Laure Hériard Dubreuil and Frederic Dechnik are two parts of the triumvirate behind The Webster, a newly opened luxury boutique in Miami. The high-end retailers offer a unique selection with a French sensibility that taps into the city’s growing international sophistication—an urban maturity that’s also reflected in Miami’s burgeoning arts scene. JC Report sat down with Dubreuil and Dechnik to talk about Miami’s international appeal, the distinction of a resort atmosphere and how they’re weathering the financial storm.
JC Report: Why is Miami ready for The Webster?
Laure Hériard Dubreuil: Miami has definitely become more of a cultural and popular destination for international clientele. This sophisticated group of people have a strong appreciation for luxury, fashion art, music and fine dining, which is the DNA of The Webster brand.
JCR: Have the styles of the city’s inhabitants evolved from the beach side aesthetic they were once famously known for?
Frederic Dechnik: With all the high end designers that have recently opened up shops around Miami Beach and the Design District, the city is evolving into a more luxurious and desired destination. Miami has a resort feel that New York, Paris and London don’t have, which allows us to buy more light fabrics and bright colors for the less urban look Miami carries. Unlike other fashion centers, Miami has a need for little dresses and cocktail attire, as it is a city that parties. But our clientele travel from all over the world to shop at The Webster.
JCR: What does The Webster bring to the fashion scene in Miami?
LHD: We have brought French taste and a French eye. We have brought high fashion brands like Balenciaga, Lanvin, Balmain and Azzedine Alaia to Miami Beach, and we have women and men traveling from all over exclusively for these brands.
FD: We eventually hope to open Webster stores in other cities around the world, but for now we are focusing on our flagship store.
JCR: What are some of the best selling items and brands for men and women?
FD: Lanvin, Balmain, Balenciaga for both men and women and Tom Ford for men fly off the racks. Our clients come to the store because no one else in Miami carries these brands.
JCR: There’s an artistic movement in the city with Art Basel and the growing design district. How is The Webster trying to tap into this creative energy?
LHD: It is a surprise, but for sure there will be collaborations with specific artists, galleries, etc.
JCR: Why did you choose to partner with Caviar Kaspia?
FD: Caviar Kaspia is our favorite restaurant in Paris. Since we have incorporated everything we love in terms of fashion, art and design into the Webster brand, Caviar Kaspia came very naturally. Also, the owner of Caviar Kaspia Paris, who happens to be a friend of ours, used to have his office in the historic Webster Hotel, which is a coincidence.
JCR: It’s a tough time for retailers everywhere—how is The Webster trying to whether the downturn? Tell us some of your strategies to lure customers.
LHD: Thanks to our very different and special selection, we attract customers from everywhere in the US as well as South America and Europe. We ship merchandise on consignment. Some of our best clients have never even been at The Webster—t’s incredible, we didn’t expect that at the temporary shop! Also we posted some pictures of selected merchandise on our website, which attracts customers from everywhere. Last but not least, we’re creating special shopping nights with some of the designers we carry. We have a very close relationship with all of the designers, so we get to have special pieces made for The Webster only. This is extremely exciting for our customers, as people are looking for one of a kind timeless pieces.