Christian Louboutin opened a 1,800-sq.-ft. store on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles earlier this month in a two-story 1930s-era building.
The shop, designed by New York-based 212 Box, features unique details, starting with the front entrance’s forged iron gate, embedded with the designer’s logo. Inside, highlights include a back wall of white-on-white custom ceramic tiles, etched with encrypted symbols, numbers and letters as part of a 9,000-character Christian Louboutin “language” that was originally created for the Brazil boutique, opened in April.
“Christian and I have a great collaborative relationship,” said store designer Eric Clough of 212 Box. “When the idea started, he was interested in creating an actual language or communicative element. There was a series of attempts at doing that before we settled on this rendition. It’s very visually powerful for the consumer because it creates this interesting noise where there is a familiarity in the symbols, but there is also a sense of chaos.”
The store’s middle room contains a cash wrap that doubles as a bar, where guests can view the new collection over complimentary champagne. More than 26 feet of antique mirror panels make up the back of the store, and handblown glass bubbles adorn the stair railing leading to the second-floor VIP lounge.
Clough also is busy working on the new Christian Louboutin store in Miami, opening in mid-November or early December. The freestanding shop in Miami’s Design District is inspired by the moment a woman falls in love with a pair of shoes, said Clough, an idea that will be portrayed via an art installation. The store is clad in one-way mirrors and will host rotating art exhibitions.
Devi’s New Digs
Devi Kroell is set to open a store on New York’s Madison Avenue near 63rd Street in October.
“I’m super excited,” she told Footwear News. “It’s going to be an amazing store, and finally [customers] can see the whole world of Devi Kroell. It will be all shoes, ready-to-wear, belts and jewelry.”
Faith Hope Consolo of Prudential Douglas Elliman, who brokered the deal, said the location will be a good fit for the designer.
“[Madison Avenue] really is the street for luxury shopping, [and Devi will be] next to all the major designers and jewelers,” Consolo said. Roberto Cavalli, Prada and Fred Leighton are a few of the notable names within a few blocks.
DC Shoes Hits Hanoi
DC Shoes debuted a third concept store in the Asia-Pacific region on
Sept. 15, in Hanoi, Vietnam. That follows recent openings in Bali, the Philippines and Indonesia. The store stocks footwear, apparel and accessories for men, women and children. By the end of 2009, the brand will count five freestanding stores in the Asia-Pacific region, and more stores are on deck for 2010, the company said.
This month, John Varvatos relaunched its Website and teamed up with Onestop Internet to add an e-commerce function, available to U.S. customers. The e-commerce platform will offer all apparel, footwear, bags, belts, eyewear, fragrance and skin care products, including John Varvatos USA apparel and footwear and Converse by John Varvatos shoes. Several John Varvatos Collection pieces in limited quantities are also up for grabs.
Car Shoe Rolls Out
Earlier this month, Car Shoe — known for its driving mocs — bowed a flagship store in Rome, on the Piazza San Lorenzo. Housed in a 17th-century building, the store was designed by Roberto Baciocchi and was inspired by the leather and finishings of a luxury car. The brand is making a push to expand its retail presence and plans to open more stores in the Far East this year, in addition to growing its wholesale accounts.
Tucson, Ariz.-based Buffalo Exchange is gearing up to open a 2,800-sq.-ft. store in Boston’ Davis Square on Oct. 3. … Men’s retailer Odin bowed a third location, in the West Village in New York, offering apparel, footwear and accessories. … Dallas-based Run On will debut its fifth store in Texas later this year, in San Antonio, with brands including Mizuno, Brooks and Nike.