The past season has seen better fortunes for big luxury stores like Saks and Neiman Marcus even as the economy trudges along. it also brought a uptick in retail rents that has seen several stores forced to shutter or relocate to more affordable locations. Neighborhood stalwarts like the Upper West Side's Therapie multi-purpose beauty/variety store, and the popular branch of Gourmet Garage at Broadway and 96th Street were both turned out of their homes before the end of the year due to rising rents.
Less explicit circumstances have also been unkind to smaller, independent designers who have shut their doors. We already mentioned that veteran designer Jackie Rogers has closed her Madison Avenue shop where she has had a retail presence for decades. Relative newcomer Lisa Perry charmed the press with her swinging sixties mod dresses reminiscent of Courrèges, Mary Quant and Rudi Gernreich, and found a fan in the unexpectedly daringly dressed "Today" show host Ann Curry, but apparently it wasn't enough to keep her Madison Avenue store from its current empty state*. Now the folks at Racked tell us that youg up and coming designer Carlos Campos has closed his Orchard Street boutique after a scant few months in business. Apparently, there was even a big bunch of legal papers stuck on the door indicating several thousand dollars worth of overdue rent.
Time was when opening a modest shop in an up-and-coming neighborhood was a great way to develop a fashion label by providing a showplace for a designer's collection and getting instant feedback from customers, but the New York gentrification cycle has become so accelerated that the worthy smaller players that make a shopping area interesting are shut out. Campos is not listed as exhibiting in the upcoming Menswear trade shows Capsule and Project as he has in the past, so we hope this doesn't mean that his line has shut down completely, but if he has hit a few more bumps in the road than he can handle, we hope hw gets back on his feet soon.
Good news from the folks at Lisa Perry who have gone out of their way to let us know that things are actually going very well and her shop is only taking a few months off. She will be moving her new shop a few doors away to 988 Madison Avenue at the corner of 77th Street in April, so you can add her name to the list of stores that are merely relocating on Madison in 2012.