VERSACE CHOOSES FIFTH AVE. FOR HIS LARGEST U.S. SHOP

Byline: Sharon Edelson

NEW YORK--Gianni Versace is planning to open his largest store in the U.S. on Fifth Avenue.
The designer signed a lease for a five-story, 20,000-square-foot building at 647 Fifth Ave., between 51st and 52nd Streets, according to Olympic Associates, which owns the property.
Xenofon Galinos, president of Olympic Associates, said, "The company's intention is to put retail on all floors, although they may use the fifth floor as a showroom."
Galinos said the building, which is between the Cartier building and Olympic Tower, will house all of Versace's lines, from couture to home furnishings. There are also plans for a roof-top cafe.
Versace has two stores on Madison Avenue, a women's boutique at 817 Madison Ave., between 68th and 69th Streets, and a men's boutique at 816 Madison Ave., at 68th Street. A Versace spokesman said he did not know store's opening date or whether the Madison Avenue stores would cease operating once it does open.
Madison Avenue has been a retail hotbed lately. As reported, Giorgio Armani signed a lease for a two-floor, 12,000-square-foot space at 754-760 Madison Ave., at 65th Street. The designer will close a smaller store three blocks north on Madison.
Fifth Avenue also has been active. Liz Claiborne is opening a three-level, 18,000-square-foot unit at 650 Fifth Ave., at 52nd Street. OshKosh B'Gosh opened its U.S. flagship at 586 Fifth Ave., between 47th and 48th Streets, last November.

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