It's a tiny bit late and missing one of its promised floors, but the Lanvin Men's Boutique on Madison Avenue has finally opened its doors. Originally announced as three floors to be opening last Fall, the store quietly started admitting customers about a week and a half ago, though they have not actually held any opening events or celebrations yet. We are betting that the PR push will start sometime around Fashion Week, but we have never been one to wait for announcements. The list of designer boutiques in New York who missed their projected opening dates is so long that we would hardly hold tardiness against Lanvin, and as for the missing third level, the store seems to fit quite nicely into two very elegant floors for now.
Meant to replicate the interior of the brand's men's store in Paris, this next component of the Lanvin revival juggernaut features sleek, dark wood paneling with matte metal details to create a neutral background for creative director Alber Elbaz's and men's designer Lucas Ossendriver's collections. The long, narrow townhouse configuration echoes the original boutique a few doors up the street to a certain extent, with a staircase in the front leading upstairs. While not yet fully stocked for Spring, the street level is devoted to the sportier and more directional fashion side of the men's collection. A wall of sneakers showcases one of the brand's signature items in endless combinations of materials, with other accessories nearby. Much of the floor still features Fall sale merchandise, though we are expecting it will be fully stocked for spring by the time opening fanfare starts. A walk upstairs to the second floor brings us to the more elegant side of Lanvin, which had a thriving traditional menswear business for decades before Elbaz re-invigorated the label's fashion image with his women's collections. Customers who missed the label's more elegant "15 Faubourg" range can find more classical suits and dress furnishings here along with a plush eveningwear salon in the back.
Since much of the staff has simply been imported from what is now the women's boutique, we were thankfully spared the over effusive new-store-new-sales-associate treatment (you may still find some of that at Belstaff across the street if that's what gets you shopping), but they were appropriately welcoming and free of the sort of aloofness that still abounds on Madison Avenue. Of course, it's Lanvin, where sneakers start at around $595, but, at least for the next few weeks, there's a healthy selection of winter clearance still on the racks which should make you approximately 50% less intimidated by the prices. Sometimes on Madison Avenue, you have to take the best deal you can get.
Lanvin Men's Boutique 807 Madison Avenue between 67th & 68th Streets, Upper East Side