PARIS — You might call it operation Desert Fashion.
A range of high-profile designers and executives — from Stella McCartney and Azzedine Alaia to Gucci Group chief executive officer Domenico De Sole — expected to descend on Kuwait City on April 21 for the opening of Villa Moda, an ambitious new 75,000-square-foot designer emporium.
A big, dark glass box rising outside the city’s commercial center, Villa Moda is the brainchild of Kuwaiti prince and retailer Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah. More than three times the size of his original Villa Moda, which opened in the early Nineties, the new store is slated to carry such brands as Gucci, Prada, Versace, Marni and Fendi alongside such far-flung services as botox injections, art exhibitions and cooking lessons.
To fete Villa Moda, Al-Sabah is planning a cocktail party at the store, then whisking his 500 guests in BMW limousines to a dinner and dance party in a warehouse in Kuwait’s port area. Al-Sabah has yet to receive all his confirmations, but invitations were extended to the likes of Miuccia Prada, Carla Fendi, the Ferragamos, the Etros, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons and Junya Watanabe.
Prada already has accepted, Al-Sabah claimed, while McCartney plans to reprise an event she did during the January couture with artist Gary Hume. The two plan to exhibit one-of-a-kind T-shirts she designed and had customized by the British painter.
At his previous location, which opened in 1992, Al-Sabah boasted label-starved devotees who would visit his store three times a week. Vowing to inject fun back into fashion shopping with an eclectic mix of merchandise and posh service, he ultimately hopes to transport the Villa Moda concept to other Mideastern cities and possibly Europe.

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