In a town where successful entrepreneurs sport black turtlenecks or plain gray t-shirts, some luxury retail giants are seeing an opportunity to cash in. Silicon Valley billionaires are now getting a taste of the international fashion scene thanks to the entrance of some heavy-hitters in the fashion industry.
French fashion powerhouse Hermès celebrated the opening of its store in the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto in May with an exclusive ribbon cutting and gala attended by the company CEO, Axel Dumas, and nearly 80 members of the Hermès family. The celebration took place in the elite store, which was laid out like a posh apartment with plush couches, intricate light fixtures, and a unique digital art display created especially for the occasion.
No two Hermès stores are the same, making the brand’s newest retail addition a unique experience in its own right. Designed by Parisian architecture agency RDAI, an award-winning firm, the new store combines the sleek and modern feel of the area’s tech scene with a fun and funky Northern California vibe. The brick and mortar’s main room features beautiful herringbone mosaic tiling with lovely glass globe lamps and large windows that flood the store with natural light.
From the main room, store guests can venture into one of three separate areas housing the brand’s many offerings, from sparkling jewelry to sleek menswear to fashionable home goods. Unique to the Palo Alto store is the installation of digital artwork within its collection as a nod to the area’s technological inclinations.
Silicon Valley Goes Gold
The brand’s entrance into the tech scene in northern California really isn’t much of a stretch. Many of the area’s upper-class residents are already loyal Hermès customers, thanks to their love of horses and the brand’s elite equestrian line. The opening of the brand’s 34th U.S. store came after a very successful store opening in nearby San Francisco.
Hermès marks the third opening of a major luxury brand storefront at the Stanford Shopping Center, which is also home to stores for Louis Vuitton and Cartier, as well as high-end department store Neiman Marcus. In nearby Santa Clara, luxury shoppers can find Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent boutiques in Westfield Valley Fair.
The entrance of those luxury giants isn’t the only fashion making its entre to Silicon Valley. Comite Colbert, an organization made up of more than 80 French luxury houses from the fashion, hotel, gastronomy, and cultural sectors, has also entered into a deal with Stanford University. The agreement will bring French artisans to the university to teach Stanford students the art of goldsmithing, all in hopes of developing a new line of luxury creators in this tech-centric region.