NEW YORK — Ralph Lauren sees women in a blue light.
The designer plans to open his first women’s-only store for Blue Label on Sept. 6 at 380 Bleecker Street, a 700-square-foot space between Charles and Perry Streets in the heart of the West Village.
On Bleecker Street, a quintessential tree-lined Village thoroughfare with antiques and pastry shops, Ralph Lauren will join Marc Jacobs at number 403 and Lulu Guinness at number 394.
“It’s a very young, very hip area,” said a Polo Ralph Lauren spokeswoman. “This is going to be very much of a branding statement.”
The spokeswoman declined to project a volume for the store, but retail experts said it should generate more than $1,000 a square foot, given its size and the price of the merchandise.
The company has said its new growth phase will center on the Blue Label line, which provides casual apparel for a younger customer. Retail has become increasingly important for Polo. With 255 owned stores and 85 licensed stores around the world, retail operations generated 40 percent of the company’s $2 billion in annual sales in 2002.
Three stores were converted to the Blue Label format last fall, and 4,000- to 5,000-square-foot Blue Label sites are expected to be launched in the U.S. and abroad.
However, the Bleecker Street store is something of an anomaly, both for its small size and singular focus on women.
“There are only a couple of places in the world that could support a store like this now,” said the Polo spokeswoman, citing New York and Los Angeles among key cities. She declined to elaborate onwhether the move signals a strategy at the company toward single-gender stores.
Retailers such as Banana Republic and Marc Jacobs have explored the idea of single-gender stores, while junior retailer Gadzooks just eliminated male-oriented merchandise from its stores altogether.
Robert Cohen, executive vice president of Robert K. Futterman & Associates, a retail broker, said Polo Ralph Lauren set its sights on Bleecker Street and looked for a year until a space became available.
“Polo was intent on doing something small and quaint,” Cohen said. “They didn’t want to do another big box like the Double RL store in NoLIta or Polo Sport on West Broadway in SoHo.“This was a play off Marc Jacobs’ venture and his success there,” Cohen added. “Bleecker Street is a thoroughfare that will take you from SoHo to the Meatpacking district. Marc’s whole reason for opening on Bleecker Street is that he lives in the neighborhood and wanted to do something that was cost effective without the pressure of high rents.”
Rents range from $80 to $120 a square foot, Cohen said.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty