NEW YORK — After more than 25 years in New York’s West Village, men’s specialty store L’Uomo is packing up and moving out so that retail giant Ralph Lauren can move in.
The 1,600-square-foot space at 383 Bleecker Street, which has housed L’Uomo’s refined assortment of avant-garde men’s wear since 1997, neighbors Ralph Lauren’s Men’s store at 363 Bleecker Street and is located directly across from the retailer’s women’s boutique.
“My lease ends May 1 and that is when Ralph Lauren is going to take it over,” said L’Uomo owner Michael Adjiashvili, “They are paying $50,000 more per month than I am currently paying. We tried to renegotiate the lease but the landlord never gave us a choice.” Ralph Lauren confirmed it was taking over the lease, but refused to disclose what type of Ralph Lauren store would go in the location.
Although L’Uomo will relocate to a larger space on the increasingly hip West 4th Street—home to two new Marc Jacobs stores—the move is yet another indication of Bleecker Street’s retail revival. Once home to a mix of antique stores, ice cream parlors and restaurants, this small Village street has quickly transformed into a magnet for corporate retail giants. Tommy Hilfiger took over the Robert Kree Salon at 375 Bleecker this past summer; Juicy Couture opened its doors at 368 last January; and James Perse opened its first men’s store on 361 Bleecker Street in May. Coach, Miguelina and Steve Madden have also added outposts in the last few months.
“So much has changed over the years, it’s not the same cozy neighborhood it once was,” said Adjiashvili, who took the plunge into men’s wear retailing by opening a small boutique on Bleecker Street in 1982. “It’s too touristy and corporate.”
Adjiashvili called L’Uomo’s relocation to a 2,200-square-foot space at 271 West 4th Street “a fantastic move,” and estimates he will pull in roughly $4 million in sales his first year there—more than he currently generates on Bleecker Street. Adjiashvili will likely open the doors to the new store later this spring or early next fall. Now that he has signed a new lease, Adjiashvili said he is looking forward to a new beginning. His focus for the new and improved L’Uomo? “Upgrading my operation in every aspect.” His plans include adding more high-end and exclusive collections, refining customer service and launching the store’s first Web site.
“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