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Prada SoHo Store Reopens After Fire

Prada's Epicenter concept store at 575 Broadway in SoHo here, which was damaged by a five-alarm fire in the building, reopened on Tuesday.

NEW YORK — Prada’s Epicenter concept store at 575 Broadway in SoHo here, which was damaged by a five-alarm fire in the building, reopened on Tuesday. It had been closed since Jan. 21.

While the interior of the flagship has been restored to its original state — including elements such as the “wave,” a curved zebrawood floor; a stage; futuristic steps, and aluminum mesh cages suspended from the ceiling — there will be some merchandising changes. The store will consolidate women’s ready-to-wear, both Prada and Prada Linea Rossa, on the basement level. The men’s collections will have increased visibility, moving to the ground floor toward the Mercer Street entrance. Displays on the ground floor will highlight the well-received men’s spring-summer 2006 collection.

The SoHo unit was the first of Prada’s three Epicenters around the world, conceived by Prada in collaboration with architects Rem Koolhaas, Ole Scheeren and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture at a cost of about $30 million. It opened in December 2001.

As before, the Epicenter combines modern design with elements from the original 1913 Prada Milan Galleria store. The signature wallpaper on the street level will be reintroduced as part of the “Waist Down: Skirts by Miuccia Prada” exhibition set to open at the Epicenter next month.

High-tech aspects of the store will have to wait until a new in-store technology system is ready, which will be in about two months, the company said. The Prada flagship had high-tech fitting rooms, where glass doors turn opaque at the push of a button and cameras show shoppers their backs.

In other news, Prada has promoted several executives within the sales and marketing ranks to vice presidents. Claire Marino was named vice president of sales, Prada and Miu Miu women’s rtw. She had been assistant vice president of these areas. Paul Giordano, sales director, has been promoted to vice president of sales, Prada and Miu Miu men’s rtw and accessories. Brooks Tietjen, assistant vice president, was named vice president of sales, Prada Linea Rossa rtw, bags and accessories.

Ellen Fine, assistant vice president, has been promoted to vice president of sales, Prada and Miu Miu women’s handbags and accessories. And Dennis Wootten, director, has become vice president of sales, Prada, Prada Linea Rossa and Miu Miu footwear.

This story first appeared in the March 31, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Brian Henke was named vice president of men’s retail and merchandising. He most recently was assistant vice president. Lynda Choi, formerly assistant vice president, was named vice president of planning, retail and wholesale. In addition, Marissa Coyne, associate general legal counsel, was promoted to general legal counsel. Randy Kabat, senior vice president of advertising and marketing services, has been named senior vice president of advertising and communications. She takes on expanded responsibilities for public relations, special events and VIP relations.

Melissa Skoog has been promoted to executive director of p.r. She had been director of Prada women’s p.r. She will oversee media relations and general editorial coverage for the Prada and Miu Miu brands. Erika Albies has been named senior director of Miu Miu p.r., handling both women’s and men’s. She returns to Prada USA after two years as director of p.r. for Giorgio Armani women’s. Earlier, she was manager of Miu Miu p.r.

Englebert DeCastro has joined the company as director of Prada men’s p.r. and special events. Most recently, he was working with Marian Greenberg Public Relations in a freelance capacity and before that was with Bergdorf Goodman.