By  on December 21, 2010

Stella McCartney is jumping into the luxury lineup at the Crystals at CityCenter in Las Vegas.

The designer’s 2,900-square-foot store, which opens Thursday, will be her first in Vegas. The gambling and entertainment mecca was slammed by the recession, but that hasn’t deterred McCartney from joining brands such as Tom Ford, Donna Karan, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent and Emilio Pucci, among others, at the 500,000-square-foot Crystals.

The store will carry ready-to-wear, accessories, lingerie, fragrances, Adidas by Stella McCartney and kids’ clothes. The brand, which is owned by McCartney and the Gucci Group, has two U.S. stores in Los Angeles and New York, and 11 units in cities outside the U.S.

“Las Vegas is still the destination where Americans like to travel to and we feel it’s important for us to have a store there,” said Frederick Lukoff, president and chief executive officer of Stella McCartney. “We will reach a combination of U.S. and foreign tourists, who travel to Las Vegas for business and leisure, as well as locals.”

For the store design, Stella McCartney relied on the London-based firm APA that worked on the brand’s boutiques in Milan, Paris, New York and Tokyo to create an architectural environment that’s intimate and personal — and a tad decadent. The visual focal point is a horse chandelier crafted from 7,000 Swarovski Elements. The piece, which hangs from a 14-foot-high ceiling, is named Lucky Spot, after a horse that belonged to McCartney’s mother, Linda.

The floor is made from sustainable oak parquet weaved into a herringbone pattern by Raw Edges for Established & Sons in eight different shades drawn from Stella McCartney’s signature color palette of plum, nude, taupe and pink. Merchandise is displayed on colorful felt cubes, recessed ceramic tile shelving and white steel sculptural wall fixtures, and the façade is out of hand-glazed ceramic tile and showcases the brass signage with backlighting.

McCartney has designed an exclusive $195 T-shirt with the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign to celebrate the opening of the store, which also features private wardrobing services for select clients that include personal styling, new collection previews and private shopping appointments.

With an economy fueled by discretionary spending zapped during the recession, Las Vegas has been slow to mend from the worst of its effects. However, there are signs the city is perking up. Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority figures show that visitor volume for the year ending in October climbed 2.8 percent and gaming revenue on the strip gained 5.7 percent. Lukoff is betting on a robust recovery.

“Vegas was indeed hard hit by the recession, but we are confident it will come back stronger than ever,” he said. Stella McCartney declined to discuss sales forecasts.

More retail expansion for Stella McCartney is planned for next year, although the company would not pinpoint the number of openings. “The U.S. market remains a high priority for our retail development and we continue to scout new locations for future openings,” Lukoff said.

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