NEW YORK — The 8,000-square-foot Bagutta Life is the fruit of Marc Bagutta’s unusual vision, a Les Escaliers-like mélange of fashion, furniture, jewelry, fragrance and children’s clothing. But there the comparison ends....
NEW YORK — The 8,000-square-foot Bagutta Life is the fruit of Marc Bagutta’s unusual vision, a Les Escaliers-like mélange of fashion, furniture, jewelry, fragrance and children’s clothing. But there the comparison ends. It’s displayed in an environment of industrial space meets faded 17th-century Dubrovnik elegance.
The store at 72-76 Greene Street in SoHo, which opened last week, is expected to do $5 million in sales in its first year. It replaces a 3,500-square-foot Bagutta flagship at 402 West Broadway that’s been a neighborhood fixture for 16 years. Bagutta has remained loyal to the neighborhood through lean economic times, the art gallery exodus, the wave of national mall tenants and 9/11.
Bagutta on West Broadway gained a loyal following for its women’s fashion, which included designers such as John Galliano, Christian Dior, Roberto Cavalli, Alexander McQueen, Missoni, Stella McCartney, Esteban Cortazar, Junya Watanabe, Narcisco Rodriguez, Valentino and Ann Demeulemeester.
The new store has expanded the offerings of several existing designers and added the Japanese label If Six Was Nine, Rochas by Olivier Theyskens and Azzedine Alaïa.
But it’s not just the stellar cast of designers that makes Bagutta Life unique; it’s the pieces Bagutta and women’s fashion buyer Jalaine Adamson Sommers choose.
“We buy for a sexier woman,” Adamson Sommers says. “We do a lot of exclusives with the designers and buy a lot of pieces from the runway that don’t get produced.”
“Every rock star is wearing this,” she adds, pointing to a long leather coat with whipstitching by If Six Was Nine that sells for $2,435.
Bernard Paul, who oversees men’s wear, says he chooses classic suits, sweaters and coats from Prada, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Demeulemeester. Bagutta Life and Maxfield’s in Los Angeles are the only stores that sell Prada men’s wear other than the Prada boutiques, according to Paul.
Ellen Barkin and Ron Perelman are typical Bagutta customers in that she looks for sexy clothing, while he favors a traditional modern look. Other customers include Selma Blair, Tara Reid, Boris Becker and neighborhood fixtures Willem Dafoe and Robert DeNiro.What Fornasetti is to Les Escaliers, Ria & Yiouri Augousti is to Bagutta. The exotic furniture displayed throughout the store includes sofas, cocktail tables, dining tables, chairs and chests made of shagreen, abalone shells and snowfish skins. The furniture, which is smooth or textured depending on the type of skin that covers it, has Art Deco shapes with prices ranging from $130 for an ashtray to $6,000 for a shagreen couch.
At the front of the store, Adamson Sommers has created a line of six custom-blended fragrances sold in Art Deco bottles for $90 an ounce and $120 for 2-ounces. Vintage and reproduction Indian jewelry by Helen Ringus shares the same case and includes an emerald and ruby bracelet for $3,500 and a pair of 18-karat gold ruby and emerald chandelier earrings for $3,800.
The store’s lower level, which is still unfinished, will house children’s wear and vintage evening wear. Bagutta says his model clients keep asking him for vintage because they get all the modern clothes they need from designers who hire them to strut their catwalks.
Bagutta, who was born in Israel, started his first store at 386 West Broadway in 1986 with a small loan. The shop expanded, then moved to No. 402. The store’s interiors were updated over the years, but it always seemed too cramped for Bagutta’s vision. “I’ve changed the design of the store on West Broadway five times,” he said. “We’ve reinvented ourselves every few years.”
Bagutta designed most of the elements in the new store himself, including the brushed and roped steel fixtures, which resemble oversized clothing hangers suspended from the ceiling. Floors are a combination of wood and mosaic, with tiles retrieved from the original store, embedded in cement to look old. The new mosaics were designed by Bagutta.
When layers of paint were removed from the back wall and ceiling of the store, Bagutta made the happy discovery of a skylight, which had been covered by the space’s previous long-term tenant, the British fabric house Bennison. Art such as Susie MacMurray’s installation — a dress made from 15,000 balloons wired together — is displayed in the store and available for purchase.“I worked on this project for four months, 24 hours a day,” said Bagutta, speaking from a much-needed vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. “It took a tremendous amount of work. It’s my dream.”
Alberta Ferretti's "Rainbow Week" sweaters are back. The designer closed her #MFW show with a few day-of-the-week sweaters, which first debuted on the catwalk last January as part of the pre-fall 2017 collection. #wwdfashion (📷: @delphineachard)