AEROS’ BUILDING BLOCKS: Lee Shafkowitz, president of Aeros, a showroom on Manhattan’s 57th Street that specializes in high-end Italian lines such as Pierre Guidi outerwear, is stretching his reach.
As part of the company’s management consulting business, he is overseeing the opening of three Pancaldi 1888 stores. The Italian knitwear company plans to open its first two American stores Friday in Las Vegas and in the Woodbury Commons mall in Central Valley, N.Y. The third unit is expected to bow near Thanksgiving in Leesburg, Va.
Shafkowitz is no stranger to store openings. As North American commercial director for Max Mara from 1994-98, he spearheaded retail expansion for the company.
Meanwhile, Aeros is eyeing new labels, including non-Italian lines that would mesh with its other lines. In addition to Pierre Guidi, Aeros represents two Italian sportswear lines, Urca and D. Exterior, as well as two Italian blouse collections, Ghiradelli and Consumers’ Guide.
The showroom aims to merchandise its space similar to an upscale boutique, giving buyers a format to copy in their own stores.
“One thing we do here is pay homage to retailers,” Shafkowitz said. “We listen to their needs and try to be responsive to the market.”
In addition, Aeros plans to more than double its square footage to 5,300 square feet at 140 West 57th Street and to hire two people by the end of the year.
“We’re negotiating with other vendors and plan to triple our business within a year,” Shafkowitz said.
MODA MOVE: Moda Manhattan, a juried ready-to-wear trade show produced by Business Journals Inc., has added two more editions to its schedule, bringing the total number to five Moda Manhattan shows annually. The new editions will be held in February and in September and will be held at The Space, located at 425 West 13th Street inside the Chelsea Market in Manhattan.
The three other meeting times in January, May and the upcoming three-day show that starts Sunday, will continue to take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.