INDUSTRIA SLATES FIRST STORE,TO BOW IN N.Y. IN SEPTEMBER

Byline: DAVID MOIN

NEW YORK--Industria, the contemporary, minimalist line designed by photographer Fabrizio Ferri, is opening its first store, a 2,000-square-foot unit in the West Village.
Though removed from the city's more traditional designer enclaves, such as Madison Avenue, 57th Street and SoHo, Industria, as far as Ferri is concerned, will be in the thick of things when it opens in early September. It will be located at 755 Washington St., between 12th and Bethune Streets, the same former parking garage that now houses Industria showrooms. It's also just across the street from Ferri's Industria Superstudio, a 25,000-square-foot complex for fashion shoots and big parties that bring out the trendiest in the city.
"Industria has established a name for itself in the neighborhood," said Ferri in an interview Monday. "It's brought enormous traffic here, and there's a lot of curiosity about us.
"This is not about opening a boutique," he added. "It's half showroom and half retail. We want people who walk into the store to see people working as they would in any showroom, and to make every retailer come through our retail store, to see our windows, to get our ideas, to get the feel of Industria and what it should be when it becomes a corner in their stores.
"It's pretentious to tell retailers how to sell, if you don't have the experience."
Ferri said he could not project a volume on the store since just a "soft opening" without advertising or fanfare is planned for September. In January, a big launch will be made, he said. "We are not ashamed to show a work in progress."
Ferri, who owns 80 percent of Industria, said he was happy with his U.S. retail clients, and put his U.S. wholesale volume at about $10 million. The Industria line, currently in its third year of business, retails in about 150 doors, including Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, Charivari, Saks Fifth Avenue, Linda Dresner in New York and Ultimo in Chicago. However, Ferri believes some retailers are "making big mistakes," particularly the ones with substantial private label programs. "They're weakening the impact of their stores by having too many things that look alike, and are scared things are too expensive. So they've come up with idea of private labels, which undermines the business."
His store will include Industria's men's and women's collections retailing from $150 to $600. Designed with wood tables and shelves and iron racks, the fixtures will also be for sale, Ferri said, and convey a "strong, simple and warm atmosphere, not high tech or industrial."

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