NEW YORK — Earnest Sewn has signed a 10-year lease for its first store in the Los Angeles area, to be located in the trendy Malibu Country Mart, a six-acre outdoor shopping complex in the heart of Malibu’s Civic Center. The 1,400 square-foot, freestanding boutique is scheduled to open in May of 2008, after the current tenant, Indiana Joan’s, vacates the space and Earnest Sewn redesigns the interior and exterior.
The new lease comes as Earnest Sewn is set to open its second New York store on Sept. 7, located on the corner of Orchard and Broome streets in the hipster-packed Lower East Side neighborhood. Earnest Sewn’s first flagship opened in 2005 in the Meatpacking District.
“We’ve been looking into opening a Los Angeles store for about seven months,” said Scott Morrison, president of Earnest Sewn, which is known for its heritage-inspired denim. “The Malibu Country Mart is one of the coolest shopping areas in the country, and we found the perfect space for us there. We’re right next door to Nobu and there’s a bunch of great stores nearby: Double RL, James Perse and Chrome Hearts. We want to create our own, unique space there and really bring a slice of New York to L.A.”
Morrison plans to create a general-store look to the Malibu shop, using reclaimed wood, historic lighting fixtures on the exterior, and filling it with antiques and artifacts from yesteryear, much as he has done with the 2,200-square-foot Meatpacking District store. Like the company’s other stores, in addition to Earnest Sewn product the new store will sell a carefully curated group of third-party brands, such as Filson bags and Jorg & Olif bicycles. All of Earnest Sewn’s stores will also offer made-to-measure jeans, which are all hand-sewn in the basement of the Meatpacking District shop.
Morrison expects the Malibu shop to ring up $2 million to $3 million in sales, and the about-to-open, 1,350-square-foot Lower East Side unit—which includes a Parisian-style floral shop operated by Denise Porcaro—to do about $1 million. The Meatpacking District store does $3 million in sales, according to Morrison, while the company as a whole should hit a little over $20 million this year.
Morrison is aiming for wholesale and retail volume to reach a 50/50 ratio over the next few years, and is hoping to open as many as 10 to 12 more stores. His primary targets currently are San Francisco, London, a store in downtown L.A., and a third New York store, this time uptown.