When Dover Street Market first launched in 2004 with a creative bazaar it offered a mix of high-demand luxury fashion, niche independent labels, and in-store activations and art installations, multi-brand retail was changed forever. Innovative at the time, the concept is ubiquitous in today’s shopping landscape.
As a division of Comme des Garçons, the Japanese group whose namesake is itself a cult name, Dover grew to account for nearly one third of revenue over the years that followed. Then Covid-19 hit, and sales plunged 25 percent. Business has returned to pre-pandemic levels, CEO Adrian Joffe says, but that doesn’t mean the trailblazing retailer is resting on its laurels.
As Dover Street Market Paris prepares to debut next year inside a sprawling 17th-century mansion in the Marais, the company recently announced the launch of a new events arm, 3537. In addition to being its last, the location in the City of Lights will serve as a proving ground for a new approach that flips the emphasis from a store with cultural programming to an experience-centric platform with retail integrated into concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, and more.
That includes events outside of Dover’s physical locations in London, Tokyo, New York, Singapore, Beijing, Los Angeles, and soon Paris. This month, for instance, it organized artist Serkan Sarier’s exhibition opening in a Berlin church. It’s a bold move for a revered staple of the fashion world, but one that leaves Dover Street Market poised to reinvent retail yet again.
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