By Hanna Rantala and Mimosa Spencer
LONDON (Reuters) - French fashion label Christian Dior kicked off the holiday shopping season in London on Thursday, unveiling a Christmas spectacle at Harrods – with tennis star Emma Raducanu presiding over the event.
The LVMH-owned brand outlined the London department store's façade with lights, emblazoning the entrance with an enormous star and filling the windows with sugar sculptures and merchandise.
"This is one of the biggest things we ever did together," Pietro Beccari, Dior's chief executive officer told Reuters, noting the brand first took over a corner of the classic British upmarket store in the 1950s.
The elaborate holiday set up comes as the luxury sector grows strongly, with wealthy locals and deep-pocketed tourists splashing out on designer fashion despite soaring prices.
"We're atypical - we focus on the really ultra high net worth individuals, and they haven't really been hit by the crisis," said Michael Ward, managing director of Harrods.
Beccari said there were ongoing challenges from China COVID lockdowns and store closures in Russia, but that there was still "a great appetite for luxury."
Inside the store, the French fashion house set up an exhibit of gingerbread-style renditions of buildings from the life of its namesake founder, filling them with intricate displays, open for public viewing through a free online booking system.
(Reporting by Hanna Rantala and Mimosa Spencer, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)