Back in August 2009, rumours began circulating that Prada was looking to open its first flagship store in Auckland. According to insiders, certain well-known fashion retailers were brought on as consultants to advise Prada on key details such as locations and staffing. Another rumour suggested a new luxury retail development would open in 2011 that would house every major fashion house. Top architects were requested to tender for the job, to design spaces for all sorts of names that were being tossed around; Christian Dior to Tiffany & Co, Burberry to Dolce and Gabbana. Fast forward 20 months, and the Prada (and other) rumours appear to have been just that – rumours, however the Britomart luxury retail development in downtown Auckland is nearing completion.
Boutiques begin to open from early May. Jo Malone and MAC stores are going in, a Ted Baker store is confirmed, but the jewel in Britomart's crown is none other than Chanel. According to sources, New Zealand's first ever Chanel flagship will open in the Britomart development mid-year. Whether that will encourage the aforementioned houses to follow suit remains to be seen, but perhaps more pressing is this conundrum: Will Karl Lagerfeld fly in for the opening? If not, will he at least send a giant lion or two in his place? An iceberg? A two-storey Chanel No. 5 bottle? A singing Baptiste Giabiconi? So many questions, so little time!
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