By  on August 16, 2011

NEW YORK — With his first freestanding retail store for Z Spoke, Zac Posen wants to showcase the growing breadth of this secondary contemporary line alongside a curated mix of personal favorites.“I love the experience of retail,” said Posen, whose Z Spoke store is slated to open at 875 Washington Street on the corner of 14th Street on Aug. 25. “It’s incredibly important to present a merchandised vision that can encompass the whole lifestyle of the woman. You can also see the whole creative process with the product, feel the story of the brand and have an intimate shopping experience.”In addition to apparel, the 725-square-foot boutique will offer Z Spoke handbags, small leather goods, scarves and hats, as well as sunglasses by Illesteva and a selection of scented candles. There also will be a library of rare and vintage books curated by Michael Gallagher, whose now-shuttered Gallagher’s bookstore on East 12th Street was once a popular fashion haunt. “I have to keep myself away from being in the store and reading this incredible library,” Posen said. The books will be for sale.The store’s interior will be painted in red, with a mix of postmodern furniture. Posen described the feel of the store as having a “film noir quality. It feels like something that has potentially been there for some time,” the designer said. “I dreamt of entering into retail my whole life,” he added. “It’s very gratifying that the collection is selling right now, and we can grow it and expand it.”After an exclusive with Saks Fifth Avenue, the company opened the Z Spoke line’s distribution for spring 2011, and since then, the collection has been picked up by Bloomingdale’s, and, worldwide, stores such as Peek & Cloppenburg in Vienna and Berlin, Enny di Monaco in Athens, Vakko in Istanbul, Harvey Nichols in Riyadh and Restir in Tokyo. According to Zac Posen chief executive officer Susan Davidson, Z Spoke is experiencing “high double-digit sell-throughs.” Scoop, like Zac Posen, is owned by Ron Burkle’s The Yucaipa Cos., and the Z Spoke unit, formerly Scoop Beach, will be operated by Scoop NYC. “[The store is] a great opportunity to really expose the breadth of the collection to the consumer,” said Davidson. “We have very strong retail expertise in our portfolio, and a beautiful space that is becoming the Z Spoke store, so it was a great opportunity to do this now.”Davidson said she expects the store to do “in excess of $1,000 a square foot,” with a growing product assortment in months to come. “We are working on a lot of different licenses right now, and some should hopefully be signed very soon,” Davidson said. A Collection store could follow suit. “We are definitely looking at a store for Collection,” said Zac Posen president Jillian Sinel. “Collection is very different from Z Spoke. It takes more time to find the right space that is going to communicate the message in line with that of the ready-to-wear. It depends on the opportunity that comes to us.”

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