RODEO’S NEWEST DOOR: Milanese leather handbag company Serapian has officially opened the doors to its first U.S. boutique, located in Beverly Hills.
The 70-year-old company, started by Stefano Serapian with just a few scrap pieces of material, is now ramping up growth in the U.S. following the creation of an LLC this year that placed its handmade pieces in select Barneys New York stores along with the Barney’s Web site.
As for the selection of Rodeo Drive for the launch of Serapian’s U.S. retail, executive director and board member of Serapian USA LLC Monica Dastin simply asked, “Why not?” She cited the popular shopping district’s ability to attract both tourists and locals as reason for the store’s location.
Dastin took to the brand after coming across it during a trip to Italy and reached out to the Serapian family about bringing their handmade items to the U.S.
The company makes purses, suitcases and other leather goods for both men and women. One of its more popular bags, the Meline, was created in the 1960s for luxury customers looking for something suitable for air travel. Other pieces, such as the Gina, were designed for family members.
“In a family like this, it was common not to give jewelry or a watch, but to design a bag,” said marketing manager Giovanni Nodari.
The brand, which has about 125 workers company-wide, is headquartered in central Milan where it keeps an archive of about 6,000 pieces.
The Beverly Hills store joins the company’s other boutiques in places such as Milan and Hong Kong.
It will test the waters to see how the label does in Beverly Hills before opening a second location, likely in New York, according to Serapian USA chief executive officer Dana Fried.