By  on May 28, 2008

NEW YORK — High-end activewear brand Erin Snow is giving new meaning to testing a retail concept with a four-month commitment to a Southampton, N.Y., store this summer.

Erin Snow's first retail door opened on Friday for Memorial Day weekend and the short-term lease runs through September, with an option to renew.

"Southampton is a perfect location for the Erin Snow brand because it is really a resort destination," said designer Erin Isakov. "We're using this store as a test to determine whether we want to push forward with more retail stores in different resort destinations in the next few years."

Erin Snow, which launched as a ski brand and then added tennis, sailing and golf-inspired clothes this spring, is taking over the 800-square-foot space at 38A & 38B Jobs Lane, which the Henry Lehr store used to occupy. With Tracy Feith and Villebrequin as neighbors, the store is set in a quaint courtyard complete with a fountain. The store itself is minimal with white walls and simple fixtures, most kept over from the former tenant, as Isakov aimed to keep capital costs low.

For the first few months of summer, the store will feature items from the summer collection, most of which retails from $250 to $500, including cotton voile dresses, stretch cotton shorts and pants and trenchcoats. In August, the store will add fall items, including a sampling of the technical outerwear around which Erin Snow built its business. Additionally the store will offer special edition, sport-focused items like technical surf trunks made from performance linen.

Earlier this year, the brand hosted a pop-up store of about the same square footage during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, giving Isakov the confidence to expand this summer.

Isakov expects the store will be profitable, and she will determine whether to keep the space or move to another Hamptons destination based on the performance. After the Hamptons, Manhattan is the next retail destination for the brand, followed by ski resort areas in Colorado or Utah, Isakov said, adding the firm has not laid out a complete retail expansion plan.

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