Mainland China, Singapore and Bangkok have become increasingly important destinations for luxury brands, particularly Haute Horlogerie. Hublot, Roger Dubuis and Rado all opened boutiques in Asia during the holiday period, whilst Stella McCartney and Omega opened flagships in Las Vegas and London.
Following a string of Asia Pacific openings in 2010, Bottega Veneta opened doors on it’s newest Chinese boutique in the Matro Shopping Mall, Suzhou. Handbags, luggage, women’s and men’s shoes, small leather goods, eyewear and an assortment of items for the home are housed in the 130sqm space, in keeping with the brands current worldwide design concept
Creative director Tomas Maier remarked ‘The city’s unique architecture, rich culture, and blend of ancient and modern ways reflect the values that Bottega Veneta aspires to: timeless elegance, distinctive design, and a balance of tradition and innovation. This store will allow Bottega Veneta to offer our exceptional service and luxurious shopping experience to everyone who lives in and visits Suzhou.’
Joining an increasingly impressive roster of luxury brands at Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands, Rado opened their first Singapore boutique alongside its first global brand ambassadress, Rene Liu. In partnership with Dickson Watch & Jewellery, the new boutique reflects the calm, serene aesthetic of the Swiss design brand’s characteristic obsession with flawless surfaces. The Singapore store is the first to adapt the new design concept, seeking to contrast brilliant and matte surfaces reflecting the materials integral to Rado’s design watches.
To celebrate the opening Rado announced two timepieces available exclusively at the Singapore store – Rado Centrix Store Special and Rado Tune Chronograph Rene Lie Special.
Swiss haute horlogerist, Roger Dubuis, recently celebrated the opening of its Thai flagship boutique in Bangkok’s Gaysorn shopping mall. The 150sqm space is decorated in rich gold, red and black and is the brand’s first in Asia to contain a one-stop customer service centre staffed by certified watchmakers.
Roger Dubuis also took the chance to showcase its classic collections – Excalibur, KingSquare, Easydiver and GoldenSquare – which were presented by celebrity guest models. Also on show at the opening was the ‘KingSquare Skeleton Tourbillion – Jewellery Design’ that is fitted with 331 diamonds and is priced at over 30 million baht.
Famously ‘green’ Stella McCartney unveiled her latest American boutique in Las Vegas, within the Crystal’s complex at CityCenter. The 270sqm space incorporates sustainable oak parquet floor complimented with plum, pale pink, blush and taupe colours – the brand’s signature shades. The third US flagship incorporates a giant crystal sculpture of a horse, originally created as an equine chandelier for an art exhibition in the 14th century Belsay Castle in Northumberland. Made from 8,000 individual Swarovski crystals, it pays homage to her late mothers favourite horse.
The boutique, designed by the London-based Raw-Edges for Established & Sons, will carry the full Stella McCartney women’s ready-to-wear, shoes, bags, sunglasses, organic skincare, adidas and children’s collections.
Downtown Beijing now plays host to the third and largest Hublot boutique in China, following recent openings at Plaza 66 in Shanghai and the Intercontinental Hotel in Dalian. The 100sqm boutique is located at the entrance of the prestigious Wangfujing Street in the premium Oriental Plaza, following the ‘Art of Fusion’ philosophy, the design incorporates steel, carbon fibre, aluminium and singular alloys with wood, leather, rubber and glass.
Jean-Claude Biver, LS Member and CEO of Hublot, declared: “Each opening reflects the great vitality and fantastic expansion of Hublot, with every month seeing the inauguration of new exclusive locations in the most prestigious settings around the world. Totalling 30 boutiques by the end of this year, including Paris Place Vendôme and New York on Madison Avenue, Hublot has never been so strong and successful as it is today”.
Joining Cartier in the historic Prince’s Building, China’s Qeelin opened their fourth Hong Kong boutique and launched the Couture Collection in late 2010. In the creation of the new boutique, Qeelin continues its long-standing relationship with architect Mr. Steve Leung. Creative Director of Qeelin, Mr. Dennis Chan remarked: ‘Steve’s talent for effortlessly blending apparent contradictions – Asian and European, minimalist and luxurious – is the perfect fit for Qeelin.’
The 64sqm space has been adorned in shades of red and black, where jewellery is aesthetically arranged in window showcases extending from floor to ceiling, allowing for greater display space. The mirrored ceiling and oversized twin mirrors on each side of the store give a feeling of spaciousness, whilst the black marble framed doors and thick woollen carpet provide a feeling of real luxury. Finally the bespoke VIP area, separated from the store by a red velvet curtain, allows clients to relax and enjoy the collection privately.
Housed in a 260sqm Spanish Colonial mansion, on the corner of Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard, Badgley Mischka have a new ‘lifestyle’ space, displaying their three house labels, accessories and leather goods. The two-story store displays Badgley Mischka Couture, Collection and Mark+James on the lower level, alongside jewellery, watches, handbags and sunglasses. The first level is a private salon for bridal and made-to-measure. Driven by the duo’s philosophy that clothes shouldn’t be hidden by ornamentation, the design incorporates a subtle colour palette of gray, white and sandy tones, wrought iron, crystal and dark wood planks.
“When James and I started our business, a designer customer would only wear a certain price point or a certain this or that, and all those rules are tired and broke now,” said Mark Badgley. “They buy what they want to buy. They buy what they like. We can provide more of a lifestyle now in our shops, which is why we thought we were ready for the big lifestyle store in Beverly Hills.”
The Monaco boutique is the latest in the Montblanc’s retail strategy, joining the three Paris boutiques alongside recent openings in Nice, Lille, Nancy, Montpellier, Bordeaux and Metz. Writing instruments, watches, jewellery, handbags and small leather goods are housed in a 75sqm space, furnished with white stone floors, ‘greige’ carpets and alternating dark blue and beige walls to highlight the products.
Prominent London address Regent Street is the latest home to an Omega flagship tore, the brands 5th in the city. Positioned over two floors, the 230sqm space contains an Omega VIP area on the first level, offering an intimate environment for clients and guests. On the ground floor an LCD screen will display a continuous countdown to the London 2012 Olympics Games, for which OMEGA is Official Timekeeper. The spacious, sophisticated interior will showcase the brand’s famous watches, jewellery and leather accessories, ranging from classic designs to limited-edition models.
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