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NEW YORK — Finally, there’s a store coming to SoHo that doesn’t have a branch uptown. Moreover, it’s not simply for shopping.
This story first appeared in the December 13, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Lounge, a 16,000-square-foot “lifestyle” retail concept is being planned for a spring opening, possibly April, on Broadway between Houston and Prince Streets. There will also be an entrance on Mercer Street.
According to owner Jack Menasche, The Lounge will have attitude, not luxe designer prices, and will include in-store shops for young designers of casual, contemporary sportswear, presented the way the wholesalers want, and not dictated by the retail buyers. About 20 fashion shops, at around 200 square feet each, will “rotate,” so the brands displayed can change seasonally or faster, depending on demand.
There will also be “permanent” settings, Menasche said, for music, footwear, a jeans bar, a personal care and hair salon and a European-style cafe. He also expects to sell vintage clothing and lingerie.
Menasche said that James Mansour, of Mansour Design, is the interior designer for The Lounge. His projects have included Henri Bendel, The Sony Style Store, Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Menasche is the son of Martin Menasche, owner and founder of the Bang Bang moderate-priced contemporary chain of 10 shops, located in the metropolitan area and at the King of Prussia mall in Pennsylvania.
“The Lounge will represent a new sensibility in retailing, offering a cool, clean, contemporary environment that provides what’s new in fashion in a high-energy format,” Menasche said. He also hopes to have frequent in-store promotions, art exhibitions, appearances by fashion designers and recording artists, and an “extensive” advertising campaign starting in January.
Though the lineup of labels isn’t set yet, Lounge officials say they’ve had talks with Joe’s Jeans, Custo, Miss Sixty, The Mecca Group and Buddhist Punk; cafe operators like Sant Ambroues and Spanish Kitchen, as well as Fred Segal and Tommy Boy Records. The consumer demographic is described as “global contemporary — style seekers from 18 to 50.”