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Showroom Seven to Open First Retail Outlet

NEW YORK — Members of the fashion flock that count Showroom Seven’s quarterly sample sales as something nearing nirvana will now find themselves in that constant state. <br><br>After 15 years in business, the company is opening its first...

NEW YORK — Members of the fashion flock that count Showroom Seven’s quarterly sample sales as something nearing nirvana will now find themselves in that constant state.

This story first appeared in the November 20, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

After 15 years in business, the company is opening its first retail outlet at 117 East 7th Street and aptly named Outlet 7. The quaint, 300-square-foot space that opens Nov. 25 will carry merchandise from such designers as Imitation of Christ, Julia, Petro Zillia and Martine Sitbon at wholesale prices.

“This is just taking our sample sale and turning it into a permanent showcase for our business and for the designers we represent,” said Jean-Marc Flack, managing director and partner of Showroom Seven.

“It’s another way to represent what Showroom Seven is. I’m surprised we didn’t think of it earlier.”

Current merchandise includes rabbit-fur jackets by Venera Arapu, handbags and scarves by Petro Zillia, hosiery by Emilio Cavallini, fur-lined galoshes by Orla Kiely and Erickson Beamon jewelry pieces, which were designed exclusively for the store. Retail prices range from about $66 for a cashmere novelty sweater from Beverly & Monika to $650 for leathers and shearlings from Christian Blanken.

Setting up shop in the East Village, just down the street from Heatherette, was a natural fit for the company, Flack noted.

“It’s the right neighborhood for the kind of customer we want,” said Flack of the trendy, downtown types who like offbeat pieces at discounted prices. “The East Village has definitely become a shopping destination for a particular kind of consumer.”

Showroom Seven, whose sales this year are on track to reach $18 million, was founded by Karen Erickson. Seventh House PR is the public relations firm attached to Showroom Seven and is run by Mandie Erickson, Karen’s daughter. The company plans at some point to open a “proper” retail store, where they will sell the current season’s merchandise from designers they represent — but at retail prices. Flack estimates first-year sales for the East Village store to reach $500,000.