MARC KARIMZADEH – Women’s Wear Daily
Christian Dior is returning to Dallas’ Highland Park Village with the official opening of a full-line women’s boutique Thursday.
The 3,742-square-foot store features four salons devoted to a category of product each, i.e. Raf Simons’ ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes and fine jewelry and watches. Its interior, created by Dior’s architecture team, has a mix of 18th century and modern details, and was inspired by the Avenue Montaigne flagship (architect Peter Marino was not involved in this specific unit).
As reported, Highland Park Village owners Ray and Heather Washburne and Stephen and Elisa Summers have been intensifying the center’s focus on luxury since they bought it in 2009, and Dior fit the bill. Pamela Baxter, president of Christian Dior Couture, said the timing was right for the opening. The French luxury house had a short-lived unit there in the early Aughts.
“Highland Park Village has been completely revamped into a luxury center,” she noted. “[The new owners are] working very diligently to upgrade all of the stores. It’s in the most prestigious and wealthy neighborhood in Dallas. A lot of our main competitors are there, and several of our top clients who are currently shopping in other boutiques are from Dallas.”
The city and Dior have a long history: Stanley Marcus gave Christian Dior himself the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion in 1947 — the year the designer started in business.
Baxter called the potential for the brand in Dallas “huge.” “It will probably end up being in our top five U.S. boutiques,” she said. The opening brings the number of Dior boutiques in the U.S. to 18.
To mark the occasion, the company is staging an exhibition of Dior images from Patrick Demarchelier’s 2011 “Dior Couture” book. There are 61 of Demarchelier’s prints on display. “Each dress is a work of art,” the photographer said. “I spoke to Dior about the idea of presenting each work of art in different ways, in various locations.” As for his personal favorites, he pointed to an image of Karlie Kloss in an embroidered coat and dress from John Galliano’s spring 2005 Dior Haute Couture collection. “She looks like a Barbie doll in a box in the middle of Times Square,” he said. The exhibition will be on view through April 19. There are also seven haute couture gowns from the house’s archives on show. As Baxter put it, “It’s really introducing the Dallas client to the couture roots of the house.”