Victoria’s Secret has a new face soon to be revealed on the Upper East Side.
This story first appeared in the September 10, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The lingerie brand is building a flagship at 133 East 58th Street and Lexington Avenue and is on a mission to showcase its sophisticated and upscale sides, as much as its very sexy side.
The 21,000-square-foot, two-level store will feature an exterior inspired by “a jewel box” and constructed of laminated glass panels of varying sizes and different tones of light creating “a curtain wall.” The store is situated a block from Bloomingdale’s and is expected to open in November.
“It’s a really big departure,” said Inga Kruliene, a principal of Callison, the architectural design firm that is collaborating with Victoria’s Secret on the project. “We never used the idea of a jewel box before.”
Whether the look gets rolled out to other Victoria’s Secret units remains to be seen. “We will like to see how the brand equity relates to this look. Some of its aspects will be translated to other locations — the femininity and light glass — but not necessarily to the same extent,” said Kruliene. “We’re not quite sure if the full concept will be applied to all locations.”
Compared with the typical big and brash stagey approach, the windows this time will be relatively demure. There will be fewer windows, and of different sizes. “It’s a framing idea, as if you are looking into something special,” Kruliene said. The entrance to the store will be designed similarly to the windows. The signage is also new and will be made from stainless steel channels filled with crystals.
While Callison is largely responsible for the exterior, Victoria’s Secret’s store design team is more involved with the interior, but working with Callison on that part of the store as well. Kruliene said the inside will appear “upscale, luxurious, and very feminine” compared with older units. “There’s a more romantic black-and-white imagery. The concept of black and white will be seen throughout the space,” she said. “It’s softer. There’s a very strong Victoria’s Secret design team working with us.”
The Seattle-based Callison has a list of clients that includes Nordstrom, Hermès, Microsoft, AT&T, Harrods, FedEx, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Boeing, Nike, Seibu Department Stores of Japan and General Growth Properties.