By  on February 25, 2011

BEVERLY HILLS — A star-filled party Thursday night marked the opening of Tom Ford’s first Los Angeles-area store at 346 North Rodeo Drive here.

The 9,200-square-foot, two-story boutique introduces a new look for the brand and is the first to feature a dedicated women’s wear floor that houses the collection in its entirety.

The Rodeo Drive store is a distinct departure from the darker and more masculine environment of the 28 existing units worldwide. The emporium of pale grays and silver with high-gloss lacquer and glass exudes Los Angeles glamour and was designed to appeal to female customers. Ford and longtime collaborator William Sofield conceived the lighter and more streamlined design to reflect the light-filled and spacious feel of the City of Angels.

Consumers enter the store through a 23-foot-high facade of smooth white plaster. White marble casing surrounds the display windows and the entrances into the store’s exterior courtyard, which is floored in blue-gray marble that continues into the entry vestibule where pale gray, hand-rubbed lacquer walls and a marble-and-chrome desk greet customers.

The vestibule opens into the perfumery, where Tom Ford Beauty and Tom Ford Private Blend fragrances line polished chrome shelves with gray tinted glass. A mirrored staircase ascends to the women’s floor.

From the vestibule, visitors enter the men’s salon, where the focal point is a white marble fireplace and hearth set into a mirrored wall. A dark brown velvet sofa, gray pearl onyx coffee table and side chairs create a seating area surrounded by clothing and accessories on lacquered wall units and in gray painted steel wardrobes with ebony interiors.

Upstairs on the women’s floor, there are three salons including handbag and shoe areas, an eveningwear room with slightly darker furnishings and a daywear room featuring another fireplace and seating area. Pieces such as a viscose peak lapel jacket for $4,500 and wide-leg pants for $1,700 are presented in gray steel-frame wardrobes with silver glazed linen interiors and glass shelves.

Ford declined to give per-square-foot sales estimates.

The symmetrical design, a trademark of Ford’s interiors, lends a consistency to the new concept, which will become the standard for future women’s wear floors and retail spaces worldwide.

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