Pietro Beccari Dior’s Chairman and CEO Discusses the Success of the House and the Vision Moving Forward

Lara Mansour   |   01-12-2022

Over the past few years, it seems as though Dior can do no wrong. With sales reportedly increasing exponentially year on year and the success of men’s and women’s collections being celebrated by industry experts it feels as though the sky is the limit for the Parisian fashion house.


Since joining as Chairman and CEO in 2018, Pietro Beccari has been working hard to build on the success of the brand and help to steer its direction moving forward. It hasn’t always been an easy ride, with a global pandemic, a digital shift and an ever-evolving customer base, luxury brands have faced some of their most difficult years in history. But it seems Beccari has got it right. Earlier this year he led the reopening of Dior’s iconic 30 Avenue Montaigne boutique in Paris after two years of renovations. The historic building has been the home of the House since 1946 when it was first discovered by Christian Dior. With this extensive renovation, the brand has reinvented the shopping experience, creating a lifestyle around the DNA of the brand. Spread across more than 10,000 square metres the space offers a (re)discovery of the House’s creativity by offering experiences of all of Dior’s facets from haute couture to fine jewellery, to the art of living and giving, to gastronomy, beauty and culture, all promising timeless experiences. 



This Christmas, Dior is taking over Harrods with a festive spectacular. The Fabulous World of Dior honours the friendship between the House of Dior and Harrods that has been developed for over 70 years. It features a gingerbread-themed festive extravaganza, as well as exclusive pop-ups and an exhibition reproducing, in an amazing play on scale and proportion, the architecture of Dior’s iconic locations. It is the first time a collaboration of this scale has taken place within the historical department store. As we prepare to celebrate the festive season, we talk to Pietro Beccari about this exciting event and the recent success of the Maison. 



The last time we met, one of the key quotes you mentioned was; “don’t think big, think huge.” Congratulations on a successful year for Dior, being on the top of the pyramid of the best performing and most desirable brands, to what do you attribute the success of the Maison today and what is it that you still aim to achieve?       

I think Dior’s growth is due to a combination of many different things. It’s difficult to identify precisely one. We differentiated our business with bags. We innovated in accessories. We multiplied many times the sales of the men’s collections; we developed in the jewellery and accessories sector. We have revived our stores with a new concept that is less intimidating and more friendly and open which has given us extraordinary results. And of course, the basis of the success is also down to the creative team and the amazing savoir-faire that Dior has. I believe in energy, in the transmission of emotions, in our storytelling and I believe in the teams behind the vision.


The Harrods project in London is the perfect example of the type of dream situation we have tried to produce at Dior for years. And yes, I always tell my people that they have to think huge, not big. So, in this case, I think that they heard me very loudly!



It seems to be an exciting moment for the luxury industry, especially after the pandemic where the buying behaviour is still consistent, how would you assess the industry today?       

In my opinion, we are in a period in which ultimately people want to be distracted, and they want to have moments of joy. And that’s the ambition we have at Dior. We cannot change the world and the way crises have impacted our lives, but we can do our job, and our job is to make people dream as much as we can. I believe with projects like the reopening of the 30 Montaigne store and this project with Harrods, we are completely fulfilling the task.




Speaking of the 30 Avenue Montaigne flagship store, congratulations on the reopening of that. Tell us about the reaction so far and what has been a key moment in this project. I personally visited it, and it was out of this world. 

To me, the key moment of the project was the initial idea which we proposed three months after my arrival. Having inherited a fabulous brand, managed fantastically by Sidney Toledano, I asked myself: “what can I do to make a small difference on this extraordinary House?”.


Mr Arnault was my partner from the beginning when we said, “let’s do this, even though it’s a bit crazy”, to the moment we opened. Of course, when he came in and saw the store when it opened, he expressed himself like I rarely heard him, saying “Mon Dieu! Ça c’est fantastique!”.


To my knowledge, something like this did not exist before. But judging by the number of competitors that came very frequently to see the store, it’s something that has had an impact on the sales and on the image of the brand. The reaction of our clients is really impressive!





To what extent today it is crucial to ensure a 360 immersive experience when it comes to retail and in-store shopping? 

I have to come back to the 30 Montaigne project on this point because with this we wanted to create retail 2.0 experience. We wanted to have the ultimate physical experience. I call it the “anti-metaverse” because finally, you are in the Dior universe, you are living a dream, and you can really touch and feel everything… it’s a living representation and symbolisation of our DNA.


Selling a lifestyle and sharing the set of values of a brand today is almost a must to sell products. You don’t only sell products; you sell who you are, you sell what you like, and what you don’t like, and essentially, you are selling part of your history. All of this is part of your products and the savoir-faire, and therefore you have to talk about it. This is what I call retail 2.0. At Dior, we believe very much in that.




It is said that over-visibility kills desire, how are you balancing between being commercially aggressive yet remaining exclusive to a certain clientele?

With everything we do in terms of visibility, we are nurturing our desirability. And desirability, finally, is the engine of the sales of tomorrow. Even during a period of crisis, people want to have a good moment, to feel some emotion. Actually, in the end, it is about emotion. Even if the market is down, we want to steal market shares from our competitors. So, events like what we have at Harrods eventually help us to be more visible, more present, and ultimately, more successful.



How is technology aiding the customer experience at Dior today?

If you think of the 30 Montaigne store, it’s anything but a counterproposal to the digital experience; rather, it serves as a continuum between the physical and virtual worlds through technological innovations. The experience is “flowless:” a customer can see what they want to buy at home or from their hotel, and then they can come to the boutique to try on their desired items. There’s no checkout system: you can pay anywhere in the boutique at any time. If our customers want a table at Le Restaurant Monsieur Dior, they will be notified by text of availability and waiting time. Information about the works of art on display is also available on their smartphones. Everything is simple and fluid.



What is the biggest challenge you face as a CEO today?

With every brand I have worked for the challenges have been different. The secret is to be able to zero it, to level it, and then say: “Okay, what is best for this brand?” Not to repeat what I did well before somewhere else. That’s the difficult part. I think as a CEO, you should be very good at fitting the brand into this set of values, identifying them, and digging into the core values. That’s how the brand will flourish.



Moving forward tell us about the continued vision that you have for the Maison?

“Dream in Dior” has been our motto from the start and it is exactly about identifying what makes this brand different and respecting that. It’s not about being too traditional or too literal. As Mr. Dior said, tradition is there to be tickled, to be pulled, to be stressed, and to be relevant for nowadays. Ability and action, and risk-taking are part of today’s world if you want to succeed.



The collaboration with Harrods is incredibly exciting, tell us about this partnership and the concept revolving around it.

We have never led a collaboration of this scale with a department store. This is an absolute first, and there are surprises and exclusivities on every floor: the façade of the Brompton Road entrance is adorned with a monumental installation aglow with a play of light radiantly showcasing Dior’s fundamental references as reinterpreted by artist Pietro Ruffo for the Dior cruise 2023 collection. The compass rose, lucky stars and scintillating flowers will guide visitors along the historic window displays through a fantastic gingerbread tableau. Like a magnetic Shepherd’s Star, a central sculpture – built to an impressive height of seventeen metres, the building’s largest structure to date – seems to dance in front of the dome of the British department store, guiding visitors within.


For the first time in the history of the department store, each of these iconic displays – from Brompton Road to Hans Crescent, via part of Basil Street – is converted into a small theatre of wonder, with scenery made of gingerbread – an essential English Christmas treat – punctuated by mouldings and details sculpted in sugar and caramel, tickling the fancy of those with a sweet tooth and expanding the imagination of all.


Then, a fabulous exhibition is unveiled, reproducing the architecture of Dior’s emblematic locations – from Granville to La Colle Noire and 30 Montaigne – in reduced proportions. A fantasy universe, entirely composed of finely crafted cookies, punctuated with arabesques and delicate drawings, an expression of the audacity and art of detail so important to the House. Last but not least, two dreamlike pop-ups – an ode to Monsieur Dior’s attachment to the celebration of Christmas and the art of cherishing loved ones – along with a Café specially conceived for the occasion, promise unforgettable moments of joy and sharing. 



Can you tell us about Dior’s presence in the UK and why this is an important market for the brand?

Firstly, we think that London is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities at Christmas. Harrods is also one of our most important partners, one that has worldwide recognition and stature, one that can give us a platform to speak not only to the British people but to the world. And I think with this project, we will gain in terms of image and relevance as Dior is an iconic brand as much as Harrods is an iconic retailer. We have been associated with Harrods since 1953 when we had the first corner in London, and in 1954, we collaborated in the form of a show inside the department store. So, we are not newcomers, and it’s part of our DNA to do things that have an impact worldwide. Here, especially in London thanks to Harrods.



For those travelling from the Middle East to London what can they expect from this collaboration?

Speaking to families is the objective. Because in famous department stores in the UK, US or France, there is a tradition of bringing your kids, over the festive period, to admire the windows displays. With this project, we want our clients from the Middle East and all around the world to enter into this tradition and be part of it. We have adapted the model of the department store, and in a way, also gave a touch of romanticism to the history of Dior.



What is in the pipeline for Dior on a regional and a global level that we can expect in 2023?

We have a lot of big projects that will come in 2023 but I cannot unveil them now. We will try, once again, to surprise and bring emotions.



What is a message you would like to address to the clients and friends of Dior in the Middle East?

Our Dior universe offers positive energy and optimism, just like Monsieur Dior was optimistic after the Second World War. And I think this is the way to go. We have nothing but that: the hope of living the dream we are living here today.