Jan. 18, 2019: M.Gemi is set to launch its first permanent store in 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 as part of the department store’s redesigned shoe floor in April.
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, from Jan. 10-17. The appearance is 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 last year. 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