By  on May 14, 2008

BEVERLY HILLS — Miu Miu is back with a new store on Rodeo Drive.

The Prada-owned brand's 3,200-square-foot shop opened Saturday, and marks Miu Miu's reemergence in metropolitan Los Angeles two years after closing its boutique on Melrose Avenue, which launched in 2001.

"We were not happy with the results on Melrose, and we wanted to be where the other big luxury brands were — on Rodeo," said Tomaso Galli, Miu Miu's head of global communications.

The brand has a long-term lease on the rectangular space, which features 25-foot ceilings and skylights and green silk brocade draping the walls and ceiling — coverings that are interchangeable and designed to incorporate colors from the latest collection. It is Miu Miu's only West Coast unit.

Referring to the two-year hiatus, Galli said, "Location is everything, and until we have the right location we will always aggressively seek it."

The space will house an exclusive capsule collection, a mixture of select spring-summer and fall-winter 2008 pieces.

The Rodeo store will carry the full Miu Miu ready-to-wear line as well as handbags and other accessories. Shoes start at $380, jackets and dresses cost as much as $2,500 and purses range from about $1,000 to $2,000.

Representatives said Miu Miu's coming of age involves more luxe design and fabrics, intended to further develop a luxury customer base. Miu Miu now shows in Paris instead of Milan, which Galli said helped increase perception of the brand as a true luxury player.

Founded by Miuccia Prada in 1993, Miu Miu registered 2007 sales of 223 million euros, or $326 million at current exchange rates, a 50 percent increase over the previous year.

Miu Miu has 13 freestanding stores worldwide, including Paris, Milan, London, Hong Kong and two units in New York, as well as plans for a 57th Street flagship that will open this fall in the space formerly occupied by Jil Sander.

"The economy continues to have its ups and downs; the long-term plans are to continue to grow this brand and follow momentum on a worldwide basis," Galli said.

The Los Angeles market is a key part of the U.S. sales strategy because of "a very sophisticated clientele living there, there is significant tourism to the area and the presence of an important industry like entertainment," Galli said. "We had to have a significant presence in L.A."

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