Chef Charlie Palmer's restaurant opening Thursday at Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza store in Costa Mesa, Calif., is evidence of the retailer's belief that food extends the time shoppers spend in the store, leading to more sales.
Palmer's 11,000-square-foot establishment features what the chef — who runs the highly rated Aureole restaurants in New York and Las Vegas — calls "progressive American-style" food, including entrées such as lemongrass poached lobster and pancetta-wrapped quail. A wine shop operated by Palmer, called Next Vintage, is opening alongside the restaurant.
In addition, a second eatery is expected to open at the South Coast Plaza Bloomingdale's. Chairman and chief executive officer Michael Gould said, "It's an exciting San Francisco/Beverly Hills concept," but he declined to reveal the name.
"Food is becoming more and more important to our business," Gould said. "Our statistics show that a customer who also [visits] the restaurants will end up spending as much as twice as much [money] in the store during the course of the year. We wanted something very unique in South Coast Plaza. We were coming into a center that's been so established for so long."
Tony Spring, president and chief operating officer of Bloomingdale's, said, "We're taking the shop experience to another level. This is a model that has possibilities in other [Bloomingdale's] locations. These types of little indulgences are ways consumers, even in this environment, will want to treat themselves, when they can't have an extreme indulgence."
Bloomingdale's will open a 12,000-square-foot chef-driven restaurant on the third floor of a unit slated to open at CityNorth in Phoenix in fall 2009. And the retailer continues to tinker with the dining offerings at its 59th Street flagship in Manhattan.
"As we're redoing the lower level men's area, we're taking out the 59 Lex restaurant and will have a whole new concept coming in," Gould said. "We're looking at doing some other things on 59th Street with food."
The successful 40 Carrots, which sources said does more than $3 million in annual sales, is being expanded. "Forty Carrots is a main opportunity," Gould said. "In the Chestnut Hill, Mass., store, which we redid about a year ago, we're opening a 40 Carrots on the main level, facing the main door and Route 9."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast