BEVERLY HILLS — Hollywood social fixtures Jamie Tisch and Elizabeth Wiatt each have two tween daughters, so the time was right for a leap into apparel retailing.
The pair's first venture, an interactive tween store called Fashionology, is set to open Saturday at 338 North Canon Drive here.
The idea began to develop a couple of years ago when they were teaching their daughters how to sew. The 1,900-square-foot store has a new interactive concept where girls ages five to 16 will use a touch screen to choose and design various embellishments on solid cotton separates, then apply the trims themselves with help from the store's staff. The concept is new for apparel, but is already popular with chains such as American Girl, Build-A-Bear and Color Me Mine.
"The place [store] actually started full of sewing machines, but we realized you can't learn to sew in 30 minutes," said Wiatt, the wife of Jim Wiatt, chairman and chief executive officer of the William Morris Agency.
"This combines everything we love — kids, fashion and shopping," said Tisch, who is getting divorced from producer Steve Tisch, adding that they plan to incorporate philanthropy as well, with proceeds or events benefiting charities for underprivileged youth.
Tisch cofounded the Women's Cancer Research Fund and has chaired Saks Fifth Avenue's Unforgettable Evening gala for 13 years. Wiatt serves on the boards of several nonprofits, including the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Their store is on a stretch of Canon Drive that is home to other family-friendly businesses.
"We loved that there was so much local and tourist traffic here," Wiatt said. The store's bright graphics and kid-size mannequins are a natural draw for families strolling down the street.
Girls choose a blank cotton piece — tank tops, T-shirts, hoodies, dresses, pants, skirts and shorts come in a rainbow of colors in sizes 6x to 14. Retail prices range from $16.50 to $39.50.
At one of the interactive kiosks, they can pick from one of five themes, including Malibu and Pop and Peace, which offer heat-transfer logos, charms, rhinestones and necklaces they can drag onto their virtual piece and place wherever they like. The screen also tallies the cost for adding each embellishment.After receiving a printout of the creation, girls attach the trims themselves at craft tables in the back of the store. The final touch is a photo booth in which to model the finished product.
While a heavily decorated item may cost close to $100, the average price per piece will be $40 to $50.
Although the partners declined to give first-year sales projections, their goal is to open 50 stores in the next five years.
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