NEW YORK — Lord & Taylor’s American Place restaurant took on an international theme last week as the store feted its new Into India shop with a lively soiree.

Located on the first floor of the Fifth Avenue flagship, Into India features apparel from four Indian designers, as well as jewelry and home items with an Indian flair.

In addition, all of the flagship’s windows are devoted to the Indian theme through the duration of the shop, which stays open until May 18th. Last Tuesday’s event kicked off a weeklong celebration of events tied to the shop, including other in-store appearances by the designers, informal modeling and various presentations in the store related to Indian fashion.

The shop is somewhat of a departure for L&T, which has long pushed its American heritage.

"This is definitely something different for us," said Jane Elfers, the chain’s president and chief executive officer, at the cocktail event. "There is such an interest in Indian fashion that it seemed like the right time. We are trying to find new ways to stay connected to our customer and offer them something they don’t see every day."

Elfers said other such shops may be on the horizon and said sales from Into India had already surpassed expectations.

At the soiree, the four designers — Tarun Tahiliani, Vivek Narang, Rina Dhaka and Manish Arora — hobnobbed with a crowd including retail veteran Marvin Traub, designer Nicole Miller and Fern Mallis, executive director of 7th on Sixth, as well as Richard Celeste, the former U.S. ambassador to India.

For some of the designers, this is their only experience so far with the American market.

"This is the first time I have been in a U.S. store like this," Narang said. "It’s great for people to learn about Indian fashion, since we have so much to offer and many people don’t realize that."

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