By  on June 18, 2009

Tom Ford International establishes a beachhead in the Middle East today, opening a 3,000-square-foot store in the Dubai Mall.

The brand, which had no retail or wholesale distribution in the region, plans to launch additional stores in Kuwait City, Kuwait; Qatar; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Beirut, Lebanon, and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

“The Dubai launch is very significant because there’s a new, very sophisticated Middle Eastern man who wants the very best in suiting, the finest accessories and clothing for all aspects of his life, and he wants it presented in a modern way that resonates with the new world that is fast emerging in the Middle East,” Ford said. “He also expects a private atmosphere and a level of personal service that matches his lifestyle, which are two values at the core of Tom Ford Menswear.”

To mark the occasion, a new edition of Tom Ford Private Blend fragrance called Arabian Wood — and based on chypre — has been created for the Dubai store.

Ford will not be present for the soft launch, but he will attend a grand opening in the fall that will be supported by advertising in seven Dubai publications.

The store is operated by franchisee UAE Trading, and was designed by Ford’s longtime collaborator, William Sofield. It echoes the materials and aesthetics of the Tom Ford flagships in New York and Milan. Ford selected fine furnishings and art to decorate the rooms of gray Carrara marble, Macassar ebony wood, brown velvet and gray suede wall paneling and beaver fur rugs.

A staff member greets visitors at a bronze reception desk. From there, a client may enter one of several rooms, each dedicated to a different area of men’s wear and each featuring distinctive art or furniture.

The Made-to-Measure suiting salon contains a bar and table lamps by the French designer Jacques Quinet that are identical to those featured in the Madison Avenue flagship store window. In the Suiting room, a bronze gilt mirror, custom-made by British sculptor-furniture maker Andrew Webb, hangs over a marble fireplace. The Accessories room showcases luggage and shoes, and features a marble plinth.

The Sportswear salon has a shagreen-covered coffee-table. In sum, the brand has created a sumptuous, masculine and private space for men to build personalized luxury wardrobes.

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