At 10 a.m. today, the glass doors of the newest Christian Dior boutique swung open and allowed the first customers into two floors of exquisite beauty. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver now boasts the first Canadian stand-alone store, with a Dior Homme boutique next door easily accessible by internal pass-through. The first floor features an array of handbags with multiple finishes, fine jewelry and watches. The upper level offers ready-to-wear, evening-wear, shoes, a dedicated VIP fitting room and salon.
As avid fashionista are acutely aware, women’s bags and accessories are currently available only at select Holt Renfrew Stores, and welcome the boutique opening as this is the first time women’s ready-to-wear and any men’s wear product will be available direct to customers in Canada.
Pamela Baxter, president of Christian Dior Couture, North America, explained why Canada in 2015:
Canada is an important luxury market because of its steady economic growth. The number of top household incomes grew 15 percent last year, and it’s growing numbers of younger affluent customers. Young men, in particular, have become more fashion focused in the last few years. They are all highly educated, fashion forward and demanding of excellence in the products they choose.
Quality and craftsmanship are at the top of their expectations. Luxury sales are on the rise in Canada largely due to this new client, making 2015 the perfect time for Dior and Dior Homme to open their first stand-alone boutiques in Canada.
The Peter Marino-designed concept of Dior’s Avenue Montaigne flagship in Paris was the inspiration for the new boutique and the childhood home of Christian Dior in Normandy, influenced the colour palette of the latest collection.
Raf Simons, Artistic Director at Dior, translated the soft pebbled silver and muted pinks of the French heritage home into stunningly modern but elegant pieces suitable for women at all stages of their lives.
Knit dresses in rich wine hues with long sequined sleeves and trim trench coats in earth tones stood out but the real eye-catching pieces were to be found in footwear. The 2015 Dior heel, which can only be described as ‘romantic sci-fi,’ features prominently as the base for sling-backs, ankle and knee boots. Soft mesh sneakers in candy colours are intricately hand-beaded and classic stilettos are adorned with lambskin leather rosettes.
Unique to the Vancouver stores are several works commissioned from contemporary artists to reflect Dior aesthetics. Glass text by Rob Wynne is arranged on the walls of footwear, a stainless steel and quartz cocktail table by Damian Garrido is in the VIP salon and an immense bouquet of blush roses topped the formidable resin and foam silver bench by Christopher Schank. The video wall by artist Yoram brings a vibrancy to the connecting chrome stairwell, a Louis XVI style marble and bronze antique fireplace in the evening salon welcomes and zodiac lighting in the shape of the Aquarius sign (Mr. Dior’s sign) in the fine jewelry salon sparkles.
It will be a thrill to continue to visit the boutique as the seasons and collections change within this amazing space!
(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published in VancityBuzz).