West Watch: American Apparel’s Pullback… Juicy Double…

Juicy Couture has opened a second Las Vegas store... American Apparel Inc. has closed its only U.S. California Select vintage store, located in Echo Park...

AMERICAN APPAREL’S PULLBACK: American Apparel Inc. has closed its only U.S. California Select vintage store in Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood and plans to fold the concept into existing retail locations. A California Select boutique in Berlin will remain open. The stand-alone vintage concept launched in 2007 with clothing from the Fifties through the Nineties, as well as new nonapparel pieces. The company had planned more stores in other markets. “Right now, it just doesn’t make sense,” said chief executive officer Dov Charney. “We thought maybe it could work alone, but it turns out it works better as part of our existing stores.” Charney said the company is approaching further expansion cautiously in the recession, with 14 stores in the pipeline for this year. — Anne Riley-Katz

This story first appeared in the January 23, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.


JUICY DOUBLES DOWN: Juicy Couture has opened a second Las Vegas store in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. The brand will keep its first Vegas space, which opened in the Forum Shops in 2004, and will remodel the location as a Juicy Couture Intimates unit to open this year.

“Vegas was a lucky charm store,” said Juicy co-founder Gela Nash-Taylor. “The decision, of course, predated the economic situation. We haven’t backed off our expansion plans. We decided to keep the [original] space and renewed before it all went down, so now we have to keep going.”

The 4,800-square-foot boutique is double the size of the original location and features women’s and men’s clothing and accessories, kids and baby, and Las Vegas exclusives such as a women’s embroidered velour tracksuit.

In other retail news, Missoni has signed a lease to move into a 1,300-square-foot space this year at Malibu Village, which is under development. The Italian fashion label already has a store in the works for Beverly Hills. True Religion will also open in the Malibu complex this year, signing a 10-year lease for 2,000 square feet. — A.R.K.

NO MORE GUESSING: Guess Inc. gave shoppers one less thing to be confused about by changing the name of its five-year-old women’s contemporary line, Marciano, to Guess by Marciano. Though the fashion flock knows that Marciano is the surname for brothers Paul and Maurice, who head the Los Angeles-based denim company, and that Guess by Marciano is also used for certain men’s and women’s apparel overseas, Guess acknowledged that some U.S. consumers didn’t realize the connection between the women’s contemporary line and the flagship Guess brand founded 28 years ago. Guess also lowered the starting prices for Guess by Marciano, and will switch signs in its 50 stores over the next six months. — Khanh T.L. Tran

GEREN’S JEANS: Geren Ford is giving a new twist to denim in a capsule fall collection inspired by Edwardian England. Evolving from its signature silks, the Los Angeles contemporary label fashioned ultrastretchy cotton into a high-collar zip-up jacket, tailored capris, a pencil skirt spliced with three zippers and skinny jeans that close at the waistband with a hook-and-eye closure. In addition to turning to the past for inspiration, Geren Lockhart, the namesake designer who started Geren Ford seven years ago, relied on a pair of Seventies-era Lee jeans and a well-worn jean jacket from Helmut Lang for cues on developing the washes, which include overdyed black and indigo. With wholesale prices between $84 and $129, Lockhart hopes to reach new customers who favor denim design that transcends a five-pocket style. If that doesn’t work, then she can try to lure them with the jersey grouping and lingerie that she’s introducing for fall and holiday, respectively. “The idea is to round out the brand and offer new product,” Lockhart said. — K.T.L.T.