Soon after joining Dior in February 2018, chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari set out on an ambitious project: renovating the French luxury house’s Avenue Montaigne flagship.
Pre-pandemic, the flagship was the top-selling Dior store in the world. Renovating would mean closing it and relocating teams. Beccari, bullish on the plan, did just that. The flagship’s boutique, haute couture salon, ateliers and offices closed, and employees were dispersed across 29 other sites in the neighbourhood. On 6 March, it reopens after two-and-a-half years.
The new, 10,000 square-metre Dior flagship now houses a gallery space, the restaurant Monsieur Dior and Pâtisserie Dior, two eateries both led by buzzy French chef Jean Imbert, three gardens, a 200-metre guest suite and more. Offices have been relocated (and will be reunited under one roof on Avenue des Champs Elysées when the new headquarters open); otherwise, all the pieces of the original store are back in play. The flagship store carries all categories, including ready-to-wear, leather goods and jewellery. Beauty gets nice play in the store, marking a new step in bridging the brand’s fashion and beauty businesses. In short, luxury customers and fans of Dior can eat, sleep, wear and work out in Dior.
Beccari calls the flagship a “game-changer”. “We don’t regard it as a boutique, we see it as a complete experience,” the executive says. Dior stressed the “architectural tour-de-force” orchestrated by Peter Marino, the architect in chief.
LVMH doesn’t disclose sales for individual houses. Christian Dior Couture generated €6.5 billion in 2021, and Parfums Christian Dior, led by president and CEO Laurent Kleitman, €3 billion, according to HSBC estimates. With Louis Vuitton, Dior has led the post-pandemic rebound at parent company LVMH.
With the standalone La Suite Dior, the house has made its first entry into hospitality. Also designed by Marino, it offers perks for guests including the opportunity to keep the boutique open through the night for 24/7 access.
The exhibition “Christian Dior: Designer of dreams”, which attracted more than 800,000 visitors at Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2017 for the 70th anniversary of the house before travelling including to the Brooklyn Museum in New York from September 2021 to February 2022, gave Beccari the idea of adding a gallery—one of the largest exhibition spaces dedicated to fashion in France.
With a separate entrance, 13 rooms and a dedicated shop and café, it showcases the house’s archives with a scenography by Nathalie Crinière. “Each room tells a story,” says Olivier Bialobos, One Dior chief communications and image officer and director of Dior Maison.
“It’s important to continue to make people dream. It brings desirability to the house,” Bialobos says.
This article was originally published in Vogue Business.