Jessica Rich is making her mark.
In November, the shoe designer and founder of Jessica Rich — a go-to brand for celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Jenner, Cardi B and more — opened a store at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles. Poised between Versace and Burberry, the new Jessica Rich brick-and-mortar outpost is the realization of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-native’s wildest dreams.
“It feels surreal,” Rich, who launched the brand in 2017, told FN. “It’s insane. Every time I come here, I’m like: ‘Oh my God, this is my store?’ It’s a blessing.”
Making the moment an even bigger milestone, Rich’s new space was previously the home of Giuseppe Zanotti, a concept Rich still can’t get over. “I used to shop here all the time, so when they showed me the space, I was like, ‘Wait, the Giuseppe store? I’m still pinching myself,” she said.
Upon entering the pristine location, shoppers are met with a plush rug adorned with the brand’s logo. Next, your eyes will find several seating areas, including a black velvet couch that is conveniently next to a cart of water and champagne. On display is Rich’s new mesh collection as well as her signature PVC sandals. Like her heels, elements of gold are incorporated throughout the store. Additionally, the designer, who is a fan of flowers, included a rose wall.
When it comes to the theme of the store, Rich explained she wanted shoppers to “want to come here and hangout and not just shop.”
“My aesthetic is always homey and clean. I definitely wanted a couch. The only other store that’s ever made me feel this way is Saks Fifth Avenue. I love black, gold and white — its the vibe of my brand. I love red roses, and my heels are gold.”
At Jessica Rich, you will also find more than shoes. Towards the back of the store, Rich has offered space for other Black-owned brands such as Sous Sus Purses and Yang Vibe Streetwear Brand to showcase and sell their designs. Rich also debuted a candle collection.
The timing of Rich’s store opening comes amid a year of civil unrest as people across the country stood up against racism and police brutality following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. The revolution also pushed for better representation and inclusivity in all aspects of life, including the fashion world, which is something Rich thinks “had to happen.”
“I’ve never seen an African-American brand in a location like this,” Rich said of the Beverly Center. “It feels amazing. It’s a big moment. Sometimes Black brands just have a harder time, so this year, though it’s been challenging, it had to happen. I’m glad Black-owned brands are getting more recognition, and I hope future generations see more change.”
With such a big accomplishment under her belt, Rich is finally giving herself a pat on the back.
“This year, I stopped being so hard on myself because sometimes, I’m like, ‘Jessica, what are you going to do next?’ I’m like, you know what, I’ve done a good job, and I need to relax and enjoy this instead of jumping to the next design or next,” she told FN.
While she’s in no rush to put pressure on herself to create something new, Rich can’t help but think ahead.
“I love my latest mesh collection,” Rich said of the sequence of pointed-toe heels that offer a mesh upper and high heel. The mesh line comes in nude, red, gray and black. “I did those because I’m trying to create another popular trend just as big as the Fancy.”
The Fancy is Rich’s signature transparent heel and comes in gold, black, silver and white. The shoe retails for $215 at JessicaRich.com and is available in store.
“I love my latest mesh collection,” she said. “I did those because I’m trying to create another popular trend just as big as the [Fancy]. PVC is slowly going away. I’ve seen mesh on the market, but not like mine. I think my best designs are simple.”