WWD.com/globe-news/designer-luxury/yigal-azroul-moves-uptown-6082624/
government-trade
government-trade

Yigal Azrouël Heading Uptown to Madison Ave.

The decision was spurred in part by the changing retail scene of the Meatpacking District.

NEW YORK — Yigal Azrouël is the latest designer to be moving uptown.

This story first appeared in the July 17, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The designer will close his Meatpacking District store here at the end of August and will open a 900-square-foot boutique on Madison Avenue at East 78th Street in September. The decision was spurred in part by the changing retail scene of the Meatpacking District.

Yigal Azrouël had been on the hunt uptown for a couple of years before Winick Realty Group helped secure the 1011 Madison Avenue address, according to chief executive officer Donata Minelli. When the new store bows, potentially during fashion week barring any construction delays, Missoni, Pucci, Sandro and Intermix will be a few neighbors.

The company expects to generate sales of $2,000 per square foot, Minelli said.

RELATED STORY: Proenza Schouler, Grown-Up and Uptown >>

Once again Azrouël collaborated with the New York-based design artist Dror Benshetrit on the store’s interior, as was the case with the unit at 408 West 14th Street. (He also created the icons that are used for the hanging system for the Cut 25 by Yigal Azrouël location on Grand Street.) “A modern, modular and scalable concept was what I envisioned for the Madison store; an aesthetic that is sleek yet with warmth,” said Azrouël, who serves as president and creative director of the company.

After 10 years in the Meatpacking District, Minelli said the time is right to try something new. “Like others who opened around that time, we are relocating. It is still a very exciting area and the Meatpacking District will continue to redefine itself. But the future retail landscape is more contemporary,” Minelli said. “For the first five years, there was a more high-end nature of shoppers. Having the Apple store there has brought in another wave of shoppers.”

The 2015 opening of The Whitney’s Renzo Piano-designed 200,000-square-foot outpost will help the neighborhood keep its design and fashion edge, Minelli said.

To maintain a downtown presence, Yigal Azrouël is looking for a small space in SoHo, preferably on Mercer or Greene Street. The company hopes to line up a lease and open a store there in the first half of next year.

Meanwhile, Azrouël has other milestones approaching. He is getting married this fall.