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Evisu SoHo a No-Go

Any denim queens waiting breathlessly for Japanese cult label Evisu to finally open their Greene Street flagship store will have to wait a bit longer...like, until never.
While the brand's imagery remains in the window, a "for rent" sign has also been added to 93 Greene Street, and neighboring retailers have confirmed that the label has scrapped its elaborate plans or the site. Since it was intended to open last April, it's not a huge surprise, but stores have been known to delay openings by a season or more to get things just right, especially in New York. This location was meant to be the first of many, but for now, we cross Evisu off our list of upcoming openings.
Previously: Make Way For Evisu

Gap to Bring Pierre Hardy to America Next Spring


After we took Gap Inc. to task for denying its American customers the chance to purchase the many designer items created for its European (PRODUCT) RED collection, we hear that next spring it will begin featuring the special women's shoe collection that Pierre Hardy launched this fall for Gap stores in Britain and France. 75 U.S. locations will be selected to carry the collection featuring shoes selling for $78 to $98. Footwear in Hardy's own line typically sells for $600 a pair and up, so expect savvy shoe queens snap this offering up fast. If it is successful, perhaps we will see more of the stylish merchandise that is made only for Gap's European stores.
Gap to Feature Pierre Hardy Designs (WWD)

Miss Sixty Meets Energie and Has a Big Bash

AdrienItalian sportswear fave Miss Sixty threw a great big honkin' party last night for their new store in the old Lord & Taylor building at Broadway and 20th Street. It's the first one around here to join forces with her brother brand Energie. Glamorous DJ 24 Court spun electro-ish rock on the V.I.P. mezzanine which was where celebrity host Adrien Brody (apparently taking a break from his duties as a Zegna spokesperson) mostly hung out (see blurry photo).Energiemisssixty That's probably where the other guests of varying degrees of fame were partying including, we're told, the inevitable Gossip Girl cast members who, thanks to the WGA strike have even more time to make social appearances around town. (Yes, we know we are supposed to be addicted to the show, but, honestly, we have only so many hours in the day.) The rest of the crowd consisted of Paper Magazine staffers (they were a co-host), lots of young and trendy fashion folk, the odd bartender/part-time porn star and a few faces we usually see creeping around Fashion Week. Everyone enthusiastically enjoyed a fully stocked bar, and little grilled cheese sandwiches.
Misssixtyparty2 As for the rest of the store, it's hard to judge what with the jolly crowd and all, but it looks like they have moved on from their signature Jetsons style retro/future decor to a more sophisticated but equally retro design featuring graphically patterned wood paneling. We'll go back soon for a closer look. As is sometimes, but not always the case with these parties, one highlight occurred when we got home and had time to look through a packed gift bag which included some big sunglasses, a necklace and fragrance from Miss Sixty among several other slightly more random items like Altoids, fizzy vitamin tablets, CDs and Lärabar fruit bars.
Thank you Miss Sixty. We love you too.
Miss Sixty/Energie 901 Broadway at 20th Street

Cintra Wilson Goes Shopping: Holiday Glitz Edition

What can we say? We like to get to a new store as fast as we can, but what with our holiday travel and the rush for so many stores to get open at the last minute before the Holiday Season starts, we can only be in so many places at once. Thankfully, Cintra Wilson has answered many of our questions about the new Fortunoff flagship on West 57th Street in today's Thursday Styles. The Long Island mainstay has pulled the place together in a scant few months, but maybe they should have taken their time. We had hoped that a newly designed store and close proximity to Bergdorf Goodman would add some polish to what had become a hopelessly dowdy store.
No such luck. We hate to judge a store on Christmas décor alone, but the tinsel-y garland surrounding its new entrance doesn't indicate a huge improvement.

There was a blizzard of gems, nothing catching my eye, until Wham! There it was: the most tawdry, enormous Chiclet-size aquamarine-and-brown-diamond-encrusted cross since the reign of Pope Liberace I. I was informed that this $14,995 rascal had been purchased “by someone in the rock ’n’ roll business.” Perhaps ... as a weapon.

And La Cintra's rapier wit is unsheathed, although we have to say it sounds like the store's inept service fairly begs for her particularly entertaining brand of disapproval.

The bridal registry offers designs by Villeroy & Boch, Haviland, Wedgwood, et al. The china was underwhelming, but I was wild about a ruthlessly decadent set of gold-plate and silver flatware, perfect for Idi Amin. I begged a representative to tell me about it.
She stared ruefully at a blank spot where a label was apparently supposed to be. “Tsss. I have to tell the girl. She did not put the thing.” The side of the knife, once I pried off the Velcro, said it was Wallace sterling. No price was available.

Well what can you do when the girl does not put the thing?
Critical Shopper: Between the Rocks and a Hard Sell by Cintra Wilson (NYTimes)
Fortunoff 3 West 57th Street, Midtown
Previously: Fortunoff Trades Fifth for West 57th

Lacroix Watch: Opening Looks Iminent

LacroixexteriorIf it opens within the next three weeks, then Christian Lacroix will have just made its Fall 2007 opening date, though we expect that it will open with the resort collection. A peek through its newly transparent windows shows a nearly completed interior including the designer's signature quirky details like red Venetian glass chandeliers. In fact, The Shophound is looking forward to seeing this shop for its interior design more than anything else. Though he has had his own label for 25 years, this will be the celebrated couturier's first freestanding boutique in New York, and only his second in the U.S. after his recently opened Las Vegas boutique. We are anticipating a splashy opening soon at 36 East 57th Street.

Topshop Details Revealed


Though we have known it for a while, Topshop chairman Sir Philip Green revealed his plans for the popular British chains U.S. expansion in an extensive interview with WWD. The article included a rendering of the exterior of 478 Broadway, where the first Topshop/Topman flagship will open next Fall. As we suspected, Green plans to utilize much more of the building than current tenant Yellow Rat Bastard, adding the basement and second floors as retail space totaling 40,000 square feet in efforts to simulate the retailer's famous Oxford Circus flagship in London. Green also reveals that none of the many U.S. stores he has planned including at least two more in Manhattan, will be less than 20,000 square feet. "I don't want hundreds of little stores in the U.S. They all have to make economic sense," he tells WWD.
Currently, Barneys and Opening Ceremony sell selections from their vast range in the U.S., but those who are expecting an H&M or Zara type store may be surprised to find that several premium lines in addition to the already well known Kate Moss label push Topshop's prices higher than those stores.
Green has carefully thought the expansion through and is prepared for the inevitable glitch along the way.

"We're going to rely on our fashion offer, not basic T-shirts. And I think the beauty of Topshop is the wide demographic it attracts. You walk into the Oxford Street store and there are mums, daughters and people of every age and size shopping," said Green, adding he doesn't plan to alter Topshop's prices substantially for the U.S. market.
He also has no plans to advertise in the U.S. as of yet, although there likely will be two or three events next year to mark the flagship's opening.
"We know what the issues are in the U.S., and we know it's not going to be easy," said Green. "But if I want to build a global brand, there are going to be wins and there are going to be losses. That's the nature of the fashion business."

As you have come to expect, The Shophound will be watching developments closely.
Topshop Going Global: NYC First Step in Chain's Aggressive U.S. Rollout (WWD)
Previously: Topshop Coming To SoHo?

Esprit's High Profile Move

Anyone who remembers the 1980s knows how pervasive the Esprit brand was at the time. It was one of the iconic brands of the period; a department store mainstay  that morphed into a catalog powerhouse and pioneered the "superstore" concept. Its imagery, mostly by photographer Oliviero Toscani, was pervasive, and its "real people" advertising campaign was innovative, but after the turn of the decade, its American business faded away after the collapse of its founders' marriage.
Espritexterior Now with overseas ownership, Esprit has returned to reclaim its place in the American market, and though the new store on Fifth Avenue between 48th and 49th streets is already its fourth in Manhattan, it is by far the most prominent, located on the city's busiest shopping stretch.
We would like to say that it is a triumphant return, and though the famous logo remains intact, the product has lost some of its vitality in the intervening years. To their credit, the company has kept prices in check at a level comparable to Banana Republic or J.Crew. Its not that the merchandise is a disaster - far from it. The brand's once powerful style signature, however has been diluted to a vaguely trendy genericism which may prove commercially viable, but may not capture the market as it had in the past.
What can we say? We were looking for something we hadn't seen before to set them apart and didn't find it. We did find some cute well priced clothes for men and women in the mix, and if they can find a stronger fashion image they may yet find themselves the center of attention again.
The '80s are coming back after all.
Esprit 600 Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, Midtown

New Apple Store Ready Next Week?

The typically reliable AppleInsider tells us that the opening date for Apple's latest store, a great big flagship at 14th street and Ninth Avenue, is projected to open on Friday December 7. We have been walking by regularly, and we didn't think it was that far along, but Christmas miracles will happen to get stores open before the holidays. No word on the hours yet, but given the neighborhood, doesn't it make more sense for this location to be open 24 hours instead of the Fifth Avenue unit? It would certainly make those late-night weekend DJ sets more appealing.
We will keep you posted on this one.

GAP to Stiff U.S. on (PRODUCT) RED Exclusives. Again.

House_of_holland_red_3 This Monday, the Gap will introduce a series of limited edition items in conjunction with the (PRODUCT) RED program to commemorate World AIDS Day and benefit The Global Fund.
But not here.
Like so many of their more interesting initiatives, Gap Inc. is limiting this special range of merchandise to four stores, Gap flagships in London and Paris and the boutiques Colette in Paris and Comme des Garçons' Dover Street Market in London.
But nowhere in the U.S.
No wonder they are having such problems.
Mulberry Unlike their heavily promoted Roland Mouret collaboration last year, no under-the-radar stateside distribution has been disclosed. While they will be releasing a holiday collection of their regular (PRODUCT) RED lines, American customers will not be given the opportunity to purchase the Stephen Jones headbands, Pierre Hardy satin shoes, Giles Deacon, Henry Holland (pictured right) and Proenza Schouler T-shirts, and special version of Mulberry's "Roxy" bag made in sweatshirt jersey (at left).
We have to admit that a certain level of designer collaboration fatigue has set in, but if H&M has shown us anything, it's that these programs can still whip customers into a rabid frenzy, most importantly getting them into the stores.
But not here.
We wouldn't want that kind of excitement here in the U.S.
Gap Joins With (Product) Red Initiative (WWD)

Line Of The Day: Billionaire Boy's Club/Ice Cream on West Broadway

The ultimate niche streetwear brand has spawned a sibling.
, the rock-star like creator of A Bathing Ape collaborated a couple of years ago with music producer Pharrell Williams to create Ice Cream & Billionaire Boys' Club, two labels with a following every bit as rabid as their mother ship's. Cimg1571 They have mastered the art of the limited edition, causing anxious customers to frequently queue up outside their stores when the latest shipments arrive. Please notice the long line formed today outside the labels' new flagship store on West Broadway for the store's grand opening as fans awaited the opportunity to get a special Billionaire Boys Club T-shirt and possibly snag a pair of the limited edition sneakers made  exclcusively for the New York store. These are all brands that inspire either slavish devotion or bewildered apathy, and as much as we are curious to see the interior of this new store, we must admit to subscribing to the latter response, precluding our waiting in a line on the sidewalk to peruse the printed sweatshirts and bright, shiny sneakers. We'll be back, but after the fans have their day.
Ice Cream & Billionaire Boys' Club 456 West Broadway between Houston & Prince Streets, SoHo