PROOF OF CONCEPT: Contemporary brand Ali & Jay has moved forward with permanent retail following last year’s pop-up tests.
The Los Angeles label, which shares a parent with Bailey44 in The Bailey Group, launched last year as an entry-level contemporary dress brand that’s sought to fill the gap between fast-fashion and traditional contemporary pricing.
The 700-square-foot permanent store at Westfield Century City will mirror the pop-up concepts the company tested in Malibu and Santa Monica by carrying third-party brands in addition to its own.
“I think that our pop-up’s journey through L.A. was a fun test for us as an L.A.-based brand to explore different neighborhoods,” said Ali & Jay general manager Melissa Niednagel, who added that Century City reflects a central location for shoppers.
The brand is also evolving from being simply a dress line as a result of its pop-ups where it heard from consumers what they wanted. That led to a broadening of the assortment beyond dresses and into more two-piece sets, jumpsuits and rompers. The company also has launched a graphic T-shirt offering under its own label in line with its evolution.
Niednagel said the T-shirt collection “brings to life the strong, empowered feminist voice that’s driving the spirit of the brand.”
The T-shirts will be sold online at the company’s web site, which is in the final stages of a major overhaul that’s optimizing it for mobile in what Niednagel said is part of the company’s broader direct-to-consumer focus.
She added Century City is expected to be the first of many stores for the brand, declining to provide further details.
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