From its sleek, monochromatic colour palette and clean, architectural lines, to the fact that it looks more like an art gallery than a retail space, the newly reopened Saint Laurent store at Mall of the Emirates has Hedi Slimane written all over it.
The former creative director of Dior Homme arrived at Saint Laurent in 2012 and has since set about infusing every facet of the storied fashion brand with his signature avant-garde style. This extends all the way down to the architecture and design of its stores around the world.
Re-opening on Monday, February 1, the 421-square-foot Mall of the Emirates flagship is the first in the region to carry the new Saint Laurent store concept, which is being touted by the fashion house as “a physical embodiment of the brand’s realigned visual identity”.
The concept favours rich materials, generous proportions and simple lines – and is a stark reminder that less is almost always more.
There are art deco undertones in the 1930s-style vitrines, which are finished with nickel-plated and mirror-polished brass. The use of “blanc statuaire” and “noir soie” marble, complemented by dark quilted-leather upholstery and suspended brass hangbars, sets the tone in these monochromatic, minimal spaces.
The interplay of matt versus polished, in the case of the marble, and nickel-plated versus mirror-polished, in the case of the brass, adds texture and richness to a seemingly simple design aesthetic.
It’s the perfect backdrop for Slimane’s collections, which are characterised by a tight-fitting, rock-chic silhouette.
The Mall of the Emirates store will showcase ready-to-wear pieces for men and women, as well as accessories.
“We are very proud of having renovated and enlarged our location at Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, under the architectural concept developed by Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent,” says Saint Laurent chief executive Francesca Bellettini.
“This is now our largest store in the region and it carries the full range of Saint Laurent collections for both genders, representing a true flagship.
“This investment further strengthens our positioning in the Middle East, [which] is, and remains, a very essential market for Saint Laurent, doubling in sales over the past two years.
“Together with our stores in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, the renovation of our historical location in Mall of the Emirates further consolidates the brand image in the Middle East, offering a unique and consistent experience to our clientele.”