Retail Intel: May 2019

May 30, 2019: Manolo Blahnik has opened his first flagship store in Omotesando, Tokyo. The two-story residence stocks the designer’s beloved women’s classics and seasonal trends, with its second floor housing the new men’s category that recently launched in Japan. (It becomes the third region to offer men’s, followed by London and the United States.) Similar to other Manolo Blahnik spaces across the globe, the store was designed by architect Nick Leith-Smith with the vision of Blahnik himself as well as CEO Kristina Blahnik. The location officially opened on April 26.

May 24, 2019: Dior is about to get a new address in Munich. The Paris-based fashion house has moved its flagship store in the city’s luxury shopping mile to another chic area just two minutes up the same road, according to FN’s sister publication WWD. The two-story boutique, which was renovated by renowned architect Peter Marino, features menswear and womenswear organized in color-coded regions, with a second-floor showroom for footwear. The company sits in the middle of one of Germany’s most expensive retail real estate neighborhoods.

May 22, 2019: Sabah has a new home. The artisanal shoe label, known for soft leather slip-ons handmade in Turkey, has opened a boutique in London. The Sabah House 50 Chiltern in Marylebone was designed by brand founder Mickey Ashmore and local interiors creator Anna Burns, taking cues from Ashmore’s global travels. Details were inspired by the tiny vinyl bars of Tokyo, the mezcalerias of Oaxaca and the living rooms of Georgia O’Keefe or Donald Judd. To celebrate the opening, Sabah teamed up with British artist Tom Jean Webb, whose works adorn the walls and who decorated a pair of Sabah shoes, available exclusively at the store for £235 ($296). Other Sabah Houses are located in Dallas, New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Sabah London Store
Sabah House 50 Chiltern in London.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

May 9, 2019: Next week, Michael Kors is set to debut a new concept store in New York’s trendy Soho neighborhood. The outpost at 90 Prince St. will span 4,400 square feet and take inspiration from the famed shopping district itself. According to FN’s sister publication WWD, the boutique is expected to evoke the “look and feel of a downtown loft,” showcasing the designer’s ready-to-wear collection as well as shoes, bags and other accessories. Its cast-iron facade will make way to an open-floor area with expansive windows, exposed brick walls and rustic wood floors. At the back of the store, a waterfall mirror will serve to accentuate the brand’s footwear offerings.

May 8, 2019: West Coast-based designer John Elliott has opened his first brick-and-mortar store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The 3,500-square-foot space — which will soon house the brand’s corporate offices above the shop — boasts Japanese-style details that harken back to Elliott’s adopted hometown of Tokyo, reports FN’s sister publication WWD. It will offer both men’s and women’s collections, with weekly drops and art installations. Less than a mile away from Elliott’s own residence, the outpost also sits next to streetwear label A Bathing Ape and John Varvatos’ L.A. flagship.

May 3, 2019: Two days after the “stock market of things” StockX announced its temporary drop-off location in Atlanta, competitor GOAT revealed its first two permanent drop-off spots are open at Flight Club in New York and Los Angeles. According to GOAT, if the sneaker seller’s return address is within 25 miles of either Flight Club door, customers can drop off their kicks and get paid faster. At the drop-off locations, sellers have to show the Flight Club employee their seller ID from the GOAT app and then give the items to the employee to be verified. Once everything is authenticated, the money will be directly deposited into their account. In an email to FN, GOAT confirmed its next drop-off pop-up location will occur at Flight Club in Miami. (The date has not been determined.)

May 3, 2019: Marni is opening its first flagship store in Tokyo, bringing its brick-and-mortar count in Japan to 22. Located in the Omotesando Hills shopping center, the two-level boutique occupies 300 square meters of space inspired by the Japanese garden, divided into four areas that display the brand’s women’s, men’s and children’s lines, as well as a special capsule collection. The new store also features the same architectural elements seen in Marni’s other retail projects in Rome, Paris, New York and more.

Marni's first flagship store in Tokyo.
Marni’s first flagship store in Tokyo.

May 1, 2019: Let the spring cleaning begin. After launching successful pop-ups in New York, Los Angeles and London, online sneaker marketplace StockX has brought its drop-off concept to Atlanta. Today, the company opened a temporary retail location at 1146 Euclid Ave. in the Little Five Points neighborhood, where customers can unload their unworn limited-edition kicks. Authenticators will be on site checking products, and upon verification, customer payments will be processed right then and there. The shop will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. until May 19.

Watch FN’s video on how to take care of your sneakers in the summer.

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