christian Dior, Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron.
Trying to soften the image of the brand, known for its Big Bang and King Power watches, Marino worked a warm palette with caramel suede on the walls and bronze accents. The back wall features an abstract mural panel by Swiss artist John Armleder.
Hublot called on metalworker Xavier Dietlin to design innovative features, including a central merchandising unit with metallic panels that slide up and down behind the timepieces on display.
The store will set the tone for upcoming flagship units on Madison Avenue in New York and in Tokyo’s Ginza district, among others, Biver said.
“We tried to feminize the space and to make everything a little softer,” he said, noting that women account for 40 percent of sales. “All the stores — which are already open and which have a very technical feel, with lots of black — will gradually be brought into line.”
Hublot recently opened its first stores on the mainland U.S. in Boca Raton and Bal Harbour in Florida, and plans units in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills.
“We want to be present in the 50 or 80 key places to be on the planet,” Biver said. “We had zero stores two years ago. Now we have 30.”
The brand — part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton — expects record sales in 2010.
“We are going to beat our historic record of 2008 by around 15 percent,” Biver said. He has previously stated that 2008 sales totaled roughly 250 million Swiss francs, or $231.6 million at the average exchange rate.
“The recovery in 2010 has been so strong that we have been forced to slightly increase production,” Biver said. “We have raised output by around 2,000 watches, so we will be between 22,000 and 23,000 units.”
Exclusive: Nicola Formichetti is parting ways with @diesel after nearly four years. Formichetti, who served as Lady Gaga’s stylist in 2009, joined Diesel in 2013 as creative and artistic director. His first show debuted in Venice with a show held at the Venetian Arsenal. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
The polo shirt - an icon of preppy style - is roaring back into fashion in many creative guises, like this A-line polyester top from @carven, worn with @31philliplim cotton and elastane pants. Designers stretched a fashion classic into all kinds of new permutations this season. See how @mayteallende styled the preppy trend on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📸 : Kinya)
(Market Editors: @andrew_shang and @elmercer, Makeup: @amandawilsonmakeup using @fentybeauty, Hair: @gonn24, Model: @bara_holotova at @women360mgmt)
“I do like period [projects] a lot because I like creating those worlds, a world that is different from today," costume designer Mark Bridges said about the '50s British couture featured in @phantomthread. Bridges created the overall aesthetic and individual fashion looks for the film, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps. Pictured here is a gown he designed for Krieps who plays Alma – the love interest of Day-Lewis' character, Reynolds Woodcock. #wwdfashion
@prada is embracing the holiday season with a series of short movies about the art of gift-giving. "The Postman's Gifts", which was directed by American filmmaker Autumn de Wilde, focuses on the brand's signature Prada Galleria bag and features Elijah Wood as the postman. In the first two episodes, Wood's delivers the iconic bag to @emmaroberts, who plays herself as a movie star, and Sasha Frolova. #wwdfashion
“I think I never met the person while we were working,” Vicky Krieps said of Daniel Day-Lewis, who she plays the love interest of in “Phantom Thread.” Day-Lewis remained perennially in character, so much so that she feels she’s just meeting him now. “It’s interesting to see how different he is in real life to the character,” Krieps said. WWD sat down with the 34-year-old actress to talk about her new role in the period film, which brings the fifties’ gender dynamics into the mix. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@gucci has expanded its “Places” project to include six new cities. The initiative, which was first unveiled in July, aims to invite people to explore inspirational locations for the brand. On the list is the Biblioteca Angelica library in Rome pictured here. See the other five new venues on WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @massimo_listri_official)
#ad From tools to lashes, WWD rounded up wellness and beauty products guaranteed to take your skin care and makeup routines to the next level in 2018. Follow along as @laceandleatherbyelyse, @ashnfashn and @elleisalwayshere experiment with these products on their Instagram profiles and blogs. #NewYearBetterYou
Blogger @camilacoelho is one of the fastest growing beauty influencers around the world. The bilingual blogger has worked with brands like @revolve Beauty, @dior, @louisvuitton and more and has an Earned Media Value of $34,338,441, according to @tribedynamics. But Coelho isn’t the only influencer making a major impact — head to WWD.com to see the other fastest-growing influencers in six key global markets. #beautyfridays (📷: @zefashioninsider)