BOSTON — Marc Jacobs turned out in full fencing regalia — replete with mask and foil — Thursday night to celebrate the opening of his Newbury Street store here.
The party theme was the Summer Olympics. As interpreted by the 50 or so staffers shuttled in from New York and San Francisco, that meant micro tennis shorts, Bjorn Borg-style headbands, retro bathing caps — and long cigarette breaks outside the restaurant’s entrance.
Guests, meanwhile, competed in the free-stuff grab as Jacobs’ team members handed out chalk-white Frisbees, T-shirts, tank tops, whistles and flip-flops emblazoned “81 Newbury,” the store’s address.
For Jacobs, his hair wildly curly from fencing-suit humidity, the bash at the Union Bar & Grille in the city’s trendy South End neighborhood was not quite consolation for being unable to fete his upcoming Los Angeles stores with a Halloween blowout.
Due to construction delays, the company is staggering the openings of its four Melrose Avenue properties in L.A., starting with the accessories store in October, the Marc by Marc Jacobs and VIP studio spaces in late November and the collection door in January.
Backed by parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the $300 million Marc Jacobs International is on a retail tear, expanding its 40-store global operation with openings slated in Shanghai — its first store in China — on Sept. 22; Bal Harbour, Fla., in March, and Chicago sometime in 2005. The company is also on the cusp of signing a Paris lease, though brand president Robert Duffy remained mum on the unit’s exact location.
The store here, a refurbished two-story town house, gives a nod to the city’s quintessential brick residences. The colorful, merchandise-jammed Marc by Marc Jacobs is at street level, while the upper story, with its original double-parlor outlines evident, features Grecian-white fireplaces and Doric columns as a serene setting for the collection.
Sources estimate the 3,750-square-foot store could produce sales of $4 million annually.
For brand aficionados, there are treasures in the form of product debuts (silver picture frames, the Czech crystal in a new, jade hue) and city exclusives, such as the one-off, $9,200 ruby-red crocodile handbag featured on Vogue’s August “Last Look” page.
"I think that all anyone really wants in life is to have people understand us for who we actually are, despite everything," says Ruth Negga. The actress talks "Preachers" season 2 and more on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: Dan Doperalski)
"That's something that resonates with me too because I'm so locked into a number. If I go over that number it completely ruins my day so it's nice to get detached from the number on the scale." - Chelsea Handler on Kelly LeVeque's book "Body Love." #wwdeye (📷: John Salangsang)