By  on April 4, 2007

Juicy Couture has opened a 1,726-square-foot boutique in Malibu, the affluent Southern California beach community that helped put the brand's signature sweatsuits on the map.

The two-level boutique opened Thursday at the Malibu Country Mart, an outdoor shopping plaza that's seen its share of Juicy Couture-clad shoppers.

"[The brand] is a natural fit for the Malibu lifestyle," said company co-founder Pamela Skaist-Levy, who lives in Malibu with her family. "Malibu is my favorite place in the world."

The Country Mart also is home to James Perse, Ralph Lauren and specialty stores Ron Herman and Planet Blue.

Juicy Couture, which is owned by Liz Claiborne Inc., is in the midst of an aggressive retail expansion that included the launch of flagships in Milan and New York this year. Next up will be a flagship on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills this fall. The Malibu location is Juicy's 21st unit, and the company plans to almost double that total to 40 locations by the end of 2007.

The cozy Malibu boutique, which carries Juicy Couture apparel, accessories and kids' wear, is classic Juicy girly-meets-rock 'n' roll. There are stripped-down French antiques, hardwood floors and glass jars filled with candy.

"Think modern fairy-tale girl meets rock star, and they move into an old English manor house to become Juicy Royalty," said co-founder Gela Nash-Taylor.

Surfing, an integral part of the Malibu mythology, is also given its due in the decor. Dressing rooms resemble mini cabanas and are topped with striped awnings. The phrase "Live to Surf" is emblazoned across the back wall.

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