By  on May 24, 2007

NEW YORK — Stacey Bendet has big ambitions in retail.

The designer of contemporary collection Alice + Olivia opened her second Manhattan location, at 219 Mott Street, Friday in the heart of the NoLIta neighborhood. The 700-square-foot store, though much smaller than the 1,800-square-foot flagship at 80 West 40th Street that launched in September, marks the beginning of a retail expansion plan that is intended to eventually showcase the Alice + Olivia collection in freestanding stores across the U.S.

"It's a very busy time, but it's also such a great time for the company," Bendet said in an interview at the Mott Street store.

This store is Alice + Olivia's fourth retail unit, including locations on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles and a new store in Southampton, N.Y. There are plans to open in an old lumber yard in Malibu, Calif., and in Las Vegas in the soon-to-be built W hotel.

Bendet said she chose the location of the Mott Street store for some selfish reasons.

"I love the neighborhood and the space reminds me of a cute little jewel box,'' she said. "I also go to yoga every day just down the street, so it's great to have my store right here. After yoga I can come here, which I love."

To keep with her jewel box theme, Bendet chose gold for the pop color of the store. Mostly designed in black and white, there's a gold bowl on a table that holds white and black M&Ms. Gold shelves line a wall, and a gold sequin dress is showcased on a mannequin. Also, since the store is on the small side, Bendet said she will use this location to showcase a "well-edited mix" of the collection as well as some exclusive items. She said she also will sell an Alice + Olivia candle, made just for her New York stores, as well as her new yoga collection, which includes leggings, tanks and supersoft zip-ups. The line retails from $88 for leggings to $980 for shearling coats.

In addition to the Mott Street space, Bendet this week opened a new 1,000-square-foot store on Jobs Lane in Southampton, which relocated from East Hampton, N.Y.

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