Global Luxury Leaders Converge Upon Hawaii to Celebrate Launch of T Galleria, the New Downtown Concept by DFS Group
SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 - This weekend, DFS Group (DFS), the world’s leading luxury travel retailer, unveiled its first Traveler’s Galleria — abbreviated T Galleria — from the heart of Hawaii in Waikiki. The rebranded identity will replace DFS Galleria, the Group’s downtown store concept started over four decades ago, at each of their 14 locations across the globe.
In honor of the occasion, DFS hosted celebratory activities for more than 600 of its guests, many of whom travelled to Hawaii specifically for the event. Notable attendees included HRH. The Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, Princess of Denmark; and Alexandra von Fürstenberg, both daughters of DFS co-founder Robert Miller; Neil Abercrombie, Governor of Hawaii; Golden Horse award-winning actor Ethan Ruan; international fashion model Jessica Michibata; Korean-American actor Daniel Dae Kim; and British music icon Estelle, who also made a special performance exclusively for the rebranding. The distinguished guests joined DFS executives, led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Philippe Schaus, as well as senior representatives from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and the world’s premier luxury brands alongside a large contingent of international press, in witnessing the milestone.
“After more than half a century of innovation in travel retail, we are thrilled to unveil our plans for continued industry excellence, as we again adapt our business in service of world travelers,” said Mr. Schaus. “We are proud to reveal the exciting path that lies ahead of us in the company of so many special guests, each of whom has played a key role in building our heritage through the decades and around the world.”
Explaining the evolution of DFS at a press briefing on Saturday, Mr. Schaus introduced the new brand identity and global roll-out campaign for the upcoming Galleria conversions. Members of the media also enjoyed an exclusive tour of T Galleria Hawaii, learning about its many special services and unparalleled product selection through the more than 700 brands carried by DFS.
An unveiling ceremony and gala event blessed by Hawaii, hosted for the world
At the pinnacle of the weekend, DFS revealed the new T Galleria logo during a breathtaking unveiling ceremony. A specially choreographed Cirque du Soleil performance ushered the VIP guests down a red carpet that wrapped around the store and led directly into the new T Galleria, while exquisitely-costumed traditional Pacific Island dancers and drummers performed a synchronized act. As a crowd of thousands looked on, the blast of twelve conch shells heralded the guests’ arrival at the entry of the T Galleria and the beginning of the ceremony. Fifty hula dancers then performed a progressive Hawaiian dance, followed by traditional chanting. After remarks by Mr. Schaus and a final Hawaiian blessing, the new logo for T Galleria emerged, to the delight of the crowd, in the form of a giant floral structure appearing from the mist enveloping the Galleria.
Festivities continued inside the T Galleria at a Gala Event. With 45 cages filled with live birds hanging from the ceiling and stunning visual merchandising displays, the setting brought to life DFS’ dynamic Fall/Winter 2013 campaign, shot by renowned fashion photographer Craig McDean and featuring top international models Karen Elson and Sean O’Pry. Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed entertainment by Cirque du Soleil and the highly-acclaimed DJ Rashida. The event concluded with a show-stopping act by Estelle, epitomising the spirit and energy of the fantastical evening.
Outside the Galleria, the party carried on for the thousands of participants of the public event. They enjoyed nonstop performances by a diverse range of artists, including Taimane, ukulele extraordinaire; Starr Kalahiki, the award-winning Hawaiian jazz artist; and the Noisettes, the famous British indie rock band.
“As the place where we first introduced our downtown concept in 1968, Hawaii is the ideal location from which to open a new chapter in the history of both DFS and travel retail,” said Mr. Schaus. “For more than four decades, we have been perfecting the downtown travel retail concept, and we are proud today to present the results of that dedication. As we now further deepen our expertise in the luxury segment with T Galleria, we once again confirm our commitment to evolving in line with the desires of our clientele, world travelers.”
The journey continues
On Sunday, guests participated in a curated program of Hawaiian activities DFS specially designed to demonstrate how its service expertise elevates the destination itself. Activities included a tour of the North Shore with a surfing class taught by U.S. surfing champion Ken Bradshaw, a spa retreat at the historic Sullivan Estate, and an exclusive DFS shopping experience. The unforgettable day ended with an elegant cocktail reception on Waikiki Beach, awash in the setting lights of the Pacific sun.
“We have spent more than fifty years innovating for and catering to the world traveler and are eager to continue for another fifty,” concluded Mr. Schaus. “We hope this weekend has offered a preview to our guests of the exciting developments to come as we fulfill this promise.”
Following the event in Waikiki, the DFS journey will continue in 2013 with the conversions of three Galleria stores this autumn in Hong Kong, followed by two in Macao at the end of the year.