Louis Vuitton comes to Kazakhstan
Starting Oct. 11th, Kazakhstan will be home to its first Louis Vuitton boutique, which will be located in the city of Almaty, the country’s former capital, which has become its main fashion destination. The flagship store will include luggage, accessories, jewelry, ready-to-wear, and shoes for both men and women. "The opening of a store in Kazakhstan continues our pioneering spirit," said Yves Carcelle, President of Louis Vuitton, who will give up her title in early 2013 to Jordi Constans. "Ever since its inception, the house has reinforced its international presence in new locales. The opening of our new store in Almaty coincides once more with a unique context of rapid cultural and economic development."
The store will occupy a strategic location at the entrance to the luxury mall – Esentai Mall Center. The mall has been billed as a sign of the revival of a country that has recently seen a new generation of luxury customers, whose fortune was made mostly in the mineral and energy sector. This upscale mall will open to the public on Oct. 20th with a Saks Fifth Avenue department store of over 100,000 square ft (10,000 m2), operated by the local distributor Viled Fashion.
The Esentai Mall Center is one of seven buildings erected recently as part of the project Esentai Park, which extends over three hectares and comprises luxury hotels (including Marriott), offices and entertainment centers (including Imax). It is designed entirely by the American architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). This is the same firm that is responsible for the design of "One World Trade Center", the new highest skyscraper of post-9/11 Manhattan.
Other major French brands, too, could find a place in the Esentai mall eventually. Meanwhile, other Almaty luxury players—the multibrands Sauvage and Rush, for example— may well see their monopoly begin to erode with the opening of this mega-center where European luxury will be in the spotlight.
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