Despite a GDP per Capita that has ranked for many decades as one of the highest in the world, the Dutch have traditionally had a cultural awkwardness towards openly embracing luxury. Contrary to other European countries not hampered by any frugal Calvinist inhibitions, the monobrand luxury fashion store was virtually non-existent. But the seeming disinclination towards the phenomenon which once prevailed started to change with the opening of the Louis Vuitton boutique in Amsterdam in 2002. It was considered an audacious move at the time, but the arrival was very well timed as the perception and appreciation of luxury and fashion had started to slowly shift closer towards the sensibilities of fellow Europeans. More than ten years on, the dutch capital has become the leading hub of high-fashion retail in the Netherlands, and now boasts a respectable number of monobrand luxury fashion stores.
The influx of these brands is ongoing and it has gained new momentum with the recent store opening for yet another illustrious name from the LVMH fold: Dior. Located on the city’s shopping strip for high-end brands, the store occupies two floors and features an interior design by New York-based architect and longtime collaborator Peter Marino. The aesthetic is inspired by the brand’s iconic flagship store on Avenue Montaigne in Paris and oozes the vibe of a luxurious boudoir. It’s an oasis of pristine white, captured in custom-made moulded fixtures and paneling, and is furnished with a variety of matching display counters.
An expansive tilted glass roof at the back section of the store allows in floods of daylight which is reflected by the slabs of mirror placed throughout the store. The ground floor presents the Dior women’s ready-to-wear collection, trophy bags and accessories. A swirling marble staircase decorated with ornate wrought iron and shiny brass leads to the fluffy carpeted basement section. Done up in similar luxurious boudoir style, the setting here is a tad more intimate. A seating area in the middle is surrounded by sleek shelving units on which the elaborate women’s shoe collection is showcased.