NEW YORK — Leslie Hall loves wearing sweats more than anything else.
That's why she opened Shvitz, a contemporary shop in SoHo that sells everything comfortable, from sweatpants to hoodies to thermals.
"I wear sweats all day every day," Hall said. "The only time I change is when I have a meeting to go to."
Hall, who runs an entertainment marketing company called Iced Media here, is new to the fashion industry. She said the idea for Shvitz (which means "to sweat" in Yiddish) came about when she found herself shopping at too many stores.
"I just wanted to go to one store to buy my Juicy and my Primp," she said. "What I found was that there was no store like that in New York."
Shvitz, located at 128 Thompson Street, sells everything that Hall would like to fill her own closet. There's a hoodie made with washable leather details for $250 from Joystick, logo T-shirts and tanks ranging from $45 to $65 that Hall will monogram for free and a large selection of Primp's printed thermals, which Hall said is her best-performing line. Soon, Hall said, she will carry Juicy Couture.
When she wants to pick up a new brand, Hall said she looks for unique design details in the sweats, like Made U Look's glow-in-the-dark graphics on T-shirts and hoodies.
As the store is only 500 square feet, Hall said she wanted its design to be "elegant and glamorous, but also comfortable and not intimidating to shop."
Hall hired Hilary White to design the space after she worked on the offices for Iced Media. White's challenge was to make the store appear larger than it is. To create the effect, the walls were painted soft pink with white trim, there's a mirror on the ceiling that holds an elaborate white wood chandelier and an accent wall with white and metallic silver wallpaper.
"The space came out beautiful; I was very happy with it," Hall said. "And we are already doing better than I thought we would when we first opened. I am already placing reorders."
The store opened in mid-September, and Hall just launched shvitznyc.com last week. She said that, with her marketing background, she knew the importance of having an e-commerce site."We are already getting orders, which is great since we just launched," she said.
Hall said she expects to exceed $300,000 in first-year sales volume. Eventually, she said she would like to open more Shvitz stores around the country.
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