Carlo Pazolini Packs It In

Oh, the post-Holiday season is crueler than ever for a struggling brand this year.
On the heels of the C.Wonder shutdown comes word that flashy shoe and accessory brand Carlo Pazolini is shuttering all of its U.S. stores. After entering the U.S. market just a couple of years ago, the label which seemed to come out of nowhere, may have fallen to the same factors that knocked out C.Wonder: opening lavish, flagship sized showplace stores in expensive high-profile locations without benefit of a devoted customer base to support them.
Could the plummeting Russian economy be a factor in the shutdown? For those who haven't yet figured it out, there never was an actual person named Carlo Pazolini. It is a made-up name created by a Russian entrepreneur who wanted to create the illusion of Italian luxury brand. Of course, most of the brand's product is actually made in China, and the discovery that the brand's glamorous heritage was basically fabricated has left many customers cold. All of this can easily be forgiven if the brand has something else to offer, but the product proved itself to be fairly undistinguished in a super-competitive shoe and accessory market. Still, the shoes might become magically more appealing at $50 each which is what our friends at Racked tell us they are going for at the store's Closing/Sample Sale taking place over the next five days at the brand's Broadway store in SoHo, the last one still open in the U.S.
Whether or not the brand's website and wholesale division will remain open remains to be seen, but customers should beware, this year's retail casualty rate starting high. Hopefully, it will slow down sooner rather than later.

Carlo Pazolini Closing Soho Store With a Major Sample Sale (Racked)


Goyard's First NY Store Is So Exclusive That It Opened Without Telling Anyone

GoyardRackedSome brands are so confident in their rarefied appeal that they seem to operate under the radar, secure in their expectation that their savvy customers will find them. Goyard, the venerable French luggage and leathergoods brand is one of them. Earlier this year, some flamboyantly festooned plywood scaffolding went up at 20 East 63rd Street indicating that a Goyard boutique was on the way, but with little announcement as to exactly when it would open or how big it would be. In fact, it was only through Instagram that most of us discovered that the store was being built at all. Tucked away on the side street, it is easy to miss, even from heavily trafficked Madison Avenue around the corner, which is why we didn't notice that the store had opened a couple of weeks ago. Our friends at Racked finally realized that it had opened, and report that the discreet, two level store is very much the hushed, elegant luxury boutique one would expect, expanding the offerings from what is available at its in-store shops at Barneys and both Bergdorf's stores including more pet accessories and custom monogramming options —a must for true Goyard fans.

Goyard Quietly Debuted Its First NYC Store This Month (Racked)
Goyard 20 East 63rd Street, Upper East Side


The Oliver Peoples Sample Sale Is Happening Now

This is a very busy couple of sale weeks, but we just got word of one of favorites that is happening now. The annual Oliver Peoples Sample Sale is happening right now at all of the label's boutiques. Sunglasses and optical frames will be priced at $79, $99, $109 and $129 for products that typically run from about $350 to $550, so it's a great time to shop. There is never a bad time to add to your eyewear collection (which can never be too big in our humble opinion) and Oliver Peoples makes some of the very best, so if you have a free moment this weekend, stop by the boutiques on Madison Avenue and West Broadway and go to town 

Oliver Peoples Sample Sale through October 26th at-
812 Madison Avenue at 68th Street, Upper East Side
366 West Broadway at Broome Street, SoHo


Valextra To Take Over For Cesare Paciotti On Madison Avenue

Exclusive Italian leathergoods brand Valextra has wasted no time in finding its own spot on Madison Avenue's luxury corridor. The former Cesare Paciotti boutique at no. 833 between 69th and 70th Streets is currently in the process of becoming the luxurious brand's New York flagship. Recently purchased by a London based investment group, Valextra is being repositioned from being a small, independent and exclusive brand known for elegant, minimalist-inspired bags and accessories for the in-the-know to something that can support an IPO within the nest 5 to 10 years. Naturally, a higher profile is in order, hence the Madison Avenue flagship (with a few more likely to follow in the appropriately prominent major cities). The upcoming 1,620 square foot store is slated to open in November, just in time for the Holidays, with a new U.S. e-commerce site expected to debut any day now. Have a peek at the progress in the picture below, and start saving up. Those sleek Milanese leathergoods don't come cheap.


There Is Now An Hermès Store In Grand Central Terminal

If you had told The Shophound a few years ago that Hermès would be opening a store in Grand Central Terminal, we would have definitely raised that one eyebrow that we can raise at you. However, in the past few years, the historic train station has seen an unlikely open-air Apple Store arrive on the East Balcony, and an elaborate Hermès installation and pop-up has appeared in The Shops at Columbus Circle.

Having seen all that, our eyebrow remained relatively in place when we discovered an Hermès Silk Bar newly opened at the corner of the Lexington Passage off the main concourse at Grand Central. The tiny shop is offering scarves, ties and enamel jewelry, so it is hardly a flagship, but still an extra handy option for the commuting spouse to stop in and grab a gift for the almost forgotten husband's or wife's birthday. Despite the signature looking geometrically patterned tile floor, it is, in fact, only a pop-up that will close in January. Of course, given the terminal's constant efforts to upgrade its retail tenants, we wouldn't be surprised at all if Hermès ultimately wound up with a permanent outpost in the station.

Hermès Silk Bar open through January at the Lexington Passage at Grand Central Terminal, Midtown


MCM Plans A SoHo Flagship

You can be forgiven for not knowing that German status handbag brand MCM has had its only boutique in the Plaza Hotel for the past few years. Though highly touted when it opened, the underground retail complex at the hotel quickly turned into something of a shopping black hole, and has found more success since being converted into a food hall, but where does that leave the once ubiquitous MCM? This Fall the leathergoods company will be making bigger waves when it opens a full flagship store at 100 Greene Street (pictured above). Home to designer Jill Stuart until recently, the store will not only feature products with the brand's familiar Cognac Visetos logo pattern but also newer, more sophisticated logo-free merchandise designed to attract luxury customers who have moved beyond exterior status symbols. "Our classic pieces appeal to our loyal customers but our cleaner silhouettes draw the attention of a new shopper, MCM's international chief executive officer Paolo Fontanelli tells WWD, "These pieces have minimal overt MCM branding. For fall, there’s pebbled lambskin, cowhide napa leathers and exotic skins." This new store represents a renewed effort to re-establish the MCM brand in the U.S. Though it enjoyed widespread recognition in the 1980s, the brand has had a rocky road since then as logo festooned looks fell in and out of fashion and rampant counterfeiting eroded its business in the ensuing years. Owned by South Korean retailer Sung-Joo Group since 2005, the brand's SoHo store will be the first of several planned flagships for the brand which should put new stores in Miami, Texas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago in short order. 

MCM to Open Manhattan Flagship (WWD)


Now You Can Customize Your Sunnies At Garrett Leight's MOD SHOP


It's already August, but the Summer isn't over just yet. If you have made it this far without the perfect pair of sunglasses, then you are running way behind the curve. Lucky for you, California eyewear designer Garrett Leight has just introduced a convenient solution to you sunglass deficiency. The the MOD SHOP is now open at GarrettLeight.com, allowing any shopper the opportunity to customize their new shades online by model, lens color, frame color and size to make the perfect, unique, only-for-you sunglasses. You can even choose a polished or matte finish, and see a 360° view before you make your final choice. The five different versions of the Kinney Sun frame pictured above are but a fraction of the combinations available, and Leight's elegant options will keep you from getting carried away with an unseemly mix of components. Though customized orders are final sale, they will get turned around in 5 to 8 business days, which give you plenty of Summer left to show them off to your envious friends who might even still be wearing —heaven forbid— last year's sunglasses. Here is your chance to avoid this tragic fate for yourself.

MOD SHOP at Garrett Leight California Optical (Official Site)


A Goyard Boutique Is Coming To NYC

There's Gucci. There's Prada. There's always Louis Vuitton, but status minded handbag carriers have known for a few years now that if you really want an exclusive patterned canvas purse dangling from your wrist, you splurge for Goyard. Available at only six separate points of sale in the entire United States, including a freestanding boutique in San Francisco, three Barneys locations and both Bergdorf Goodman's Men's and Women's stores, the coveted Paris-based brand's website proudly announces, "Goyard does not engage in any form of e-commerce". If you see any websites offering that unmistakable geometric signature pattern, you can be sure that they are phonies. Luddites though they may be, the folks at Goyard have decided to add a fourth door in Manhattan at 20 East 63rd Street which our friends at Racked discovered only from seeing the elaborate plywood scaffolding that currently covers the brownstone it will occupy on Jim Shi's Instagram account (pictured above). There's no word on when the store will be ready to open its doors, but now we will all be watching carefully to see when this stealthy contender is ready to enter New York's hyper-competitive luxury accessory and leather goods market.

Goyard's First New York City Store Will Be Really Hard to Miss (Racked)


Downtown Heritage Edition

05zCRITICAL5-superJumboAfter a couple of weeks off, The Critical Shopper is back in today's Thursday Styles as Jon Caramanica gives us the report on two new arrivals downtown. Filson (at right), is the archetypical American heritage label that is entering the "flagship expansion" phase of its resurgence, while the 84-years-younger Will Leather Goods comes from Eugene, Oregon with a similarly rugged aesthetic, but far less history. Both stores seem to bring a different piece if the Pacific Northwest to downtown Manhattan with the eternal hippie thriving on Will's product laden walls, and Filson's rugged outdoorsman holding court at Filson. It is here that Caramanica discovers the hazards that a specialized, sportsman's brand will face when broadening its market to include fashion cognoscenti. It turns out the the "updated" slimmer cut apparel is no improvement over the roomy authentic original styles "From a distance, the silhouettes were the worst. Even when a piece fit snugly, it still managed to seem oversize and clung to the body in unpredictable ways." And then there are the customers, or, more specifically, brand enthusiasts,

The Filson clerk relayed a story about a customer who had recently come in and complained that the store wasn’t true enough to the brand’s essence, that it wasn’t carrying the most rugged of the company’s offerings. Brands like Filson, which are bolstered by history but also burdened by it, tend to inspire this sort of keep-it-real-itis.

Some people will never be satisfied.

Critical Shopper: Two Paths to the Great Outdoors By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)
Filson 40 Great Jones Street between Broadway & Bowery, NoHo
Will Leather Goods 29 Prince Street at Mott Street, NoLiTa


Your New Shades for This Summer
Are By Matsuda X ODIN New York

Matsuda x Odin New York MXO-002 in Matte Chestnut Brown, $385
Perhaps the fastest and easiest way to get ready for Summer is to get a new pair of sunglasses (or two or three). Of course you want to have a style that is current, but at the same time, you don't want to see yourself coming and going One of The Shophound's favorite stores, ODIN New York, has solved that problem for you with some exclusive new glasses created to celebrate the retailer's 10th anniversary. Odin has joined forces with the great Japanese brand Matsuda to offer two styles that will only be available at their own stores here and also Colette in Paris and Boon the shop in Korea. That's a pretty limited distribution. The Matsuda x Odin New York Collection offers two styles, a sleek, squared off metal framed aviator with acetate inserts and the hand lacquered details that the brand is known for ($475, pictured below and in the video after the jump) and a classic acetate silhouette with a pleasingly chunky profile, contrasting arms and a keyhole bridge ($385, pictured above). Both are available in a range of colors while they last. They are an investment, of course, but, of course you will know that you can wear them  long after this Summer is over, and you won't see them on every third person at the beach. That doesn't come cheap.

Matsuda x Odin New York MXO-001 in Matte Black, $475

Continue reading "SUMMER SUN:

Your New Shades for This Summer
Are By Matsuda X ODIN New York
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