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:: Spotlight :: Emporium Melbourne delivers world-class launch

By: Carmine Pascuzzi; photos by Matt Deller

Emporium Melbourne has appointed Creative Visionary Baz Luhrmann to create its official launch celebration on August 20. Baz Luhrmann was chosen for his extraordinary ability to take an old classic and reimagine it into a contemporary icon. This sentiment reflects the vision of Emporium Melbourne, which has been dramatically transformed since first opening its doors as the Myer Emporium in 1911. More than three million people have experienced this Melbourne icon since it opened on April 16, reimagining the CBD retail landscape with its exceptional design and impressive offer across fashion and food.

The official celebration on August 20 also marks the arrival of even more fashion firsts and flagship stores, building upon Emporium Melbourne’s already impressive world-class line-up.

Some of the stores that have opened up in July and will do in August are:

- Kate Spade New York, the first of its kind in Australia, which will feature new digitally-controlled change rooms that enable customers to change backdrops when they are snapping themselves in the latest looks,

- The first Melbourne stores for Michael Kors and one of Australia’s most celebrated new designers, Dion Lee,

- The largest Topshop in the southern hemisphere and first store to the Melbourne CBD, delivering three levels of fashion,

These incredible fashion firsts join Victoria’s Secret, who also recently opened their first Melbourne CBD store. Over the coming weeks, Emporium Melbourne will also welcome flagship stores for:

- American brand Coach, with the launch of a brand new fashion direction

- Italian icon Furla and their range of high quality bags, shoes and accessories, celebrated since 1927,

- Fashion favourites Oroton and Ted Baker.

The arrival of these retailers are reason to celebrate with the completion of the Little Bourke Street International Precinct, delivering yet another dimension to this already outstanding line-up.

These fashion firsts and flagships will be joined by food stores as follows:

- South Yarra institution Dainty Sichuan, in the Urban Kitchen precinct on the Lower Ground,

- Supercharger Wholefoods, a celebration of superfood and vegetables by Restaurateur Paul Mathis and business partner George Incretolli,

- Gourmet food store Jones the Grocer, Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar New York and waffle and coffee.

Once all stores are open, Emporium Melbourne will be home to over 200 fashion and food brands, offering a reimagined shopping experience like no other.

Emporium Melbourne Centre Manager, Steve Edgerton said, “Having Baz Luhrmann as the Creative Visionary of our official launch is a major triumph for Emporium Melbourne. It reflects the quality of detail that has been put into this development, from the architecture and incredible store designs to our world-class collection of brands. This celebration will set us apart and further delivers on our vision of creating a reimagined shopping experience.”

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**Gala Opening Night**

It was a spectacular affair. After several months of a few shops opening up here and there in the grand old MYER Lonsdale Street building, it was time to REIMAGINE. The City of Melbourne opened up Emporium Melbourne in a gala fashion and it was movie director Baz Luhrmann whose role it was to curate the grand opening with all the glitz and glamour he's been associated with in his movies.

1910-1970 Melbourne was reimagined to colourful and dramatic effect as hundreds of guests witnessed 1920s bridal gowns, old time jazz tunes, showgirls, military girls, a grand piano, a giant tennis ball depicting the 1969 Australian Open and reimagined drinks from the prohibition era. It had everything. There was bundles of champagne bottles and hundreds of lamb cutlets to eat. They must have got them from the Woolworths supermarket as they were half price last week. But Baz stole the spotlight and gave the who's who of the Melbourne business and social communities a party to savour.

Here are pictures of the memorable evening, courtesy of Matt Deller.

Baz Luhrmann and showgirls
Baz Luhrmann with models and jockeys
Vince Colosimo & Baz Luhrmann
Natalie Bassingthwaighte & Baz Luhrmann
Baz Luhrmann with military girls
Scherri-Lee Biggs Natalie Bassingthwaighte
Isabel Lucas Talia Fowler and Timomatic
Lindy & Michael Klim
Melissa Juratowitch and Duckie Thott
Rachael Finch
Gwendolynne & Richard Nylon plus friends
Mimi & Arthur Galan