The designer just unveiled her newly expanded boutique, which now houses most of her categories under one roof. The store at 113 Greene Street here has grown to 1,875 square feet from 947 square feet and highlights areas that seemed a little lost in the shuffle before, including accessories and costume jewelry. There's also enough space to make a statement with cosmetics, and the store presents newer ventures such as men's wear and a vintage clothing department. This is Sui's only freestanding store in the U.S. She has two stores in Tokyo and one in Osaka, Japan.
"We were so crowded and so cramped, and everything was piled on top of everything else," Sui recalled of the previous layout, which resembled a cluttered salon. Until recently, the store's back area was the studio of a sculptor, who moved out. The extra space came in handy for Sui, who has been building her cosmetics, accessories and lingerie businesses. Many of them aren't widely distributed in the U.S. and are available mostly in Japan.
The new store has an airy feel without forsaking Sui's signature look, and includes red wooden floors, vintage black wood cabinets, quirky furniture Sui has picked up at flea markets and framed concert posters the designer has collected over the years.
"Everyone says that it still has that otherworldly quality," Sui said. "There is still the intimacy of being in my space, but now, they can see everything and it's not all on top of everything else. They are noticing categories they didn't know we had before."
The new store also has an expansive cosmetics counter, which will feature an in-house beauty expert for consultations. In addition, one imposing wardrobe is devoted to handbags, while another focuses on vintage clothes from Sui's personal archive. Sui has used many of these pieces as inspiration for collections, and she is now ready to part with some of the coats, suits and dresses. Each piece comes with a personal note from Sui explaining where she found the piece.
Even men get their Sui fix in the new store. While the designer offered a few men's pieces here and there in the past few seasons, she never had the space to present them properly. The boutique now offers a capsule collection of men's wear, including printed shirts, ties, polo shirts and baseball caps. "I have been also really wanting to do men's wear, but it was always jammed on a rack," Sui said. "We will start adding categories."Michael Pellegrino, president of Anna Sui Corp., declined to give sale projections for the expanded space, but said, "We anticipate a 20 to 30 percent increase in sales volume in the store."
Pellegrino added that he didn't rule out adding more Sui stores in the near future, most likely in Europe. "We are looking at possibly discussing the idea of a store in London," Pellegrino said.
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