Supermodel Eva Herzigova launches Kazakhstan luxury mall in style
The Esentai Mall, part of a luxury development which also includes the country's tallest building, the Esentai tower, opened Friday in Kazakhstan. Czech supermodel Eva Herzogova was joined by over 1,000 fellow VIPs to celebrate the opening, which takes advantage of Almaty's position as a major new financial services center in Central Asia.
The US $450 million was designed by SOM, the same architects as the Time Warner Center in New York, and contains 160 stores. Notable is the inclusion of a 9,000sqm Saks Fifth Avenue department store, marking the first time the famous New York brand has branched into Asia.
"The world's most sought-after luxury and high street fashion brands are coming to Almaty as they realise the enormous potential of the market," said Burak Oymen, co-founder of the mall's owner Capital Partners. "Their commitment is a sign of their belief in the growth and potential in Kazakhstan and the region," he added.
It is the first time domestic Kazakh consumers have had the chance to buy brands including Burberry, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana and Loro Piana, which are all debuting in the mall.
Yves Carcelle, chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, which has opened a store in the mall, called the development "a symbol of modern Kazakhstan." GDP per capita has grown ten-fold since the mid-1990s in Kazakhstan, with Forbes magazine reporting that there are now over 12,000 millionaires in the country.