Something Navy is looking to make its mark in retail. Today, Arielle Charnas will open her first flagship boutique in New York. Located at 379 Bleecker street in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood, the shop’s debut comes with many COVID-19 precautions.
To start, no walk-ins will be allowed. Customers will have to make to a reservation online in order to shop. There are four people accepted per each 20 minute time slot. For opening day, however, there was no availability as appointments were booked up 30 minutes after the announcement, according to the label.
Inside, clothing will be sanitized after each trial with steam and/or a UV treatment before being placed back on the floor. Fitting rooms will be cleaned and sanitized after every try-on with Clorox and sanitizing wipes. In addition, masks and temperature checks will be required at the door.
Last month, Charnas’ first independent Something Navy collection went live on her revamped site, which has transformed from a fashion blog to a direct-to-consumer destination, featuring her own line as well as shoppable products from other brands she loves. The July drop included 11 styles, from blouses and dresses to denim and jumpsuits, retailing from $65 to $250.
The flagship will debut with the Something Navy August collection, along with store exclusives, including scrunchies, coffee cups, sticky notes, socks and an umbrella. The store will also host rotating pop-up brands curated by Charnas, such as sunscreen brand Soleil Toujours, jeweler Carolina Bucci, beauty company Lab to Beauty and Adina’s Jewels, among others.
With help from interim CEO Matt Scanlan, who is also the co-founder and chief executive of the cashmere brand Naadam, Charnas plans to work on on building out Something Navy.
Last year, the company received a $10 million investment, funded in part by Silas Chou and his Vanterra Capital fund, as well as Harry’s and Warby Parker backed Box Group, M3 Ventures, Silas Capital, Third Kind Ventures and Rent the Runway co-founder Jennifer Fleiss — bringing Charnas’ brand valuation to close to $45 million.
The fashion industry has been particularly hard hit amid the global health crisis with government-mandated store closures leading to permanent shutterings for some as well as furloughs, layoffs and and bankruptcies. In addition, the influencer side of the business has also shouldered blow-back as aspirational posts were sometimes viewed as tone-deaf. Meanwhile, several public figures who showcased their access to, among other things, coronavirus testing and other forms of privilege in the early days of the pandemic, drew the ire of social media users.
It was a saga that Charnas would also find herself swept up in. After testing positive for the coronavirus and fleeing New York City in March, she faced major backlash for how she handled being diagnosed in the public eye. Social media erupted in outrage, resulting significant impact on her audience engagement and following. It also prompted multiple apologies from Charnas — one which came after going dark on Instagram for almost a month.
With months passing since the controversy unfolded, Charnas has grown more focused on creating a platform that is diverse and socially responsible. Enter Something Navy 2.0, which launched last month.
“Something Navy is a place to start conversations, inspire confidence, and celebrate the diversity of our community, so I just want to take a minute to thank you for being here and being part of the SN story,” Charnas posted on her site. “I designed every piece in the new collection with my followers in mind, and I curated the new site and our SN marketplace items just for you.
According to the brand, brick and mortar is just part of its strategy. The goal is to focus on growing categories including apparel followed by accessories, home decor, childrenswear and beauty over the next few years.