Jan. 31, 2019: To mark her 10-year anniversary, British designer Kat Maconie today unveiled her first concept shop, in London’s Bermondsey neighborhood. The space was crafted with help from set designer Emma Larsson Revitt and draws heavily from Maconie’s bright and playful footwear aesthetic. To wit, there’s bespoke animal-print furniture as well as colorful rugs, pillows and other details. And for a unique shopping experience, the store offers beauty services such as facials, manicures and pedicures, and features an in-house bar serving cocktails. “It was integral for us to bring an element of color, femininity and fun to the boutique, [and] housing a permanent beauty salon seemed so fitting,’’ Maconie said in a statement.
Jan. 31, 2019: Naturalizer is headed to the Windy City and Big Apple. The St. Louis-based brand (a division of Caleres) is slated to open two flagships in February on Chicago’s State Street and on 34th Street near New York’s Herald Square. The spaces are designed with younger customers in mind, taking inspiration from loft-style living and featuring a pop-in shop experience, with a revolving assortment of artisanal products that will sit alongside the core Naturalizer merchandise. Additionally, the brand will introduce a new premium footwear collection called 27 Edit (a nod to its founding date: 1927). “This signature line is a celebration of our finest craftsmanship and is our most progressive and essential collection yet,” said John Malpiedi, SVP and GM. The 27 Edit series will be sold exclusively at Naturalizer flagship locations and select retailers.
Jan. 29, 2019: Bergdorf Goodman Men’s store in New York will be unveiling B., a new 250-square-foot shop created by Bruce Pask, its men’s fashion director. Set to open on Feb. 4, the space will feature a selection of Pask’s favorite global finds, as well as some special collaborations. For footwear, the B. shop will debut exclusive co-designed styles from Clarks and Common Projects. It will also showcase the work of young designers, including Emily Bode of Engineered Garments and Margaret Howell. The unique retail space was created by Pask’s twin brother, Scott, an award-winning set designer known for his work on “The Band’s Visit” and “The Book of Mormon.”
Jan. 28, 2019: In March, Ancient Greek Sandals will open its first flagship store in the center of Athens, on the ground level of a historic former hotel. In keeping with the brand’s artisanal ethos, the space features bespoke furniture and a tapestry made by local craftsmen. Other design details highlight the beauty of Greece — namely, a blue tile floor representing the Aegean Sea and a green “hearth” meant to serve as a gathering place for guests. Designer and co-founder Christina Martini said, “I have always admired the ’60s and ’70s architecture within Greek hotels, and I wanted the shop to reflect that, using textures, materials and colors typical of this era.” The store will stock the full range of classic Ancient Greek Sandals, as well as complementary lifestyle products, such as ceramics, books, olive oil and candles.
Jan. 24, 2019: Foot Locker‘s first “Power Store” debuts on Jan. 25 in Eastpointe, Mich., on the city’s famed 8 Mile Road. The space boasts 8,500 square feet of retail space and features a women’s shop-in-shop and a Kids Foot Locker, equipping it to serve the entire family. Aside from the product offering, Foot Locker said the store will be a hub for local sneaker culture, art, music and sports. The retailer plans to open more than a dozen more “Power Stores” in 2019 in cities as wide-ranging as Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia, as well as Milan.
Jan. 23, 2019: Department store Nordstrom announced it will close two locations this spring, one in Norfolk, Va., and another in Wellington, Fla. The closures will impact roughly 85 non-seasonal employees in Norfolk and 65 nonseasonal employees in Wellington, though the company said it is working to find new roles for affected workers. Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom stores, said in a statement, “Looking at the needs in these markets and the investments needed to sustain these stores, we decided it made the most sense to close these stores and focus on other ways we can best serve our customers, including nearby Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores as well as online.” The retailer plans to wind down operations slowly and will continue to serve customers at these two locations through April 5.
Jan. 18, 2019: M.Gemi is set to launch its first permanent store at New York City’s Hudson Yards. Opening on March 15, the Italian cafe-inspired space will span about 1,450 square feet and feature a charging station, lounge seating and a coffee bar where customers can enjoy an espresso while they shop. The store will also offer VIP shopping appointments powered by Resy as well as an ongoing series of community events. M.Gemi ran a pop-up boutique in Soho from September 2016 to last August. The brand also has a shop at the Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street, which opened in April as part of the department store’s redesigned shoe floor.
Jan. 16, 2019: Direct-to-consumer Western boot company Tecovas plans to set up its first brick-and-mortar store this spring in its Austin, Texas, home base. The shop will be located on trendy South Congress Street. The space will also house the brand’s new headquarters, to be located on top of the store.
Jan. 11, 2019: Steve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, has announced that the brand is closing its longtime Madison Avenue flagship in New York as part of a larger brand restructuring. The three-level store, which opened at 654 Madison Ave. in 1995, will shutter its doors this spring. Additionally, the company said it is redeveloping its 205W39NYC business with a new creative vision (after ending its partnership with designer Raf Simons last month) and is streamlining its North American division to improve efficiency. According to sister publication WWD, roughly 100 employees have been let go across the organization, including at the flagship. Calvin Klein added in a statement that it is evaluating other retail locations and will unveil new consumer experiences online and offline.
Jan. 8, 2019: Manolo Blahnik is kicking off 2019 in a big way, with his first flagship boutique in Taipei, Taiwan. The roughly 700-square-foot shop, developed in partnership with Bluebell Taiwan Group, is set to open this month on the first level of the luxurious Nanshan Plaza shopping center. Blahnik’s longtime architect, Nick Leith-Smith, crafted the interiors, taking cues from the local environment. “The Taipei flagship celebrates a material play on Taiwan’s deep cultural and historical connection to bamboo, with a rotating bamboo forest as a central motif,” said Leith-Smith. The shop is set to open this month and will offer Blahnik’s full range of seasonal creations. Brand CEO Kristina Blahnik recently told FN that other openings will follow in Tokyo and Paris.
Jan. 7, 2019: For one week only, Louis Vuitton is taking up residence in New York. The fashion house is opening a pop-up space in Chrome Hearts’ West Village store on Washington Street, Jan. 10–17. The pop-up is meant to mark the much-awaited debut of Virgil Abloh’s spring ’19 menswear collection for the brand, which was one of the buzziest runway shows of 2018. The colorful line includes a range of tailored and casual ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories and leather goods. The LV pop-up space will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Jan. 2, 2019: Lord & Taylor officially closed the doors of its Fifth Avenue flagship in New York. The legendary retailer, now owned by Hudson’s Bay Co., recently sold the 11-story landmark building to co-working company WeWork for $850 million. Lord & Taylor, which was founded in 1826 as a dry goods store on the Lower East Side, debuted its giant flagship on Fifth Avenue and 39th Street in 1914. It was the first store in the city to install an elevator and was the first retailer to name a woman as president: Dorothy Shaver, who joined the firm in 1945 and served until her death in 1959. See photos of the flagship through the years.
Retail Intel: December 2018