NEW YORK — It’s back to the drawing board for Limelight Marketplace.
Launched in May 2010 as a collection of shops, cafes, eateries and restaurants under one roof, the site will be relaunched in September as a three-level department store simply called Limelight.
An audacious $20 million experiment, Limelight Marketplace bowed with 60 vendors filling every corner of the former Gothic Revival-style church at Sixth Avenue and 20th Street. Prior to Marketplace, the church was the site of the notorious Limelight nightclub in the Eighties.
“Originally, we wanted Limelight Marketplace to be a family-style entertainment place,” said owner Jack Menashe, who realized that “the way the shops were cut up made it a little difficult to shop. The whole main floor is cleared out and it’s very sexy and dramatic and moody. It’s going to have a much more sophisticated one-vision feel.”
Limelight will be open during the $4 million renovation, he said.
“We were doing very good,” Menashe said, referring to sales, but declined to be more specific. “We think the [new] direction will be even more fruitful.”
Hunter Boots, LeSportsac, Cockpit USA, Alexander West and Om Aroma & Co. are among the brands that exited Limelight Marketplace.
“It needs more fashion, that whole feeling of unknown brands I love to discover,” said Menashe, who wants to recast Limelight as a hipper place to shop and eat. “The jeans room will have 30 different brands.” Menashe owned Lounge in SoHo before embarking on the 25,000-square-foot Limelight Marketplace project.
Ad agency Conversation was hired to drive marketing efforts, while Melanie Drake, former buyer at Boogies in Aspen, came on board to revamp the merchandise mix. Limelight’s location is a plus, she said. “We don’t have the obstacles other stores have like fighting for lines. Any [brand] I wanted, I got. That includes M Missoni, Charlotte Ronson, James Perse, Young Fabulous & Broke, Rich and Skinny, Winter Kate and Elizabeth and James for women and Levi’s Made & Crafted, Sundek by Neil Barrett and Original Penguin, Trovata and Rogan for men.”
Todd English’s new Cross Bar restaurant at Limelight has joined Grimaldi’s pizza restaurant and Cana Wine Bar. A DJ will spin tunes. “We’re trying to bring a fun, Fred Segal-type of vibe with lots of denim,” Drake said. “The space is huge. It’s such a big undertaking. But all these different elements make it special.”
“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