Status Store: For A Retail Romp, The Rich Head To Daslu

On a balmy day in July, Eliana Tranchesi stopped by the Balenciaga showroom in Paris to scrutinize the new season's handbags. With her honeyed mane, steely mien and enduring proclivity for body-skimming Dolce & Gabbana, Tranchesi is a familiar figure among the habitues of Europe's chicest ateliers. The Brazilian bombshell is the president and owner of Daslu, Latin America's most exclusive department store.

Situated in an upscale residential neighborhood in Sao Paulo, Daslu is a repository of Chanel jackets and Frette linens. What makes the store's unbridled luxury even more pronounced is the yawning chasm between the rich and the poor...

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