While the new Louis Vuitton store on New Bond Street has been in the limelight in recent weeks, one of the best new stores around has slipped under the radar somewhat. The refurbished Dolce & Gabbana store re-opened at the end of last month, here too, is a perfect example of the power of compelling brand identity.
The epitome of ‘maximalism’, this is not a store that does bland – featuring a riot of dramatic colour, pattern and Sicilian style. The flagship store is one-of-a-kind within the D&G estate, deliberately curated as a space where brand aficionados can find a range of exclusive products not available anywhere else. That means plenty of reasons for shoppers to visit and immerse themselves in the D&G world, rather than simply buy online. From exclusive clothing collections and Caltagirone ceramics, to limited edition Smeg fridges. The exclusive collaboration with iconic kitchenware brand perfectly placed at the front of the store to sit alongside their Christmas gift food offerings.
Its newly installed Christmas windows hit a perfect balance of being festive yet on-brand, featuring a Christmas tree adorned with Mini D&G Panettone tins and hand-painted Sicilian style glass baubles (one of the many exclusive products sold inside), an ornate sleigh holding D&G handbags and mannequins dressed in classic D&G outerwear.
… proving that the term ‘luxury’ can be demonstrated across all price points.
The store is home to men’s, women’s, children’s, beauty and accessories. Within the beauty department, products are showcased in the most exquisite packaging, proving that the term “luxury” can be demonstrated across all price points. Overall, there is a particular focus on customised products, with hand-painted handbags created on-site, bespoke to each individual customer.
This ‘unique’ feel is further enhanced by the use of vintage fixtures to house the product, with beautiful wooden cabinets originating from the atelier, previously owned by the parents of Stefano Gabbana. This nugget of brand history – relayed by one of the attentive sales associates who took it upon themselves to give a guided tour of the store – as well as a passion and skill for storytelling provides a new appreciation of what makes the brand so special. To hear the historical legends behind the artisan products and appreciate the detail in the store design truly adds another dimension to the retail experience.
… a fine example of how brands in the sector can retain their competitive edge.
As shoppers become ever-more discerning in their choices, perceptions of the word “luxury” continue to evolve. Today, it is no longer simply defined by a price tag. It is not, in fact, confined to products: the experience is more important than ever. Yes, Dolce & Gabbana is synonymous with luxury but even it understands that its store environments must feel special and make customers feel special once inside. It’s a fine example of how brands in the sector can retain their competitive edge and the reason why we ended up opening our wallets and spending money on products we had no intention of buying – retail at its finest.
See more images from the refurbished Dolce & Gabbana London flagship here.