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Dior Opens Unit in Ginza

TOKYO — A white building, luminous as a block of ice, made its official debut in the burgeoning Ginza district here over the weekend as Christian Dior feted its largest store in Asia.<BR><BR>Located at 5-6-1 Ginza, the boutique boasts 10,300...

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TOKYO — A white building, luminous as a block of ice, made its official debut in the burgeoning Ginza district here over the weekend as Christian Dior feted its largest store in Asia.

Located at 5-6-1 Ginza, the boutique boasts 10,300 square feet of selling space over six floors and one underground level. Kimiko Inui designed the exterior.

“Through this store we will introduce the taste of our brand, more than our Omotesando store that opened last year,” declared Sidney Toledano, president of Christian Dior. “Our men’s wear business has been doing very well and this time we allocated two floors to men’s wear. Also, in order to show the deep and close relationship between culture, art and our brand, we opened a gallery and exhibition hall on the fifth and sixth floors.”

Dior declined to give sales projections, but Toledano boasted that in 2005, “this Ginza boutique will generate the biggest sales in Japan.”

The unusual double-layer facade consists of an aluminum panel and an inner panel depicting the brand’s iconic cane-work pattern. At night, the panels are illuminated via a slit between the two layers.

Dior opened its first flagship in Japan in 1990 and now runs three flagships and 23 shop-in-shops in the nation’s department stores.

Women’s wear is displayed on the first three floors, with the main foyer featuring 20-foot ceilings and a massive LED screen broadcasting Dior’s latest runway images. To the left is the handbag section, while small leather goods, sunglasses, watches, costume jewelry and scarves are displayed on the right.

The second floor is devoted to casualwear and shoes, with a gray leather sofa for a cozy atmosphere. The third floor is for day clothes, eveningwear and fine jewelry with carpets and Louis XV furniture reinforcing the look of an aristocratic salon.

Dior Homme is found on the lower level and the fourth floor. Design features include black granite floors, a stainless-steel counter and shelves of gray glass. As part of his ongoing collaborations with artists, Dior Homme designer Hedi Slimane asked video maker Doug Aitken to conceive fitting rooms, which feature fractured, moving mirrors.

A portrait of Monsieur Christian Dior, painted in 1954, welcomes customers to the fifth floor, where the museum starts. Here, visitors can take in masterpieces by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustav Klimt, Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso.

On the sixth floor, John Galliano, Slimane and Victoire de Castellane reveal their creative process alongside pieces of contemporary art by six artists: Louise Bourgeois, Dan Flavin, Jeff Koons, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Andy Warhol and Mike Kelly.

Since early 2000, when the nation’s economy, including luxury goods, started to pick up, Ginza has been on the upswing as an upscale shopping area. Recently Barneys New York bowed in Ginza with a 30,000-square-foot store. Chanel will open a new megashop there in December.

Also, Dior plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Christian Dior’s birth, next year, at which time it will open a unit in Osaka.

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