CFDA Award Winner To Open Cloak Store

The store, which is between Grand and Canal Streets in SoHo, is timed to open during New York Fashion Week.

NEW YORK — Alexandre Plokhov, the winner of this year’s Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for emerging talent, is opening his first Cloak men’s wear store at 10 Greene Street in a 1,000-square-foot space. The store, which is between Grand and Canal Streets in SoHo, is timed to open during New York Fashion Week.

“We’re working with Opening Ceremony on launching a store,” said Plokhov, referring to the dual-gender, multibrand retailer at 35 Howard Street. “It’s not a big store. It’s more like a tiny jewel box.”

Cloak’s fans range from Barneys New York vice president and fashion director Julie Gilhart, who buys the collection for the store, to women who wear Plokhov’s chunky sweaters and drainpipe trousers.

Aware of his female audience, Plokhov said, “Women buy my clothes. I would love to design women’s wear one day, but I want to concentrate on men’s now.”

Humberto Leon, co-owner of Opening Ceremony, which has carried Cloak for six seasons, and his partner, Carol Lim, are partners with Plokhov in the new store.

“We believe in the line,” Leon said. “It’s very special and unique. We wanted to get behind something. Cloak is one of the best-performing labels in our store. We want to capture that and take it to the next level.”

Plokhov and Leon declined to discuss volume projections for the store. Leon said only, “It will be able to generate pretty decent numbers.” Prices for Cloak range from $120 for a T-shirt to $2,000 for a coat. Retail experts said the store could generate $800 a square foot in sales.

With a vegetable-stained oak herringbone pattern on the floor and vegetable-stained paneling, Cloak looks like a handsome library. A turn-of-the-century, 14-foot-long claw-foot table dominates the room, which will have a hands-on bespoke area.

“We’re carrying the entire line and Alexandre is making things specially for the store,” said Leon. “A lot of women buy his clothes. Our buy is geared toward that clientele. We’re buying the entire size range, including smaller sizes that fit women. The store is really masculine and rich, but it won’t scare away any female customers.”

This story first appeared in the August 16, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Cloak jeans, and cardigans and V-neck sweaters for spring, were popular items with women. “Alexandre did a special jacket for Sarah Jessica Parker,” said Leon. “It could be the start of something great.”