By  on April 24, 2007

NEW YORK — Pop stars can be so temperamental. Just ask 55DSL, which had British singing sensation Lily Allen cancel a private performance meant to celebrate the opening of its Manhattan retail store—after sending out invites touting the exclusive concert.

Despite the last-minute snafu, the Italian streetwear brand managed to snag another hot English act, the Klaxons, for the April 12 event, which featured a party in the store, followed by a concert at Brooklyn's uber-trendy Studio B nightclub. (Revelers were transported to the concert in a fleet of yellow school buses.)

Located at 281 Lafayette Street, the new 55DSL store is located on a shopping thoroughfare heavy with brand peers like WESC, Triple Five Soul, Stackhouse, Brooklyn Industries and Dunderdon. The 1,600-square-foot store stocks men's and women's apparel, accessories and eyewear (made by licensee Safilo) from 55DSL, which is a unit of Diesel Group.

The airy shop—conceived by an in-house industrial designer—features vintage oak floors, white-painted brick walls, and a ceiling with exposed beams and a skylight. Men's wear is on the right side of the rectangular space, with women's wear on the left and a display of T-shirts at the far end.

"We wanted to create a clean, simple space to put the focus on the clothes," said Andrea Rosso, creative director of 55DSL and son of Diesel founder Renzo Rosso.

A cash wrap of dark wood is situated in the center of the store, with modern, clear glass tables for merchandise strategically placed around the space. Two dressing rooms in the rear of the store are fashioned from glass and red privacy curtains, with a nearby lounge area boasting a Mod white leather sofa.

The store targets an 18- to 25-year-old demographic, with T-shirts retailing for about $35, shirts and pants for $100, sunglasses for $140 and outerwear from $130 to $400. The company declined to divulge sales projections for the shop.

Rosso hopes to host regular events and parties at the store, and a DJ booth is planted near the entrance. "This street is very special and we want the store to feel like a home," he noted. "I'd like to get together with the other stores on the block and organize an outdoor fair here."

This is 55DSL's fourth freestanding store, with other locations in Tokyo, London and Milan. The company has been scouting locations in L.A.'s La Brea neighborhood for another potential unit.

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