NEW YORK — When Janice Levin-Krok learned Poleci's flagship on West 14th Street would have to relocate because the landlord wanted to redevelop the building, the creative director of the Los Angeles-based contemporary brand saw it as an opportunity to redefine its retail image and develop a new store prototype.
Poleci's 5,000-square-foot flagship at 32 Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District, which opened earlier this month, shows the results of Levin-Krok's new ideas. It's expected to do more than $2 million in sales in its first year.
The new store is the antithesis of the original. Where the West 14th Street unit was dark and moody, the new location is all about light and how it plays off of different surfaces. It matches the company's sunnier approach to expansion. A few years ago, Diane Levin, Poleci's managing director, chief executive officer and Levin-Krok's sister, would have shrugged her shoulders and muttered something about organic growth. Now she has a plan firmly in place, which includes relocating Poleci's Los Angeles flagship to a space large enough to accommodate the store and showroom, and unveiling in February a 2,000-square-foot unit at the Palazzo in Las Vegas. The store, which is directly across from Barneys New York, will have more than 50 feet of frontage. The brand wholesales to about 1,000 doors worldwide.
"We're being more aggressive," Levin said. "We have a long-term plan. We'll open eight to 10 stores in the next few years, including international expansion. We're about to relocate our Melrose Avenue store in Los Angeles because we need a bigger space to elevate the brand."
Levin said the company is targeting Beverly Boulevard and Third Street. Poleci's sophisticated silhouettes and luxury fabrics have outgrown Melrose Avenue, which "has become very denim-oriented," she said.
Asked whether Poleci is looking for investors, Levin said: "We always talk to people, but we aren't looking. Our growth and plan is structured. We will do a runway show. Next year [Poleci] will be more heavily marketed."
Another key to growth is adding product categories. Levin-Krok, who designs lingerie underpinnings, said Poleci will launch handbags and small leather goods in the fall as well as home furnishings such as cushions and blankets. A shoe collection will bow in the spring, followed by fragrance."Our collections range from T-shirts into fur coats," said Levin-Krok. Pieces have an architectural bent with an emphasis on innovative fabrics. An allover sequin slipdress is $1,065; a sheared white rabbit-fur jacket, $924; a houndstooth coat with a Peter Pan collar, $655, and a black tank dress with feathers and delicate beading, $655. The core of the collection is the jersey pieces, tops with dolman sleeves and keyhole backs.
The Gansevoort Street store uses innovative materials with light-enhancing qualities. A wall in the entry is made of Scintilla, a material that interacts with light to produce a rippling effect. Throughout the store, niches are covered in white Thassos stone, which has the bright crystalline color of refined sugar. There's a dramatic two-story, 20-foot-long chandelier that hangs through a hole cut out of the first floor to the lower level, where Poleci's showroom is located.
"The brand was evolving," said Levin. "We wanted to evolve the look of the store in terms of sophistication and comfort."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast