Dior at Harrods again; AK Retail buys Evans; plus Selfridges, Manscaped, Monica Vinader
Dior’s link-up with Harrods late last year made a huge impact and the company is continuing the close relationship this month with three pop-up boutiques in the luxury department store.
The “exceptional spaces host the different worlds of Dior and celebrate the strength, fragility and beauty of a femininity in perpetual motion embodied by Maria Grazia Chiuri’s autumn-winter 2023-2024 Dior ready-to-wear collection,” we’re told. The first recreates the warm cocoon of a library dressed in the Plan de Paris motif inspired by a scarf designed by Monsieur Dior in the 1950s. The second is an ephemeral gift shop. And the third features “irresistible leather goods to be discovered in an enchanting cabinet of curiosities aglow with chromatic nuances”.
AK Retail is continuing its acquisition spree after buying failed M&Co earlier this year. The Yours Clothing, BadRhino and PixieGirl owner has paid £8 million to buy former Arcadia plus-size brand Evans from Australia’s City Chic Collective. The latter had acquired the e-tail and wholesale business for £23 million in late 2020. AK Retail founder and owner Andrew Killingsworth hailed Evans’ global profile and said he’s “looking at how to revitalise this brand and make it what it should be”.
Selfridges chief Andrew Keith is aiming to collect more data on its customers — something that was less of a focus under its previous owners. “We didn’t really know who our customers were ... Spending the time and the money to understand that, and deepening our relationship with them, is the way we will realise our ambitions,” he said in an interview with The Times. He also said the government’s decision not to allow M&S to develop its Oxford Street store next door to Selfridges was “highly disappointing at a time when investment on Oxford Street has never been more needed”. He wants Westminster city council to reimagine Oxford Street as a more diverse commercial district. And while he said Selfridges remains a key international destination, he added “international visitors are coming, but not spending to previous levels”.
Manscaped, the global men’s grooming company and lifestyle consumer brand, has launched in Boots in the UK and Ireland. Boots is the first physical retailer to stock the brand in the UK, although it’s already in two other retailers in Ireland. Boots is stocking the brand's grooming tools and formulations in 270 locations across Britain plus 26 stores throughout Ireland, as well as on Boots.co.uk and Boots.ie.
Jeweller Monica Vinader has re-certified with Positive Luxury to use its Butterfly Mark, which signifies “brands meeting higher and higher standards for people and nature”. Those awarded the mark must undergo a comprehensive assessment built on the foundation of international agreements, global frameworks and standards, and potential upcoming legislation. And they have to re-certify every two years. Vinader said: “The assessment has allowed us to get an honest and realistic view of where we are on our sustainability journey, including what we’ve done well and what we need to improve on. The certification has provided a platform to communicate more widely with our stakeholders.’’
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