Driving Dior

Christian Dior is using the importance of cruise and pre-spring to unveil an expansion of its product offerings aimed at broadening its customer base.

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"In the old days, cruise used to be basic," Toledano said. "What's new today is that they have all the creativity and inspiration."

Galliano stressed that Dior collections will always include "that finale dress" for fearless customers like socialite Dodie Rosenkrans, but there also must be something understandable for someone "who really wants the logo."

"I'm a very generous designer," Galliano said. "There's as much detail in a T-shirt as you will see in a couture dress."

Today, the Dior store network has 190 locations, and the company plans to end the year with at least 200, Toledano said. Stores are becoming larger — Dior recently opened an 8,000-square-foot store in Osaka, Japan, and 5,000-square-foot units in Las Vegas and Hawaii. Among the new locales being considered are Rio de Janeiro, Puerto Rico, Mexico City and additional sites in the U.S.

"Our potential is still huge," he asserted, and, gesturing to Galliano and his trusted right hand, Steven Robinson, added, "and they have plenty of ideas."

After an exhaustive tour of four rooms crammed with hundreds of products, from Peruvian baby dresses to embroidered handbags, Galliano couldn't resist adding a punch line to Toledano's sentence, laughing: "In case you hadn't noticed."
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