Imagine yourself Christmas shopping on the Mink Mile in Yorkville. You’re flitting in and out of stores like Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry, looking for the perfect gifts for your loved ones with no intention of sparing any expense.
A boutique lined with pink Christmas trees and dreamy cloud-like sculptures catches your eye, so you step inside. You find one-of-a-kind gifts from designers recognized at the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards: jewelry from Hestia, outerwear from SENTALER, down jumpsuits from Luxton, and others. And while you’re there, there just happen to be Mercedes-Benz vehicles for you to look at and capture in Instagram-perfect photos.
This is reality at Maison Mercedes, a 60,000-square-foot pop-up boutique at 100 Bloor Street West in Yorkville. And if you read this description and think this experience doesn’t seem designed for you, you may be right. It’s meant to attract those with the means and appreciation for the very finest things in life, up to and including vehicles from Mercedes-Maybach, the most upscale offerings from the Mercedes-Benz brand.
The boutique’s centrepiece is the Concept Mercedes-Maybach Haute Voiture, the latest ultra-luxury Maybach build based on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan
. The car is nothing less than stunning with its two-tone nautical blue and champagne paint, matching interior inserts in rich tweed, faux-fur floor mats, and rose gold accents. The one-of-one concept is on display in Toronto at the same time as the car’s production version is being revealed worldwide, a rare nod to the fact that Canada is home to an important haute couture market.
“In Canada, we have seen impressive growth for the Maybach brand,” Daniel Lescow, the global head of the Mercedes-Maybach brand, told Wheels.ca.
“We see very positive feedback, from especially Canadian customers, on the brand. Therefore, we are (also) in the process of preparing the launch for Canada of our flagship S-Class for the Canadian market.” (The Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC Sedan will be the first V12 Maybach sedan with 4MATIC all-wheel drive and starts in Canada at an MSRP of $290,000.)
The street-facing boutique is just one part of the Maison Mercedes experience. Walk through a dark tunnel lined with red and white lights and you’ll enter the Manufaktur Marketplace. Here, Mercedes-AMG products take centre stage, including a G-Class SUV that’s on hand to demonstrate how this and other Mercedes vehicles can be customized to order. More exclusive products are on display in this secondary space such as Cocobaby scarves, Jeffrey Levinson clutches, and Varsity Headwear—the latter’s caps made with wool and athletic wear materials and metal tags that can be engraved and personalized are among the boutique’s best-selling items.
Not so long ago, an auto show would have been the obvious place to display a vehicle like the Concept Mercedes-Maybach Haute Voiture and the G-Class. In fact, just as is the case with an auto show, you can’t buy a car at Maison Mercedes: the intent is to pique your interest and then connect you with a local dealer to complete the sale. But an auto show would be too restricting for a retail concept like this one, says Nikhil Ondhia, vice-president of brand marketing and digital experience for Mercedes-Benz Canada.
“When you're in the space (at Maison Mercedes), it's quite different than being an auto show. You couldn't recreate that in an auto show environment,” Ondhia says. “We don't sometimes see the auto show players wanting to change their format, whereas we'd love to evolve that experience further. … We really want to be relevant to our customers and enrich their experiences day to day as they live.”
Moreover, although only 150 Mercedes-Maybach Haute Voitures will be built in total and a “limited and exclusive” number of them will be allocated for our market according to a spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz Canada, the Yorkville pop-up has put the car in front of the right people, says Ondhia.
“The quality of leads that we see through our Maison Mercedes in Yorkville has been on point, and we're very delighted with the numbers that we see through there,” Ondhia says. “It's not just the special limited-edition vehicle that we look at (in the space). We look at the total brand experience and evolving what that marketplace is. And there are many customers who want to engage with Maybach.”
If you feel this experience does speak to you — or you want to snap your Insta-perfect photo with a very special car that’s only in Canada for a limited time — then hurry to Yorkville. Maison Mercedes is open daily until December 24.