NEW YORK — On a recent afternoon, Alissa Emerson and Valerie Feigen stood inside a gutted building at 1368 Lexington Avenue near 90th Street, which will house their two-level store, Edit.
The 2,500-square-foot Edit, which will feature designers such as Derek Lam, Tuleh, Martin Grant, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Lutz & Patmos and Hanii Y, is scheduled to open after Labor Day. The store is expected to do $3 million in annual sales by its second year and $5 million by its third, Feigen said. A Web site, edit.com, launching at the end of next month, will "exceed the annual business of the store," she added.
Edit, which is costing a little more than $1 million to build, aspires to a level of sumptuousness typically associated with stores on Fifth Avenue, not Carnegie Hill.
"We're modeling it to look like a townhouse, like someone's home," said Feigen. "There's such a void in this neighborhood. We don't feel like there's an amazing specialty store here."
Christopher Barriscale, who designed the Garren New York salon in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel, gave Edit a residential feel and added dramatic elements such as a grand staircase, black and white-stained hardwood floors and antique bronze fixtures, including hanging racks suspended from the ceiling. Walls will be decorated with fashion illustrations and an oil painting from the Clignancourt flea market in Paris.
Emerson said the living room will have a fireplace and bar; a chandelier will hang above the staircase. A guest was asked to use her imagination to visualize the Sheetrock-lined hallway as an elegant mirrored corridor.
Handbags by Henry Beguelin, Anya Hindmarch, Devi Kroell and Celestina will be displayed along the wall on the ground floor and vitrines will hold jewelry by Irene Neuwirth, Temple St. Clair, Jamie Joseph and Manon von Gerkan.
In addition to ready-to-wear, Edit will sell denim brands such as Notify, Kasil, Aristocrat and AG Adriano Goldschmied.
The two women met 14 years ago when Feigen wandered into Emerson's former boutique, Tuesday's Child, in Scarsdale, N.Y. From then on, Feigen said she shopped nowhere else. When she expressed an interest in the business, Emerson began inviting her to join her on buying trips. "Our skill sets are very complementary," said Feigen, who followed apparel stocks as an analyst at Lehman Bros. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co."We wanted to have a partnership in New York," Emerson said. "This is an extension of what we started at Tuesday's Child."
The partners, who both live in the neighborhood, began searching for real estate three years ago, mainly focusing on upper Madison Avenue, "but the rents were prohibitive," Emerson said. "Valerie was walking her dog one day and saw a sign outside this building."
Edit will cater to neighborhood residents with services such as delivery, after-hours, private shopping by appointment and a loyalist club, which will allow customers to exchange points for services such as alterations.
"Our woman shops at Intermix, Scoop and Bergdorf Goodman," said Feigen. "She's a little older, in her 30s, 40s and 50s. We feel we have a look. Most stores are either very refined and polished or urban and trendy. We feel the stores are either-or. There's a new generation of women who want a different style. We bridge the gap between the traditional and the trendy."
"Our customer is definitely here," Emerson added. "She's around the corner having coffee."
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