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The Grand Opening of DFS Galleria Macao last night was one of those moments in life that one feels privileged to have been part of.
The invitation card from DFS Group Chairman and CEO Ed Brennan came with the message ‘Your key to unlocking luxury’. And from the start of the three-hour multi-themed celebration that took place throughout the Galleria’s three ‘Worlds’ (Beauty, Fashion, Watches & Jewellery) to the private dinner afterwards, it was indeed an evening of total luxury.
In fact the term was taken to a new level inside ‘The Luxury Vault’, an extraordinary assembly of exquisite and rare pieces from Aurora, Blancpain, Chanel, Chopard, De Beers, Dior, Glasshütte, Hèrmes, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Juvenia, Panerai, Ulysse Nardin and Van Cleef & Arpels. Inside that vault – a private viewing room behind black curtains – was housed some US$9.1 million worth of outstanding and rare luxury pieces.
Today I was given my own private showing by Watch Sales and Training Manager Richard Wong (a lovely, knowledgeable man, pictured below; more of that in a subsequent blog) but last night it was open, amid very high security, to very real potential VVIP buyers.
The De Beers Diamond Emerald Cut Ring alone was worth US$5.6 million. It’s an almost unbelievably beautiful product and its ultimate sale – which, in this fantastic shopping emporium and with DFS’ excellence in forging one-to-one customer relationships, will surely happen – will do wonders for the retailer’s average transaction value.
Superlatives are thrown around too easily on occasion in the luxury world. But last night truly had it all. Class but understatement in equal measure. Elegance without a hint of brashness. Sophistication without pretense. Finery blended with friendliness. And plenty of real heritage in evidence too.
The ‘fashion show’ at the dinner – featuring some beautiful luxury items worn by models who were themselves showstoppers – was in a class of its own. We’ll bring you images of those cameo moments next week.
It was a night when travel retail assumed a new dimension. DFS is understandably proud of what it has achieved here. That pride shone, from Ed Brennan to the individual shop assistants, as brightly as a certain De Beers diamond.
[Pictured (left to right): DFS executives Tim DeLessio (Asia Group President); Michael Schriver (President, Worldwide Store Operations); and Lynn Arce (Vice President, Global Creative & Internet Initiatives); with Abu Dhabi Airports Company’s Dan Cappell and Martin Moodie.]