Luxury Labels Descend on SoHo NYC
Downtown Manhattan has seen a slew of high-end fashion store openings already in 2013, with SoHo side streets such as Mercer, Greene and Wooster emerging as the borough’s new retail hotspots.
According to a New York Times report in December 2012, there’s been a surge in SoHo properties earmarked for retail development over the past six months – suggesting that even luxury brands are no longer obsessed with securing a gilded space in luxury retail’s traditional stamping grounds and are happy to search out second-tier streets for better deals instead.
French fashion house Chloe chose Greene Street as the site for its second New York boutique, unveiled in February 2013. Standing alongside Louis Vuitton and Stella McCartney, the Art Deco-styled 2,100 sq ft store is populated with vintage furniture and lighting.
Also on Greene Street, Parisian womenswear designer Vanessa Bruno launched a 4,800 sq ft temporary store to coincide with New York Fashion Week, as well as to test the creative waters before the brand sets down permanent roots in the US later in 2013. The loft space sold flowers, Diptyque candles and Laduree macaroons, as well as Bruno’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection.
French group PPR, home to a host of high-profile luxury labels, also introduced some new concepts. Balenciaga hosted a pre-spring ‘seasonal store’ on Wooster Street as a precursor to the launch of its permanent Mercer Street boutique, while Saint Laurent snapped up a site on Mercer Street, which is currently under construction.
US brands are also part of the migration. Prestigious jeweller Tiffany’s opened a Greene Street boutique back in September 2012, while New York-based womenswear brand Proenza Schouler is currently reputed to be scouting SoHo for its second New York location.
“It used to be that tenants wanted to be on Prince or Spring Street, but now secondary streets like Mercer, Greene and Wooster are the first choice for some retailers,” said Ariel Schuster, an executive vice-president at US property agency RKF.
For more on store tactics for luxury labels, including how high-end labels are keeping their lavish stores relevant in the digital age, see Luxury Brand Temples.