Christian Dior opened its first Australasian flagship boutique in Sydney last week, reflecting continued demand for luxury fashion despite the tough economic climate.
The multi-level store on Sydney's Castlereagh St demonstrates the wider luxury market's focus on exclusive experiences that high-end clients demand, with a private salon for invited "VIP" clients accessible only by lift and limited edition pieces designed for the opening. There is also a dedicated two-level Dior Homme space, for the growing menswear market.
"High-end customers are continuing to spend, and big cities in Europe are still visited by a lot of tourists. Luxury has been protected by that," said Christian Dior president and chief executive Sidney Toledano, who flew into Sydney on Thursday for the opening.
"The US has been a very good market, and Asia has been excellent."
On Friday Dior announced revenue of €29.3 billion ($47.3 billion) for 2012, an increase of 19 per cent on 2011. This incorporates all elements of the brand, including perfumes and cosmetics, watches and jewellery, fashion and leather goods and couture.
Toledano said that while Dior had been in Australia since 1999 with small stores within DFS Galleria and David Jones, "now we see the market differently".
Australia has become a target for global luxury brands lured by a high Australian dollar, a healthy economy compared with Europe, and proximity to the emerging Asian market.
The success of a luxury brand, he said, involved innovation, a focus on quality, and a global, long-term strategy to resist economic volatility. "There will always be turbulence."