French Maison Chanel Purchases Bond Street Store for £310 Million

The same week that Chanel unveiled its new Spring/Summer 2021 collection at the Grand Palais in Paris, the French Maison has announced that it purchased its Bond Street store for £310 million, in a show of confidence to retail in London.

Chanel’s little black dresses, softly tailored tweed jackets and two-tone shoes have been a fixture at 159 Bond Street since 2013. In a boom for British retail, the Parisian fashion house has agreed to pay £310 million to buy the boutique outright, which is £70 million more than the original £240 million asking price. 

Chanel reportedly fought off competition for the prime location from the Abu Dhabi royal family, as well as private investors in Hong Kong, Europe and America. Spanning 12,600 sq ft, the flagship boutique is one of the largest Chanel shops in the world and houses the French Maison’s complete offering of ready-to-wear, footwear, accessories, fine jewellery and beauty, with sumptuous VIP changing rooms and an art-filled lounge.

The Chanel Boutique at Bond Street is one of Chanel’s largest spaces worldwide, the store covers three floors and sells fashion, beauty and accessories. 

Designed by Peter Marino, the boutique’s showpiece is a supersized, sculptural string of pearls that hangs down the middle of the stairwell, made from hand-blown Murano glass by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel.

The French Maison has further outposts on Sloane Street in Knightsbridge and Walton Street in Brompton Cross, as well as a jewellery boutique on New Bond Street. 

The acquisition highlights Chanel’s commitment to British retail despite the high street reporting a fall in sales and shoppers following lockdown measures. While the premium brand accessed the Bank of England’s emergency coronavirus lending scheme at the start of the pandemic, borrowing some £600 million, the company has said this has since been paid back in full. 

While it is an undeniably difficult time for British retail, the luxury sector has continued to perform well: there have been consistent queues outside Bond Street’s most popular boutiques since they reopened in July, as well as steady footfall in Knightsbridge and Chelsea. During September, The Deck opened as the first all-female tailor on Savile Row, and Thom Sweeney unveiled a multistorey townhouse on Old Burlington Street. Off-White also recently debuted its first standalone London store on Sloane Street.

Chanel is currently controlled by Alain Wertheimer, 72, and his brother Gérard Wertheimer, 69. In 2018, the French fashion house elected London as the base for its global headquarters, transferring staff from New York and its native Paris. In 2019, Chanel increased profits by 16.6 per cent, totalling $3.5 billion, and announced in June that it still expects to turn a profit in 2020. 

Chanel devotees can rest assured that the Parisian mega-brand isn’t budging from Bond Street. Come into the beautiful world of Chanel.

Hermès at Galería Canalejas, Madrid

French Maison Hermès reaffirms its close and long-standing relationship with Spain. On 1 October 2020, Hermès was delighted to announce the opening of a new store in Galería Canalejas in the heart of Madrid. Set in the affluent core of the capital, the heritage-listed neoclassical building is an architectural icon now revived as a contemporary cultural hub.

Located on the ground floor, and flanked by the wide,elegant boulevards of Calle de Alcalá and Calle de Sevilla, the new 230-square-metre Hermès boutique strikes a harmonious balance between the history of the address and a new vision for retail, imbued with the house’s emblematic aesthetic language.

Come into the beautiful world of Hermès.

Neiman Marcus Exits Bankruptcy, Looks to Reimagine Business

Serving as an unexpected light in the retail crisis brought on by the Covid-19 virus pandemic, Neiman Marcus has officially come out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to reports, the luxury department store has cleared a sizeable amount of debts and has brought on new owners to reimagine its business.

Neiman Marcus has officially come out of bankruptcy, a process that left the upscale department store with a lighter debt load and new owners to confront the same industry trends that led to its financial woes.

The Ares Management Corp. and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board have now sold their stakes in Neiman Marcus Holding Company Inc. to Pacific Investment Management Co., Davidson Kempner Capital Management and Sixth Street Partners. Accompanying the change of owners is new board comprised of six members including, Pauline Brown, the former chairman of North America for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, and Kris Miller, the former chief strategy officer at eBay.

Under new management and board, the retailer eliminated more than $4 billion USD of existing debt and now looks to combat the continuing challenges that put it into bankruptcy. The new owners have also prepared a $750 million USD exit package that will go towards refinancing a loan and bring much needed liquidity to the business.

With the financial cleanup completed, Neiman Marcus and its Bergdorf Goodman store still must deal with the pandemic’s fallout, shopper defections to online merchants and a preference among younger customers for experiences instead of objects.

The current environment for a fashion luxury retailer isn’t ideal. The company was hit particularly hard by the pandemic. The Neiman Marcus Group temporarily closed its 43 Neiman Marcus and two Bergdorf Goodman stores nationwide in compliance with guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, although 31 locations have gradually started to reopen. The company filed for court protection in May.

The new owners “understand the value of our brands and the opportunity for growth”, said a Geoffroy van Raemdonck, the chief executive officer who kept his position during the bankruptcy process and will now lead the turnaround effort.

Some of Neiman’s creditors and retail peers couldn’t say the same. Lord & Taylor has been running going-out-of-business sales, and Stein Mart Inc. is being dismantled. Marble Ridge Capital, a creditor that peppered Neiman Marcus with objections to its debt maneuvers before and after the bankruptcy filing, is being wound down after co-founder Dan Kamensky’s tactics drew criminal charges.

“While the unprecedented business disruption caused by Covid-19 has presented many challenges, it has also given us the opportunity to reimagine our platform and improve our business”, said van Raemdonck. “We emerge from Chapter 11 as a stronger, more innovative retailer, brand partner, and employer”.

The Neiman Marcus Group runs 43 Neiman’s stores and two Bergdorf Goodman stores, as well as an online business that includes neimanmarcus.combergdorfgoodman.com, and the Mytheresa luxury web site.

Bankrupt Neiman Marcus Officially Shuts Down

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When Neiman Marcus opened a store in Bellevue in 2009, many locals were skeptical that a shop specializing in four-figure cocktail dresses and handbags could survive the Great Recession. But while the upscale scale retailer proved its skeptics wrong in that recession, it isn’t so lucky this time.

Neiman Marcus (Neiman Marcus Group) is the premier destination for luxury fashion and unparalleled service. For more than a century Neiman Marcus has transformed and elevated the shopping experience, becoming a leading purveyor of the world’s most unique luxury goods.

Just 16 months ago, Neiman Marcus rolled out the red carpet to debut its 188,000 sq.-ft. store at Hudson Yards mall, the ambitious retail project on the West Side of Manhattan. Now after much speculation, the bankrupt retailer has confirmed it will exit the location as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring.

The Neiman Marcus Group is just one of many major retailers being severely impacted by the Covid-19 virus pandamic, joining the growing list of brands filing for bankruptcy. Prior to the outbreak, there was speculation that the company, which is behind Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Mytheresa, Last Call, and Horchow, was the next retailer to file for bankruptcy because of its $4 billion in long-term debt. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an additional struggle for the retailer, as its stores have been closed since March.

The 113-year-old retailer follows several other fashion brands that have succumbed to the pressures of the pandemic and filed for bankruptcy over the last few months, including J. Crew, J.C. Penny, Centric Brands and True Religion, among others.

The Neiman Marcus Group temporarily closed its 43 Neiman Marcus and two Bergdorf Goodman stores nationwide in compliance with guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has since reopened 31 stores for customer traffic.

Court documents indicate the retailer is closing four Neiman Marcus locations, including its recently opened 188,000 square-foot location at Hudson Yards, as well as its Bellevue, Wash., Palm Beach, Fla. And Fort Lauderdale, Fla. locations. It has also closed 17 out of 22 Last Call outlets. Sources indicate that Neiman Marcus may also close its doors in Dallas, St. Louis, Natick, Mass. and Westchester, N.Y. The company is also closing two of its distribution centers in Longview and Las Colinas, Tex.

Several factors contributed to Neiman Marcus’ bankruptcy. The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the company’s operations because of its temporary store closures nationwide. The company also furloughed roughly one-third of its 13.700 employees as a result of those closures. Neiman Marcus plans on having a reorganization plan confirmed by early September.

The Corona virus pandemic has also a big inpact on the bankruptcy proceedings. One impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the bankruptcy proceedings is that the Neiman Marcus Group cannot liquidate the business while stores remain temporarily closed. It also may be more difficult to negotiate debtor-in-possession financing to keep the business running during the pandemic.

Partly for political reasons, and the decisions that have been made, the Covid 19 pandamic is not over yet. Its far from over, especially in some of Neiman Marcus’ ‘cities’. So lets think about the loyal 13.700+ employees in this véry difficult times.

 

 

 

 

Neiman Marcus in Bankruptcy Proceedings

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Neiman Marcus (Neiman Marcus Group) is the premier destination for luxury fashion and unparalleled service. For more than a century Neiman Marcus has transformed and elevated the shopping experience, becoming a leading purveyor of the world’s most unique luxury goods.

The luxury retailer Neiman Marcus began its long-anticipated bankruptcy proceedings due to the Covid-19 shutdown, and ‘filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas having lined up $675 million in debtor-in-possession financing and reaching a restructuring support agreement with a majority of its lenders’,” WWD announced. The company plans to eliminate $4 billion in debt in the bankruptcy process.

Prior to COVID-19, Neiman Marcus Group was making solid progress on our journey to long-term profitable and sustainable growth. We have grown our unrivaled luxury customer base, expanded our industry-leading customer relationships, achieved higher omni-channel penetration, and made meaningful strides in our transformation to become the preeminent luxury customer platform. However, like most businesses today, we are facing unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has placed inexorable pressure on our business.

Geoffroy van Raemdonck, chairman and chief executive officer

The filing helps the company to lift its crushing debt load, which has been as issue that has loomed for years, but the road ahead through the COVID-19 crisis is still extremely uncertain for Neiman Marcus and the rest of retail.

After the pandemic is over, reopening stores will likely take time and resources to make sure it’s safe to shop at stores, while there are no guarantees that the costumers will come back when stores do open. Shoppers may feel hesitant from a health point of view, or they may have been negatively impacted financially, which will hurt the luxury retail segment first and foremost.

The Neiman Marcus Group runs 43 Neiman’s stores and two Bergdorf Goodman stores, as well as an online business that includes  neimanmarcus.combergdorfgoodman.com, and the Mytheresa luxury web site.

 

 

 

 

Gucci Opens Its First Boutique Dedicated To High Jewellery In Place Vendôme

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If you’re Paris bound, then you’ll want to make sure a visit to Place Vendôme is on your list of things to do as Gucci has opened its very first boutique dedicated to fine and high jewellery.

If there’s one thing that Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele is absolutely obsessed with (well, aside from his muses Florence Welch, Harry Styles, Jared Leto and Lana Del Rey), it’s jewellery, evident in the numerous shots on his personal Instagram page which show him stacking his beloved rings and rows of eclectic-looking bracelets.

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So it doesn’t come as a surprise that he has been tasked with creating the Italian luxury brand’s high jewellery and watch collection, several of which come with unique stones personally sourced by Michele himself. To celebrate this momentous milestone, Gucci is launching the collection (along with an assortment of fine jewellery pieces) at 16 Place Vendôme, the Italian luxury house’s first high jewellery boutique in Paris that’s situated alongside some of the world’s finest jewellers, like Boucheron, Bvlgari, Cartier, Chaumet and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Such an exceptional collection certainly deserves an equally remarkable setting. And the Place Vendôme, built in 1686 by the French King Louis XIV and home to many haute couture brands – Chanel, Bvlgari, Dior, Boucheron, Chopard, Piaget and Cartier among others  — is the perfect venue for Gucci’s newest boutique.

Presenting an elegantly muted design aesthetic, its stands out in stark contrast to Gucci’s other international boutiques that are abundant in distinctly amplified and exaggerated tints. A monochromatic mosaic floor, white marble, furniture carved out of ebonized wood, and antique mirrors – all add to the drama of the jewellery on display and bring out the inner charm of these precious gems.

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Titled Hortus Deliciarum, named after the medieval illustrated encyclopedia – it comprises over 200 one-of-a-kind pieces that come in 3 distinct themes. The first consists of classic pieces that pay homage to eternal love, timeless classics rendered in coloured gemstones and precious diamonds. The second is an ode to the animal kingdom, evident in the diamond-encrusted lions, Ouroboros serpents and tigers found on a generous selection of rings and opulent bracelets, just to name a few. The third is all about singular solitaires with a maximalist allure; just picture your favourite pear-cut coloured gemstones (blush rosé topaz, honey hued imperial topaz, velvety green tourmaline) decked out with sparkling diamonds and finished with an exquisite setting that reinforces Michele’s maximalist aesthetic.

And if there are two words that can be used to describe the brand new boutique, it would be elegance and sophistication. Step within and you’ll find the boutique furnished with a monochromatic mosaic floor, with cabinets crafted from ebony wood lined with verde aqua satin that only serves to illuminate the precious jewellery within.

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In other words, it’s still Gucci, but a whole new universe that’s on another level altogether, created to beautifully showcase the high jewellery pieces. Heading to Paris soon? The Gucci High and Fine Jewellery boutique is open now at 16 Place Vendôme, Paris

Come into the beautiful world of Gucci.

 

 

 

 

Christian Dior Boutique at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

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The Maison Christian Dior retail concept is now featured in selected airports worldwide. The Paris Charles de Gaulle airport boutique, located in Terminal 2AC’s ‘Parfums d’Alcôve, has been designed to host a ‘new Dior universe’, one dedicated to the love of perfume and to the art of gifting.

We are very proud to launch Maison Christian Dior at Paris Charles de Gaulle, in Paris, in France where the House of Dior was born. This was only possible thanks to a great partnership with Lagardère Travel Retail, SDA and Paris Aéroport.

Floriane Pampiglione, Parfums Christian Dior General Manager Travel Retail Europe

The boutique offers an exceptional invitation to travellers to discover a large collection of fragrances, candles and soaps. The products are the work of Dior Perfumer-Creator François Demachy, and have been crafted to celebrate a ‘resolutely contemporary French art de vivre (art of living)’.

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The Maison Christian Dior concept is featured in selected airports worldwide. The first pop-up boutique in an Asia Pacific airport opened at Singapore Changi last year.

The Charles de Gaulle boutique presents 22 fragrances, a combination of Dior classics and newcomers. Ambre Nuit and Happy Hour feature alongside Thé Cachemire, Sakura,  Oud Ispahan and Jasmin des Anges. Demachy’s latest creation, Holy Peony, is also highlighted.

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The boutique immersed travellers into the Dior Parisian tradition. The fragrances for women and men, along with candles and soaps, are presented in beautiful gift boxes finished with a coloured cord and a Maison Christian Dior wax seal.

Come into the wonderful world of Christian Dior.

 

 

 

Chanel opens pop-up store in Amsterdam

 

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Especially for Christmas the iconic Chanel No.5 perfume appears in a fire-red jacket. But the news is even more spectacular, this floral limited edition will be sold from December 6 in a temporary beauty & fragrance boutique in the Runstraat 22 in Amsterdam, one of the famous Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets).

Chanel-No.5-Red-EditionRecently, French Maison Chanel launched a limited edition of its iconic No.5 perfume. For the first time in the history of the legendary French fashion house, this perfume of French soil is being revamped in red. This fire-red bottle is the reason why Amsterdam gets a new (temporary) Chanel hotspot. In the 9 Streets you will find the Chanel pop-up store from 6 December to 6 January, where you can immerse yourself in Chanel.

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The special ‘Fragrance & Beauty Ephemeral Boutique’ as the store is called, is located in the Nine Streets in the capital. What can you expect? Immerse yourself in the world of Chanel in complete Christmas theme, with the iconic Chanel No.5 in all shapes and sizes and the limited edition in red. You can also find the latest make-up collections and the make-up classics of the French fashion house .

In the display case you will find a giant No.5 Red Edition flacon, and in the shop Chanel Christmas trees, huge Chanel statues and a library.

Score the perfect Christmas gift here. In the store you can of course get make-up and skin advice from the Chanel experts and all your gifts will be wrapped up extra festive and luxurious according to Chanel’s ‘Art of Wrapping’, Chanel’s unique way of presenting gifts. As far as I am concerned, it’s definitely worth a visit!

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Enough shopping? Discover fascinating fashion secrets. In the pop-up store a library has been created where you have the opportunity to browse through a number of Gabrielle Chanel’s books in a relaxed environment.

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The Chanel Fragrance & Beauty Ephemeral Boutique is located at the Runstraat 22 in Amsterdam and its open from today until 6 January 2019, Monday from 12.00 to 19.00, and from Tuesday to Thursday from 12:00h in the afternoon 19:00h, on Saturday from 10:00h to 18:00h, and on Sunday from 12.00h to 17.00h. Tel. +31 6 28490569

(Photos: Chanel – Bart van Vlijmen). Come into the world of Chanel.

 

 

 

The first Guerlain Boutique in the Middle East opens in Riyadh

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French Maisoon Guerlain opened its first boutique in the Middle East in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, The store, Guerlain Parfumeur, which is located in the Saudi capital’s Riyadh Park is completely dedicated to its fragrances.

Guerlain invites you to discover the World and Wonders of the perfumer. Jicky, L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Shalimar, Vétiver, Samsara, Mon Guerlain, Santal Royal etc. are all iconic creations with the ability to take the imagination on a journey through time and space.

The new boutique showcases the rich and unique world of Guerlain. Designed as a fragrance library, the only one of its kind in the world, the store allows you to explore 190 years of creativity and passion. An impressive 110 fragrances out of the 1,100 the longstanding French house has created since 1828 are presented as 110 chapters in the history of French perfumery.

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They are classed according to the perfumers’ 14 favourite raw materials. These natural raw materials, known as the ‘Guerlinade’, are beloved by the brand that also specialises in skincare and cosmetics, and they perfectly express its spirit of creativity and audaciousness, plus the art of intense concentrations and compact formulas.

Whether its the founder, Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain, exploring Imperial Russia in a stage coach on the search for his birchessence, Jacques Guerlain and his Indonesian Benzoin, or Thierry Wasser and his Indian Vetiver, the boutique is all about sensorial discovery.

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As well as entering the world and wonders of the perfumer and getting acquainted with iconic creations like ‘Eau Imperiale’, ‘Jicky’, ‘L’Heure Bleue’, ‘Shalimar’, ‘Mitouko’, ‘Parure’, ‘Vétiver’, ‘Samsara’, ‘Santal Royal’ and ‘Mon Guerlain’ (to name just a few), the store extends exclusive fragrance offers.

What’s more, you can discover your fragrance profile thanks to a digital consultation. Fun, fast and incredibly accurate and efficient, the digital consultation allows you to find your signature fragrance with just a few clicks. And not only for women!

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Plus, of course, there’s that all-important customisation service. The coloured bee bottles, which are exclusively available at the Guerlain Parfumeur boutique, can be refilled at the fountains, affirming Guerlain’s commitment to the environment and sustainability.

Guerlain Parfumeur Location: Riyadh Park – Ground floor, next to Entrance 2. Come into the beautiful world of Guarlain.

 

 

 

 

Cartier Ion Orchard reopens its doors with a special exhibition titled Cartier, Icon of Style

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By now you must have already caught sight of the gorgeous Cartier ferris wheel parked outside Ion Orchard shopping mall – or seen it plastered all over Instagram. This gigantic structure is just the first of many things happening at this Cartier boutique, which is set to reopen its doors officially on 24th November. And did you know that this three-story boutique is the largest Cartier store in all of Southeast Asia?

Spanning a total of 688 square metres, the store’s remodelling was done by the famed Parisian artist, designer, scenographer, painter and photographer Bruno Moinard, who made sure to marry the French Art de Vivre (art of living, the French way) with multiple references to Singaporean culture as a Garden City – embracing the beauty, richness and diversity of it all.

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Artist’s impression of Le Salon Cartier on the third level of Cartier ION Orchard

Inspired by the Singapore’s tropical climate, the external 20-metre-long glass façade is patterned with palm trees and raindrops to elicit a sense of privacy and exclusiveness. Another key feature is a custom-made sculpture of art – in the stairwell between the first and second floors. The Cartier panther – carved in bas-relief – nestles amongst the tropical environment on a plaster panel, referencing to Singapore’s very own flora and fauna.

On the third and highest floor, the Le Salon Cartier has been enriched with Peranakan artefacts exuding the splendour of this beautiful local Singaporean culture.

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Shirin ‘Nina Dyer’ Aga Khan Panther Bangle

But more exciting news awaits. Cartier Singapore has – as part of the reopening celebrations – specially curated an exhibition of selected historic and extraordinary pieces brought in from the Cartier archives in Paris. The exhibition titled ‘Cartier, Icon of Style’ has been specially curated – showcasing selected beautiful historic and extraordinary jewellery pieces.

More than a Cartier symbol. A timeless emblem first tamed by Louis Cartier and his muse, Jeanne Toussaint, the totemic panther carries on her reign.

Titled Cartier, Icon of Style, the exhibition highlights, among other things, the origins of the Maison’s love affair with the panther motif. The French Maison was the first jeweller to adopt the panther. The elegant feline was used for the firts time on a wristwatch in 1914 with a setting of onyx recreating the animal’s fur.

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Barbara Hutton’s Tiger Clip

When Jeanne Toussaint was appointed as creative director in 1933, the panter became even more as an emblematic motif for the Maison. Toussaint worked closely alongside founder Louis Cartier and was nicknamed ‘La Panthère’, presumably due to her freedom, strength of character and the love pather in her lifestyle. One of her most outstanding inputs lies in the search on volume and attidudes of the animal. For Jeanne Toussaint, the panther – now an iconic motif – is clearly the emblem of timeless femininity unfettered by convention.

Marked by wild and beautiful femininity, the fearless and audacious panther later seduced countless personalities; royalty, celebrities and femme fatales, who would continue the legend through new savoir-faire and unexplored attitudes in precious materials.

Both, Louis Cartier and Jeanne Toussaint, also had a mutual interest in, not to say a fascination with, other cultures. This has helped shape not just the aesthetic of one or other object, but the entire Cartier style. A visual language, wich has extended to every creation and whose ‘vocabulary’ has been constantly expanding.

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The Duchess of Windsor’s Panther Brooch

The ‘Cartier, Icon of Style’ exhibition highlights the orgins of the panther and its rich connections with some of the most well-known figures, such as the Duchess of Windsor, Shirin – Nina Dyer – Aga Khan and Barbara Hutton, just to name a few.

Open to the public, the exhibition will run from November 24 to December 6. Monday to Friday: 12pm to 9.00pm, Saturday to Sunday: 10.30am to 9.00pm. Keen individuals are encouraged to indicate registration interest on Cartier ‘Icon of Style’ as viewing slots are limited.

Come into the world of Cartier.