Pebbles and shells aren’t the only sparkly items you’ll find in Mykonos this summer, as Cartier has opened a seasonal store on the Greek island, just one of many temporary boutiques that luxury houses are now operating here and elsewhere. exclusive beach places. like Capri, St. Tropez and St. Barts.
“Luxury brands are following the consumer,” Sarah Willersdorf, global head of luxury at Boston Consulting Group, wrote in an email, “and that consumer is spending more time than ever in vacation spots, with some going as far as shopping. second and second category products. third homes.”
Scheduled to operate until September in the Mykonos village of Nammos, the Cartier boutique has a typically Greek look: it’s housed in a whitewashed structure surrounded by olive trees. Inside, the store features a mural by Greek artist Konstantin Kakanias depicting a Mediterranean landscape of whitewashed houses against a blue sky and sea (as well as a ship carrying a Cartier panther and one of the house’s red jewelry boxes). .
Both the Mykonos store and another boutique in East Hampton, New York, opened in May as part of the Cartier D’Été retail program. The name, which means Cartier during the summer in English, is also a pun on the French expression quartier d’été, or summer house.
“We felt there was a need to interact with a nomadic audience and we thought it was a good way to test the location,” Cartier marketing director Arnaud Carrez said during a video call. He noted that half of the store’s initial sales went to Americans and about 30 percent to Europeans.
And what did they buy? Cartier Classics: pieces from the Love and Juste Un Clou collections, as well as panther-themed jewelry.
The Parisian jewelry house began experimenting with pop-up boutiques more than a century ago, on the French Riviera. Since 1975, the company has also had a seasonal store in the Swiss ski resort of St. Moritz, and other temporary boutiques are planned under the umbrella of Cartier d’Hîver, or Cartier during the winter.
Bulgari has also followed the example of its founder, Sotirio Bulgari. In the early 1900s, he opened seasonal outposts in St. Moritz and another Swiss resort, Lucerne, as well as Sorrento, Italy. For several years, the house has operated vacation boutiques in glamorous Italian destinations such as Capri and Porto Cervo, a city on the island of Sardinia; last year, Bulgari added new stores in Bodrum, Turkey, and in Mykonos.
Each Bulgari boutique tailors its product assortment to its location (some offer pieces from the high jewelry collection, others don’t), but this summer, all pop-up stores offer what the brand calls a “resort collection” of raffia accessories that Jean-Christophe Babin, its chief executive, said he was inspired by the vibrant colors of the Mediterranean.
“After years of enduring lockdowns and living behind screens,” he wrote in an email, “the resort collection celebrates this return to normalcy.”
Seasonal stores are also a fixture at Chopard, which has them in Mykonos and Santorini, as well as St. Moritz and the French ski resort of Courchevel. Glenn Spiro, whose main showroom is in London’s Mayfair neighborhood, has temporary boutiques in St. Tropez and Los Angeles, and plans to open a third in St. Barts. “People think I’m crazy to only have stores open a few weeks a year, but it works for me,” Spiro said in a phone interview.
And every summer since 2015, Eugenie Niarchos’ Venyx brand has operated its only store stocked exclusively with Venyx jewelry at the Belvedere Hotel in Mykonos.
Ms. Willersdorf, of the Boston Consulting Group, said profound changes in the global population, driven by taxes, regulations and consumers’ desire to live different lifestyles, started before the pandemic, but then those changes They were accelerated by covid.
The outage has also prompted some luxury names to convert their temporary sites to permanent locations. Boghossian, for example, operated a series of temporary stores in Monaco, but later decided to open a permanent boutique at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo.
And Sotheby’s has made permanent the galleries it opened in 2020 in the Hamptons and Palm Beach, Florida. “Now we’ve become part of the fabric of those places, and customers come to Palm Beach and the East Hamptons, too, because we’re there.” David Schrader, global head of private sales at Sotheby’s, in a phone call. This summer, the East Hamptons gallery will feature creations from two London-based jewelers, Solange Azagury-Partridge and Cora Sheibani.
The lingering effects of the pandemic, including the absence of Chinese tourists trapped in their country’s zero-Covid policies, have luxury brands chasing customers wherever they are, said Achim Berg, head of the apparel group, fashion and luxury from McKinsey & Company.
“A strong dollar and a weak euro are helping,” he said, but the bottom line is that after two years of waiting, “people travel and want to dress well.”