The pandemic has proven the power of flowers, and a new floral experiential activation at Bal Harbour Shops is ablaze with the universal pick-me-up.
Conceptualized by Vancouver-based floral arts event firm Fleurs de Villes, “Fleurs de Villes Rosé” kicks off its world tour at the center on March 19. The 10-day activation pairs the center’s brands with local florists to create floral couture looks displayed on mannequins, as well as flower-covered storefronts. Along with Neiman Marcus, Brunello Cucinelli, Lafayette 148, Roger Vivier, Chopard, Graff, David Yurman, De Beers, Diptyque and Lalique, among other tenants, Bal Harbour Shops, the village of Bal Harbour and its Ritz-Carlton are sponsoring floral installations to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
“With COVID-19 affecting a lot of charities’ ability to fund raise, it’s the first time that we’ve done this for a charity,” said Fleurs de Villes cofounder Karen Marshall, of their 38th event in their 17th city, Florida’s first exposure to their work that has been experienced by more than 1 million viewers in venues like Covent Garden in London and South Coast Plaza in California, by her estimate. “We wanted to bring a strong social message, and breast cancer is a natural alignment for us. Many of the florists we work with have gone through it or know someone who has, too.”
Ten percent of sponsorship sales go toward the BCRF, bolstered by more proceeds donated from a center-wide flower market on March 21.
Jean-Baptiste Maillard, chief executive officer for Chopard Americas, said the charity partnership made it an easy decision to participate. The company is further using the opportunity to celebrate the Miami debut of the latest haute jewelry collection from its ongoing Red Carpet series.
“The theme of this most recent collection is nature, which is a great fit with the floral masterpieces that Fleurs de Villes will be creating,” he said, trying not to divulge too many details about the installation. “You can expect to see a cascade of pink and green floral and fauna, which represents emeralds, pink sapphires and rubellites of Chopard’s jewelry pieces.”
Marshall said brands often base their designs on a new collection or product but asks them to leave some leeway for florists also to express their creativity. The sole restriction is that materials must be botanicals, with a nod to pink — the show’s name implies the color rather than the flower — this round.
“Like real couture gowns, these creations take hours, and these florists capture couture elements like pleats, lace and necklines with twigs, leaves, buds and every flower under the sun,” said cofounder Tina Barkley. “We have groupies who come for every show to see what we do next.”
In addition to the works on display, a Jardin area hosts daily activities for people to learn how to make flower crowns, cocktails and arrangements. Onsite restaurants Le Zoo and Makoto are serving flower-themed menus.
“With our long and storied affinity for lush landscape, Fleurs de Villes’ celebration of flowers is the perfect partner,” said Matthew Whitman Lazenby, president and CEO of Whitman Family Development LLC, which owns the center.
Scheduled through 2022, the 15-city tour will hit New York, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Seattle. Other stops are awaiting confirmation.