NEW YORK — The club kids and celebrities who flocked to the Limelight nightclub during its heyday in the Eighties and early Nineties would hardly recognize the deconsecrated church. It is being reinvented as The Limelight Marketplace, an indoor shopping center modeled after a quaint European shopping district.
The project is on target to meet its March 25 opening date despite the structural and construction challenges of converting the landmark Gothic revival church on Sixth Avenue and 20th Street into a three-level, 25,000-square-foot mall. The tab for renovations has swelled to $15 million from $10 million.
“The hard part was getting the right tenants,” said Jack Menashe, president of Limelight Marketplace, who estimated $50 million in sales volume the first year despite the fallout from the recession. “It’s not going to be a flea market.”
Menashe said a few spaces remain to be leased.
The church’s dark interior has been painted white, the beer-soaked carpets replaced by a checkerboard black-and-white floor. On the first level, a series of small shops line either side of the main hall, each with its own distinctive facade, from Neoclassical columns to wrought iron. The out-of-the-way rooms in the back are being transformed into a specialty food hall with vendors such as Miss Tea and Carter & Cavero olive oil. There will be a Sweet Room where parents and children can sample treats.
Shops in the main hall will include Hunter Boot’s first store selling outerwear, leather boots and wellies. Therapie New York, an apothecary run by Boyd’s of Madison Avenue, will open Therapie New York General Store for Limelight. Selima Optique has leased a space, as has Le Sportsac.
Silly Souls baby clothing and shoes, Book Smart, Brocade Home, created by Lisa Versacio, founder of West Elm, and Cult Jones Gallery will open stores. Soapology will have a bath tub and an aromatic oil bar for mixing scents.
Luludenim plans one of the largest stores at Limelight, a 1,500-square-foot space selling AG, Diesel and Robin’s jeans and ready-to-wear by Y-3, Jean Paul Gaultier and Moschino. A Lulu sneaker bar will feature Dsquared and Galliano.
The apothecary room, with red patent leather-covered walls and black lacquer and mirrored fixtures, will feature Caswell-Massey, Om Aroma & Co., a Cosme Proud treatment collection containing 24-karat gold flakes and created by former Shiseido executives, and Sue Devitt, whose line is sold at Barneys New York.
Brocade’s second store, a 1,500-square-foot space on the second floor, will have themed lifestyle rooms.
The J. Sisters, Brazilian siblings who operate a salon on East 57th Street, leased the third floor, once known as the Spider Room. J. Sisters, which popularized the Brazilian bikini wax in New York during the mid-Nineties, will offer haircuts and color, manicures, pedicures and facials.
John Wye’s custom-made leather accessories and screen printed T-shirts for men will be housed in a so-called “skybox” on the third floor. S’Mac, Oprah Winfrey’s favorite mac-and-cheese restaurant, will open on the second and third floors. Among the other retailers will be Tina Tang, a jeweler with a store in the West Village, and Tantra, the maker of tunics for Calypso.
Services will include a concierge and central cash wrap. Grimaldi Pizza of Brooklyn will have its own entrance on Sixth Avenue and will operate 24/7.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews