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Miu Miu Takes It Uptown

NEW YORK — Miu Miu is moving up, literally, to Madison Avenue. <br><br>Prada Group unveils its third Miu Miu store in the U.S. today. The company’s sporty, secondary line has a new home uptown at 831 Madison Avenue between 69th and 70th...

NEW YORK — Miu Miu is moving up, literally, to Madison Avenue.

This story first appeared in the July 17, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Prada Group unveils its third Miu Miu store in the U.S. today. The company’s sporty, secondary line has a new home uptown at 831 Madison Avenue between 69th and 70th Streets. After the Prada-owned Genny store closed in the spring, the company spent the last few months renovating the space to accommodate a new Miu Miu store.

But unlike Prada’s expansive SoHo store, there are no staggering Rem Koolhaas influences here. The 5,140-square-foot space, 3,870 of which is for selling, was designed by Roberto Baciocchi, the architect responsible for the design of the other Miu Miu boutiques as well as the more traditional mint-accented Prada stores worldwide.

The copper-clad and glass facade gives way to a striking and modern interior replete with double-height ceilings, white walls, beige stone floors and aluminum fixtures and is in keeping with the spare decor of Miu Miu boutiques. The minimal aesthetic is made warmer by a strong red textured wall, cream shag rugs handmade in Sweden by Kasthall, and an influx of natural light. The funky, Seventies-style rugs first appeared in the Capri Miu Miu store that opened this year.

The spare, ground floor showcases apparel and accessories from the fall collection including pleated, kilt-style skirts, moleskin coats, napa handbags, shiny, high-heeled galoshes, and, of course, the requisite sock shoes. The red wall divides the store and creates a narrow passage leading to a smaller second floor that houses the bulk of the shoe selection, additional handbags and ready-to-wear.

Given that there are only two other Miu Miu stores in the U.S. — one here in SoHo on Prince Street and another on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles — a second New York store might seem like a curious choice. But the company sees the move as more straightforward.

“The space became available, and we thought we would have a strong Miu Miu customer uptown,” said a Prada spokeswoman, describing this customer as “young-minded with a hip sensibility, but also a sophisticated sense of elegance.”

The spokeswoman declined to give projections for the new store and added that there are no current plans to open additional Miu Miu units in the U.S.

Retail prices range from $170 to $560 for blouses, $130 to $695 for skirts, $130 to $620 for pants and $195 to $730 for handbags.

Miu Miu’s rtw line is also sold at major stores including Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Marshall Field’s, as well as specialty retailers like Jeffrey in New York and Atlanta, Blake in Chicago and Madison in Los Angeles.

Miu Miu is the second strongest brand within the Prada Group. Miu Miu’s 2001 sales were reported to be about $115 million at the exchange rates in effect on Feb. 28. Because the euro has strengthened more than 10 percent since then, those sales would be approximately $125 million to $130 million at current exchange rates.”