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There can have been few more spectacular cocktail party settings during the history of the Duty Free Show of the Americas than the Duty Free Americas’ Cocktail Party at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa last night.
Spectacular silver staging and stunning brand backdrops from the likes of licensed brand Perry Ellis provided a setting more in tune with the haute couture world that the Falic brothers, who own Duty Free Americas, now successfully inhabit alongside their retail business.
Leon (pictured above with Martin Moodie), Simon and Jerome Falic have done an amazing job with Duty Free Americas since acquiring the then World Duty Free Americas from BAA on 11 October 2001. Note the date – one month after the 9/11 attacks that were to so badly hurt global travel retail.
From that difficult start the family-owned company has forged a flourishing travel retail business that has defied all the early sceptics, while adding a growing portfolio of brands such as Christian Lacroix, Hard Candy and Urban Decay. Recently it concluded a deal to go into Macao, part of a potentially wider international push.
No question about it, this is one of the industry’s big success stories of recent years and the style of – and investment behind – last night’s function made that clear for all to see.