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The Webster, the trendsetting South Beach retailer, has signed a deal to open its second store, a 2,600-square-foot women’s-only boutique at the tony Bal Harbour Shops on Collins Avenue in Bal Harbour, Fla.
This story first appeared in the September 5, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Since opening in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood in 2009, The Webster has carved out a strong niche with its sharply edited selection of designer apparel and accessories, luxury atmosphere and top-notch service. The 20,000-square-foot store carries more than 95 men’s and women’s designer brands including Chanel, Céline, Lanvin, Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Alaïa, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang and Alexander McQueen.
Because of the limited size of the Bal Harbour store, Laure Heriard Dubreuil, chief executive officer, opted to carry only women’s wear. The mix will be “extremely curated and luxurious,” she said.
Many of the same brands will be carried at the new store, along with Pierre Hardy, Stella McCartney and Proenza Schouler. It will also offer exclusives or capsule collections from Calvin Klein, Cédric Charlier, Suno, Charlotte Olympia, Eddie Borgo and Piamita, she said.
“It’s a very exciting opportunity for us to open in Bal Harbor,” said Heriard Dubreuil. “Geographically, it makes sense to me. It’s far enough from South Beach and it attracts an international crowd that doesn’t necessarily come to South Beach. [Shoppers there] will appreciate all the values we try to achieve with our customer service, quality and selection of brands.”
She said, “Bal Harbour is a very special place and is home to some of the most beautiful brands in the world.” In addition to Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, the open-air mall includes stores from Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Chanel, Fendi, Prada and Ralph Lauren.
Heriard Dubreuil said she was grateful that the high-end brands she carries at The Webster did not resist her move to open a store in Bal Harbour, even though many either have their own stores there or are carried in the larger department stores.
When the store opens in late November or early December, it will be patterned after the second floor of The Webster, with vintage furniture and wallpapers.
Down the road, Heriard Dubreuil said she would also like to one day open a store in New York City. “We have plans for New York, but it will take some time — maybe one-and-a-half to two years. This is the first step and I want to take my time. Finding the best location is critical.”
Heriard Dubreuil and her partner, Milan Vukmirovic, took over The Webster, a 1939 example of architect Henry Hohauser’s Art Deco style, to open their store five years ago. Last year, The Webster was featured at Target as part of the mass retailer’s new Street of Shops concept.