CHICAGO — Maison Dior has arrived.
“It’s quite different from other flagships that we have,” said Renaud de Lesquen, president and chief executive officer, North America, at Christian Dior Couture and Parfums Christian Dior, on Friday night at the boutique’s opening party. “Of course, this is Maison Dior, but what we try to do is always to fit with the spirit of the city and the community where we are and for me, this store is very Chicago.”
It’s been three years since Dior revealed it would open a boutique here during a dinner for artist Anne Collier at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The store, located at 931 North Rush Street in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood, is situated on the northeast corner of Walton and Rush Streets next to Versace and near Gucci.
“You open when you’re ready. When you have found the right location,” said de Lesquen. “We’re in the right spot of luxury here in Chicago.”
The store’s gleaming facade features transparent frit glass and the illuminated designer signage above a glass canopy. The interior design respects the original architecture of the historic building, while giving it a modern spin. It’s the second Dior boutique in North America, following Miami, to feature the Dior star affixed on top of the building — a symbol of good luck from Monsieur Dior.
The timing of the store opening also played into the house’s milestone anniversary celebration.
“It’s a very important moment, an important milestone for us. We’ve been celebrating the 70th anniversary all year and this opening participates to celebrate the anniversary,” de Lesquen said. “We knew that this is the right moment for us in Chicago. We’ve had the business here with our Saks [Fifth Avenue] and Neiman [Marcus] partners for some time and also we had many clients in other boutiques in other countries who are coming from Chicago originally.”
The 3,300-square-foot space — which was inspired by the Paris flagship designed by Peter Marino, although he didn’t design it — spans two selling floors devoted to women’s ready-to-wear, bags, accessories, shoes, fine jewelry and timepieces. With expansive street-facing windows and details like ultraplush carpeting in the fitting rooms, the interior is specific to the Midwestern city while keeping true to the French house.
“What I like very much about this store is you have all these windows on the street. So you have the natural light. It’s quite unique and different — we don’t have that in many boutiques,” de Lesquen said. “Of course, you can see a lot of art pieces from different artists and designers that we have collected for this specific boutique. The overall impression is refined, but quite minimalistic for a Dior boutique and very comfortable. The purpose was not to be overly showy.”
One piece, a wrought iron sculpture titled “La Muse de Tim” by contemporary artist Julie Gauthron, was created exclusively for the store. It hangs above a console designed by Malherbe Edition.