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BEVERLY HILLS — Dior Homme opens the doors of its third freestanding boutique in the U.S. today at 315 North Rodeo Drive here.

Christian Dior’s 15th men’s store occupies a 1,300-square-foot space that mirrors the sleek, linear look of the other stores, all designed by Dior Homme creative director Hedi Slimane. The Dior Homme store is located two doors north of the company’s women’s West Coast flagship, between the Celine and not-yet-completed Graff boutiques.

“The Dior Homme business in the U.S. is going tremendously well,” said Sidney Toledano, president and chief executive officer of the Paris-based Christian Dior, citing the New York location, which opened in 2004, and the Las Vegas store, which opened last year. “On top of these directly operated stores, we do a significant part of our U.S. business with almost 20 multibrand stores,” he said.

Parent company LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton does not break down earnings per category, but Toledano added, “The success and the growing consumer excitement surrounding Dior Homme has encouraged us to expand our network.” Toledano declined to give first-year sales projections for the new Beverly Hills store.

Slimane began designing the Rodeo Drive store in Paris about a year ago before he saw the actual space. He visited the site two times and completed the process via video camera.

Like other Dior Homme boutiques, the new store features a suspended hanging bar structure and long, illuminated shelves cantilevered on a black lacquer frame. Slimane described the store’s linear perspective and depth “like scrolling a page on the Internet.”

While the look of all the stores is instantly recognizable, some details are unique to Beverly Hills, such as a suspended wall, which gives one side of the store an illusion of floating. The two fitting rooms also feature white plaster installations by Daniel Arsham, a Miami native who joins fellow artists Doug Aitken, Carsten Holler, Ugo Rondinone and Liam Gillick, all of whom have created works for Dior Homme’s fitting rooms at its other stores around the world.

The designer, who has a particular fondness for Los Angeles, also counts the city’s highways, urban lighting and natural light among his design influences. “The store is really about a mood,” Slimane stressed, no doubt enhanced by the store’s current playlist of pulsing tracks from his favorite bands, which currently include Arctic Monkeys, The Rakes and The Kills.

This story first appeared in the April 21, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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