This story first appeared in the February 14, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and overseen by creative director Kris Van Assche, the luxury brand plans to unveil a clean, modern storefront in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Tuesday. The men’s store joins the Christian Dior boutique for women that opened its doors in 2010. In the past seven years that location has secured a spot as one of the brand’s top 10 doors selling women’s fashion, buoyed by business from regional customers as well as international traffic.
Showing growth in the last few years, Dior Homme also can take advantage of South Coast Plaza’s proximity to Hollywood. Joe Jonas, Mahershala Ali and Rami Malek were some of the celebrities who donned clothes by the brand during this year’s awards season.
“South Coast Plaza is an important market for us,” said Renaud de Lesquen, president of Christian Dior Couture and Parfums Christian Dior. “We have wanted to open a Dior Homme boutique in South Coast Plaza for a number of years, but we also wanted to make sure we had the ideal space and perfect location within the plaza in order to best showcase our brand. So we waited until now.”
The men’s universe built within the high-end shopping center includes Saint Laurent, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana. Berluti and Louis Vuitton, Dior Homme’s brother brands in LVMH’s portfolio, also have a retail presence there. De Lesquen said Orange County residents often make the 50-mile drive for shopping excursions in Beverly Hills, where Dior Homme operates a store on Rodeo Drive.
“This new Dior Homme boutique is a way to extend our reach, engage more frequently and add new clients,” de Lesquen said.
Within the Dior Homme space, he predicted that ready-to-wear will contribute 70 percent of sales. Textured suits hang in the center of the room along with striped shirts and graphic jackets. Neatly folded jeans share shelves with sleek backpacks and briefcases.
Black modular benches allow for a moment of rest and an area to try on basketball sneakers, leather dress shoes and other footwear. Behind the glass facade, eyewear, watches, jewelry and fragrance fill out the rest of the merchandise displayed against stark white walls offset by blond wood floors and cases trimmed with mirror panels. The brand’s “Demi-Mesure” made-to-measure service also is available upon special client request.
“The client here dresses casually but also has formal needs,” de Lesquen said.
In addition to its seven stores in the U.S., Dior Homme has one in Vancouver, Canada. De Lesquen said North America is no exception to the global growth fueling luxury men’s wear.
“Social media has played a large role in changing the men’s mind-set,” he said. “Men have become more daring. The way men dress is more modern and relaxed. But it is not casual lifestyle dressing — no more casual Fridays. Men are definitely more interested in fashion.”