BRAZIL BOOSTER: As other world economies continue to falter, Brazil remains a relative bastion of stability. The rapidly growing middle and upper classes have not been lost on luxury brands, which are becoming as ubiquitous as the skimpy Brazilian fio dental bikini on the beaches of Ipanema. Riding the wave of Brazil’s growing affluence and consumers’ appetite for high-end goods is luxury mall owner and operator Iguatemi. On Tuesday evening, Diane von Furstenberg held a dinner at her New York headquarters in honor of Carlos Jereissati, chief executive officer of Iguatemi. “I’ve been a close friend of the Jereissati family for a long time,” she told the 75 guests. “I always heard about Iguatemi, but how excited can you get about a shopping center? It’s really not a shopping center. It’s the only place in the world that is a shopping center that actually has a soul.” Von Furstenberg, who opened a store at Iguatemi São Paulo last month, said it’s done $1 million in sales in six weeks. “You would not believe the numbers. You can’t believe how open the Brazilian customer is. She doesn’t care about the price. She buys it for herself. She buys it for her daughter. She buys it in every color. Then she buys it again because she lost it.” Later, von Furstenberg revealed that her first home store will open in Brazil.
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