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Looking Ahead On Madison Avenue, Lots Of Relocations And Expansion
-Not So Many Newcomers

So Madison Avenue is getting a new FABERGÈ jewelry store. That should be exciting, even though the model pictured on the upcoming store's plywood covering looks like she's about to throw up. Maybe you can wear too much jewelry (she sure has on a lot), or maybe it's the tons of makeup.

Anyway, Fabergé is one of several new stores coming to Madison this Spring, but it's one of only a few that we haven't seen before. The Shophound took a walk down the luxury laden street yesterday, and noticed all sorts of activity, most of which was relocation, renovation or an additional branch of a boutique thriving elsewhere in the city. There are a few new names in the mix, but, the developments are on the small side. Heer's an overview of what we stumbled across:

ZadigMadisonZADIG&VOLTAIRE will be moving uptown at the corner shop at The Mark Hotel at 77th Street. We were not all that impressed with this French sportswear brand when it arrived in the Meatpacking district a few years ago, but after two more downtown stores, a new logo and a profile raising collaboration with model/stylist/fledgling designer and all-around cool person Erin Wasson, the brand is finally ready to take on the Madison Avenue crowd.

CelineMadisonCÈLINE was supposed to have its new boutique open by now at Madison and 71st Street, but we would rather they take their time and do things right. Across the street, EMILIO PUCCI is relocating its longtime East 64th Street shop to what was left of the original YSL Rive Gauche boutique that Asprey doesn't now inhabit.

The absurdly extravagant handbag maker Ambrosi Abrianna didn't last too long in the next block wedged between Gucci and Chloé. That spot has seen a succession of ambitious tenants come and go, but when CHRISTOFLE moves in later this year from its 62nd street corner, we expect it to stay a good long time. Like Christofle, LobbAttoliniMadison JOHN LOBB was also expelled from the Carlton House whose extensive renovations seem to have emptied most of its retail spaces. The revered English shoemaker's new shop on the block between 67th and 68th streets looks like it will be ready to open any day now. We have never heard of ZAGLIANI, but from what we can gather, they make presumably expensive handbags from exotic skins. They are also coming to the same block, and, hopefully, they will fare better than the aforementioned Ambrosi Abrianna. Italy seems to be the main country providing Madison Avenue's few newcomers including CESARE ATTOLINI, the venerated Neapolitan tailor which will be opening its first New York boutique right next door to Lobb. BorelliMadisonLUIGI BORRELLI, is another label from Naples beloved by the sartorially savvy which has bounced around the city on and off for the past few years. Its last shop was across 60th street from Barneys, but its latest incarnation will appear soon on Madison between 66th and 67th streets. Expect lots of their sumptuous handmade shirts along with an expanded collection of classic Italian menswear, making this block a serious destination for spiffy gentleman with deep pockets.

ValentinoMadisonVALENTINO is currently in a temporary store across from its previous home (which is currently, temporarily housing Escada —stay with us, now) but it will ultimately wind up what appears to be a very tall boutique flanked by Donna Karan and Dolce & Gabbana between 68th and 69th streets. In a weird coincidence, it will wind up exactly next door to where its boutique lived during the 1980s and early 90s.

Finally, though GIORGIO ARMANI has been heavily promoting its lavish Fifth Avenue brand palace lately, the designer is now refocusing attention towards the luxe Collection flagship at Madison and 65th, where the serious Armani customers shop. That refurbished store is promised for February (think Fashion Week unveiling).

So though there's lots of construction and movement on Madison, there's not actually a whole lot of newcomers adding to the scene. That doesn't mean there is nothing to look forward to, however. The folks at Proenza Schouler have promised that a new investment will mean their first boutique, and while Marc Jacobs Chief Robert Duffy promised months ago that the company would take over Madison Avenue's Chase Bank Building for a new shop. So far, we have seen no action on that front either. There is plenty of room for new stores. Sadly, both longtime Madison Avenue stalwart JACKIE ROGERS and relative newcomer LISA PERRY have quietly shuttered their stores in recent weeks, along with elegant Italian shoemaker TANINO CRISCI leaving some prime spaces available, so there is definitely more news to come.


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