Luxury Fashion Brands Thronging Gauteng Area Malls

Luxury Fashion Brands Thronging Gauteng Area Malls

From IndependentOnline. Story by Helen Grange.

From Prada and Louis Vuitton to Paris Hilton and Tiger of Sweden, there is hardly an international label out there that you can’t find in a Gauteng, South Africa mall these days.

This month especially, fashion editors have been kept busy with a series of fashion retailer launches, mostly at Sandton City’s dazzling new 185-million-rand ($15.37 million USD) Diamond Walk.

Diamond Walk opened this month to much fanfare, and now houses a host of flagship stores of the world’s most coveted fashion brands including Prada, Ermenegildo Zegna, Billionaire Italian Couture, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Gucci and Arque Champagne Crescent.

It doesn’t stop there. At Menlyn Park shopping mall in Pretoria, a new fashion wing opened early this month, a triple-level smorgasbord of more than 100 cutting edge fashion brands including Paris Hilton, C-Squared, Geri, Superdry and Palladium – all firsts for Pretoria.

And at Cresta mall, new space is being created to give access to new retailers, many of whom are fashion, shoe and accessory brands.

Meanwhile, The Zone @ Rosebank is undergoing a 500-million rand ($41.5 million USD) revamp that will elevate its already trendy status as a fashion hub, where tenants include Diesel, Guess, Forever New, YDE and Republik.

This follows the huge redevelopment of Rosebank Mall, anchored by Stuttafords, Edgars and Woolworths as well as dozens of smaller boutiques like Lipsy London, Jo Borkett and Kurt Geiger.

Elegant Hyde Park mall is also in on the act, with its opening last week of a luxury Tiger of Sweden concept store. This Scandanavian brand is all about beautifully tailored suits for men and women, competing mostly with Hugo Boss.

The investments being made are nothing short of awesome. Aside from the stratospheric rentals some of these retailers are willing to pay, spending on their shop spaces is on a grand scale.

The Diamond Walk Prada store, for one, is now Prada’s biggest in the world, covering 800-square meters (8,611 square feet) and featuring black and white marble chequered flooring, crystal tables and velvet sofas.

Then there’s the price tags. A black and white shift dress by Prada can cost a cool 24,000 rand ($1,993 USD), and the media made the most of the Louis Vuitton crocodile leather handbag tagged at 400,000 rand ($33,237 USD).

So why this proliferation of fashion and splurging? The answer lies partly in the fact that the rich are getting richer in South Africa.

According to Sandton wealth intelligence company New World Wealth, South Africa has 46,800 millionaires, each with a net worth of $1 million (about 12 million rand).

But also, the middle class is growing fast, and it has more disposable income than in the past. The largest share of this growth is among black South Africans, and designer labels enjoy high spending priority, economists have found.

Read more at IndependentOnline.