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Harrods Fetes Berluti

London stores hosts swanky dinner for 100 on shop floor.

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LONDON—Harrods morphed into a Michelin-starred restaurant Wednesday night as part of a dinner celebration to mark the opening of a full-scale Berluti shop-in-shop on the ground floor.

Guests including Bryan Ferry, David Gandy, Eva Herzigova, David Collins, and Jay Jopling gathered on the terrace of Ladurée for cocktails before sitting down at a table that stretched across the ground floor men's department and overlooked the new space.

"I've come on EasyJet to Harrods," said Collins, who had returned to London from Mykonos shortly before the dinner. He wasn't wearing Berluti shoes, but rather Louis Vuitton ones. "It's the same family," he said, adding that one of his dreams is to cover a car interior with Berluti leather.

The long table was decorated with the wooden lasts of famous Berluti customers including Roman Polanski, Yves Saint Laurent, Francois Truffaut, and Isabelle Adjani, while napkins were tied with fine leather shoelaces. Guests dined on caviar and blue lobster cooked up by the Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, and drank wines including a Sauternes from Château d'Yquem - another member of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton family.

During the dinner Antoine Arnault, Berluti's managing director and the son of Bernard Arnault, reminisced about his first pair of Berluti shoes - a 17th birthday present from his father. "At the time, I had long hair and loved Nirvana and wasn't interested in being the heir to a luxury goods empire. I think I wore the shoes once, and then put them away," he said, adding that - even at that age - he realized they were something special.

The Harrods shop-in-shop, which carries footwear, accessories and the new ready-to-wear collection, is the second Berluti to open after the unit at Hankyu department store in Osaka, Japan. It spans 1,047 square feet and includes features from the new store design, including a shiny and matte wood, and leather and glass panels and details.

Arnault said Wednesday that work has already begun on the current Berluti store on London's Conduit Street, and the refurbishment will be finished next year. In the meantime, Berluti will open a temporary store on New Bond Street - not far from Conduit Street - for six months until the building work is finished.

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