Do you remember the theme song to Cheers? It’s famed for being the place to go “where everybody knows your name”. The idea is that the bartenders know your drink and you’re in a safe haven. It’s an atmosphere for friends to gather.
At Daslu, they don’t just bring you your drink. If everyone there knows your name, then they also bring you racks of designer clothing, electronics, appetizers and shoes.
|Versailles in the jungle? No, it's Daslu's|
Today, Daslu’s flagship store is housed in a massive 180,000 square foot complex not too far from its original location. (They also have a smaller retail space in the Morumbi neighbourhood). Intended as an oasis for the mega-wealthy to shop in peace, Daslu has an otherworldly quality, but boasts an intimacy with its customers and availability of luxury merchandise that is nearly unheard of anywhere else in the world. Tranchesi’s philosophy was to cultivate its client base by getting to know her shoppers and their families well, and to foster brand loyalty as their families grow and children become enterprising, fashionable young consumers into adulthood. Tranchesi's daughter Eliana, who took over the business in 1983 after her mother’s passing, has continued that philosophy. The idea is that their clients are their friends. It makes for a far less impersonal connection between customer and merchant.
The Daslu complex requires customers to pass through two security gates before setting foot in the building. Almost nobody arrives on foot, and public transportation doesn’t exactly drop off busloads of tourists at the front door. Upon arrival, each guest’s regular salesgirl – known as Dasluzettes – greets the shopper at the front entrance and, if the customer is a returning client, then the Dasluzete will have already arranged for a private VIP shopping salon containing clothes of the latest finds. These are usually tailored to the customer’s tastes and brand preferences. (It goes without saying that price is not a barrier to a sale.) Valets take care of your vehicle as you alight and step into Daslu. The shop is not so much a building so much as it is, scale-wise, the Brazilian version of Versailles. The motif is Renaissance, but an intimate feel is apparent as the merchandise is well-displayed in long mazes of interconnected drawing-rooms.