KENZO'S MADISON AVENUE COMEBACK

NEW YORK--Kenzo's new Madison Avenue shop has been drawing strong traffic in the 2 1/2 weeks since its Sept. 5 opening.
In that time, the 2,000-square-foot shop, between 67th and 68th Streets, has posted about $500,000 in sales, according to manager Edouard De Ferreira-Goncalves.
Among the bestsellers in women's apparel were a red velvet stitched suit priced at $1,000, and a red moire women's suit, also at $1,000. In men's wear, a black three-piece suit and a two-piece suit with a mandarin-collar shirt, both in the $900 range, were strong sellers.
Kenzo hosted a sushi party at the store last week to celebrate the opening, drawing more than 500 business associates, models and friends from here and Paris, where the designer's business is based.
"I am surprised at how many people are here," said Kenzo, with a big smile. "It's very important to have a store, to project the image."
"He's a longtime survivor," said designer Norma Kamali, one of the guests. "He's been true to himself and has maintained a following. You have to give him a pat on the back for that."
The store marks a renewed interest by the designer in building a U.S. business, which up to now has been minimal. Kenzo's sales worldwide last year reached $150 million, but as the designer said, "The U.S. is not one of my major markets."
His last store on Madison Avenue, near 70th Street, opened in 1983 and closed in 1989.

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