LOS ANGELES--Fendi is returning to Rodeo Drive.
The Rome-based manufacturer of ready-to-wear, fur, knitwear and accessories will open a store in late October at 355 N. Rodeo Drive between Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo. The boutique will be 2,800 square feet and located in a space that used to be part of Gucci but is being separated to house its own store.
The store will be operated by Irwin Tauber, owner of Fendi stores in the Bal Harbour Shops in Florida; Fairfax Square in suburban Washington, D.C.; the Galleria in Houston, and South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. The Beverly Hills boutique will be the sixth U.S. Fendi store, in addition to Tauber's four units, a unit in Stamford, Conn., and the Fendi-owned store at Fifth Avenue and 56th Street in New York.
A spokeswoman for Tauber and Condotti Shops, his Bal Harbour-based operation, said plans for the store are being finalized and that an official announcement about the store would come in two weeks. "We're still working on what mannequins to order," said Leoni Obando, marketing director for Condotti. "It's still a baby."
Obando said the merchandise mix will include ready-to-wear, furs and probably shoes, fragrance, watches and other accessories. A grand opening party will be held in November.
Fendi had a Rodeo Drive store in the Eighties that was operated by Beverly Hills retailer Torie Steel. That unit, which was located on the 400 block, was closed in the late Eighties.
The Fendi deal is the latest of several moves recently made on the three-block-long Rodeo retail district. Lladro, the figurines manufacturer, has signed a deal for the old Torie Steel property on the 400 block. That space, which has not had a permanent tenant for several years, is now a hot property, bordered by the new Chanel and Bijan. Lladro is considering occupying half of the space and leasing half to another tenant.
Ermenegildo Zegna, the Italian men's wear manufacturer, reportedly is close to signing a deal for the space formerly occupied by Chanel at Rodeo and Dayton Way. That space, across from Fred Hayman and Two Rodeo, is one of the few high-profile locations available on the street.
Other retailers who recently have been looking for space on Rodeo include St. John Knits and Mark Cross.

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