WWD.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/basso-lands-prime-n-y-site-725741/

NEW YORK — Dennis Basso has secured a prime piece of Madison Avenue real estate for his New York flagship, securing a lease to open a 3,000-square-foot salon in a space formerly occupied by Via Spiga between East 65th and 66th Streets.

This story first appeared in the July 15, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Basso, who opened his first signature store in Aspen at The Little Nell resort hotel over the winter, anticipates a late October opening for the location at 765 Madison Avenue, with a projected first-year volume of $7 million. He has hired Michael L. Leclere of Leclere Associates as the architect of the site, while the interior will be designed by Kenneth Alpert, who created the limestone floors, sycamore trim, black accents and upholstered walls of quilted creme silk in the Aspen store.

“This is much larger than the Aspen store,” Basso said. “All of the displays will be built in with a contemporary feeling, but very luxurious. It’s a really well-proportioned site, with 30 feet of frontage, and halfway back there is a skylight that fills the store with natural light. That doesn’t normally happen on Madison Avenue.”

Also unusual, he noted, is his plan to spend about half his days in the Madison Avenue location working alongside Jack Cohen, who joined Basso in May from Fendi as director of the Madison Avenue project, after spending his mornings in the traditional confines of the Fur District on lower Seventh Avenue. Being a designer on site will contribute to a clubby atmosphere, where his regular clients can stop by for a drink or just to say hello. The connection to his workrooms downtown will also enable Basso to deliver a custom-made product to clients in the store within four or five days.