By  on April 19, 2005

NEW YORK — John Varvatos’ men’s wear business is sizzling in SoHo and his women’s wear line may benefit.

Varvatos plans to move his men’s business from its 2,800-square-foot store at 149 Mercer Street to a 5,200-square-foot space at 124 Spring Street, a prime location occupied by Ferragamo. The designer is also thinking about converting the Mercer Street store into a women’s boutique.

Sales at the Mercer Street store are $2,400 a square foot, said the designer, who is nominated for Menswear Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Varvatos’ collection for women includes tailored pieces, soft dressing, jeans, casual sportswear, shoes and handbags and is sold in the designer’s Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Short Hills, N.J., locations, and at Scoop here.

“In April, so far, we’re up 105 percent over last year,” Varvatos said. “Year-to-date we’re running 35 percent ahead of last year. We’ve been running between 35 and 50 percent increases a year.”

The Mercer street store opened in October 2000.

The Varvatos brand, which is owned by VF Corp., does $50 million in wholesale and retail sales, sources said.

Ferragamo put its space on the market in September, citing favorable real estate market conditions. “This is an advantageous moment to entertain offers,” Mossimo Ferragamo, chairman of the U.S. affiliate of the Florentine luxury house, said at the time. “This is a real estate opportunity, independent from the retail business.”

Prada, Bottega Veneta, Chanel and Burberry opened stores in SoHo in 2000 and 2001. Cartier, Yves Saint Laurent, H. Stern and Ermenegildo Zegna also made commitments to the neighborhood, but either occupied their spaces briefly or never moved in.

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