NEW YORK — While many family-owned retailers are disappearing from the landscape, Leggiadro is starting to think national.
The company plans to open a 1,500-square-foot shop at 30 Main Street in Southampton today, and another 1,500- square-foot store this fall, at 445 North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. In addition, Leggiadro is seeking space on Long Island’s Miracle Mile, possibly in the Americana Manhasset shopping center, and in Atlanta’s Phipp Plaza, according to Ann Ross, creative director, and founder of the business.
Leggiadro also has stores in Palm Beach and Naples, Fla., Nantucket, and at 680 Madison Avenue in the Carlton House here. The 18-year-old vertical chain, which designs and sells all of its own merchandise, has always maintained a low profile, until now.
“We want to build the brand,” said Ross. “We think we have a wonderful little niche. You have to grow but not so crazy fast, and you have to have strong, loyal people working with you. Our store is not intimidating. I don’t have collection, collection, collection. We always get new things coming in all the time. You can buy summer goods in August.”
Ross said she buys designer-quality European fabrics, and designs all the merchandise in a 14,000-square-foot space on Seventh Avenue, where there is a pattern-maker and a seamstress. She characterized her line as high-end related sportswear, priced below designer collections, and appealing to women ages 18 to 70 “who take care of their bodies.” She added that her line is “very much about color. Everything goes with everything. Someone who just wants to spend a half-hour shopping can come out with a lot of things.”
Cotton sweaters retail for $300 and higher; cotton shirts are priced from $260 to $450, and pants, $300 to $325. She designs six prints a year that are silk-screened in Italy in four or five fabrics.
According to Faith Hope Consolo, vice chairman of Garrick-Aug Worldwide, Ltd., one of the real estate firms assisting Leggiadro in finding locations, “About a year ago, we arranged Leggiadro’s move to 680 Madison Avenue, also known as the Carlton House, just a block south from its flagship, which opened in 1985. Since moving to the larger retail location, its sales have quadrupled and now Leggiadro is ready to take its concept to other high-profile areas that work equally well for attracting its well-heeled clientele.”Ten-year leases were signed in Southampton and Beverly Hills, Consolo said.
“Leggiadro” translated means something that is aesthetically beautiful, with the lightness and grace of a classic dancer, Consolo said.
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