The next few months will see the New York-based showroom bow a branded brick-and-mortar boutique and launch e-commerce for its namesake Ask Alice brand, as well as open a second showroom, located in Milan, that will house all the firm’s labels, including two lines from Goffredo Fantini, plus its licensed Monique Lhuillier collection.
“We are taking steps to go global,” said Sebastian Marzaro, the former Casadei USA president who launched the Ask Alice showroom last summer.
The 800-sq.-ft. Ask Alice flagship is slated to open on Mott Street in Manhattan in April. “We have an architect working on the core design of the store,” Marzaro added. “It will reflect the attitude of the collection, but [the exact interior] will be a surprise.” He also noted that he and Ask Alice designer George Mang are looking forward to testing new styles in the boutique. “When you have a store, you can communicate directly with the customer and experiment with the consumer experience,” said Marzaro.
Developing boutiques for Ask Alice, a whimsical yet edgy label that retails for $250 to $350, is a major focus for the company, according to Marzaro, who added that future plans also include bringing back Goffredo Fantini shops to New York (the designer originally opened a flagship in the city in 2002 but shuttered it by 2005). Retail for both labels will first be centered on the U.S. and then branch out to Asia and Europe.
As for the Milan showroom, it is slated to open within the next three months. However, even with the additional space, Marzaro said he won’t add any new labels to the mix in the foreseeable future. “We will grow [Ask Alice, Monique Lhuillier and Goffredo Fantini] first,” he said. “They are three very special brands that complement each other, and we don’t want to duplicate ourselves or spread ourselves too thin.”