Dior Opens a Spectacular New NYC Flagship Boutique

It’s funny what a privilege it seems, just being able to walk around a shop now without a mask. But returning to the all-day, unfettered shopping sprees of those not-so-long-ago pre-pandemic days will probably be a slow process – as many are still a bit too shellshocked to be considering dressing up for glamorous nights out, even as the vaccination programs seem to be doing what they’re meant to do.

Certainly an encouraging sign is the opening of a spectacular new Dior flagship boutique on that storied street of fashion dreams, New York’s Fifth Avenue. Located at the southeast corner of 59th Street (just a couple of blocks from Saks), it spreads out over two floors and almost 6500 square feet – with enough sartorial temptation to go a long way to overcoming any lingering hesitancy about being in a room full of strangers (fellow shoppers) for the first time in more than a year.

Perhaps tellingly, the design strategy eschewed any hints of glitter or glitz, instead conveying a sense of Zen serenity and cool minimalism. Indeed, the color scheme of the primarily light wood interiors is based around the soothing tones of off-white and light silver, with accents of beige and pale blue (no neon pink or princely purple here) – so the overall feel is almost therapeutic. Contemporary furnishings in the Louis XVI style reference the aesthetic of a traditional Parisian Hôtel Particulier (grand townhouse), while some spaces even evoke the feel of a mod hotel lobby lounge.

But the most pronounced symbol of the House of Dior is the Napoleon III inspired Cannage emblem motif appearing throughout, most prominently noticeable on an updated version of Versailles parquet flooring. The pattern is also immediately visible within a stately 20-foot dome at the store’s entrance.

Despite all the attention to detail, the location will actually be temporary (about two years), while the French fashion house’s 57th Street flagship is being renovated. But everything Dior will still be available here, men’s and women’s, ready-to-wear, leather goods, fine jewelry – and two sneaker walls of about ten feet high each.

“A temporary store can be a temporary store,” observes CEO Pietro Beccari, “or it can be an occasion. I believe in the fact that you need to exploit every chance you are given, or every chance you create for yourself, to represent a part of the brand or to further build the equity of the brand.”

And after seventeen months of dreary quarantine conditions, the “occasion” of an extravagant Dior shopping splurge sounds just about right.

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