Dior Cozies Up to New York City

It’s something of a rite of passage for upstart, New York–based fashion labels to start showing in Paris rather than on their home turf. But the spending power of the U.S. market is drawing Dior to this side of the Atlantic.

Dior Pre-Fall 2024 final. Credit: Paul Vu.

There are few Parisian fashion houses as synonymous with the U.S. as Dior. In 2021, “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” journeyed to Brooklyn after stints at the V&A and Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The show chronicled the rise of Dior since Harper’s Bazaar editor and through-and-through New Yorker Carmel Snow christened the designer’s New Look as such. From there, Dior became a fast favorite of Americans from New York to San Francisco, as documented in the de Young museum’s ongoing exhibition “Fashioning San Francisco.” The show even displays two archival couture gowns that Dior sent to the city’s department store I. Magnin & Company to jumpstart San Francisco’s fashion economy in the aftermath of World War II.

Fast forward a couple years and now the fashion house has become especially close with the Brooklyn Museum. For two years in a row, Dior has been a major sponsor of the museum’s spring Artist Ball gala. This year’s event was held last week and honored Titus Kaphar. Art-world luminaries Marina Abramović, Kehinde Wiley, and Mickalene Thomas were among those who joined Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri at the event, which has raised more than $3 million since it took place last Tuesday. The creative director has been on a whirlwind tour of New York in the past couple of weeks: in addition to the Artists Ball, she was an honoree of Project for Empty Space’s Badass ArtWomen Awards, and while she was not present at the New Museum Gala, its benefit auction of Thomas’s Dior Lady Art 8 bag fetched an eye-watering sum.

Maria Grazia Chiuri, Titus Kaphar, Anne Pasternak, Mickalene Thomas at the Brooklyn Museum Artists Ball. Credit: Darian DiCianno/BFA.

On Monday, of course, the designer’s stint in New York culminated with Dior’s Pre-Fall show at the Brooklyn Museum’s soaring Beaux Arts court. The fashion house has taken to breaking out of Paris for its between-season shows—last year it staged a runway extravaganza in Mumbai for pre-fall, and its far-flung resort shows are the stuff of legend in editors’ circles. Brooklyn may not be anybody’s idea of a tropical getaway, but New York City represents a key foothold for the brand: according to WSJ, the U.S. market was responsible for 25 percent of LVMH’s $93.34 billion in revenue last year.

Our partnership with Dior is truly special,” Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak tells Surface. “We were proud to host ‘Dior: Designer of Dreams’ in 2021, which was one of our most beloved exhibitions of all time. Since then, our partnership has flourished, including their support of our Artists Ball for the second consecutive year and the successful unveiling of their pre-fall 2024 collection earlier this week. As a longtime admirer of fashion trailblazer Maria Grazia Chiuri and her creative brilliance and bold vision, it has been so wonderful to watch this relationship grow.”

Mickalene Thomas's Dior Lady Art 8 bag on view for the New Museum's spring gala auction in April. Credit: Yvonne Tnt/BFA.
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