Cynthia Rowley has headed West as she carefully considers the region’s potential for more doors.
The designer opened a 3,000-square-foot store at the Platform project in Culver City for a run through September with plans to launch about 10 temporary shops over the course of the next year, according to chief marketing officer Michael Engert.
“L.A. is a pretty great market for us without having an in-store, on-the-ground presence there,” Engert said. “Just like New York, I’m sure L.A. could have multiple stores, or the West Coast. I could easily see us being in San Francisco in six months and then maybe moving a bit more north from there. Opening up this pop-up is the first step in understanding what that flexible model looks like. There’s still no substitute for a great in-store experience.”
The executive confirmed the company’s already actively looking at real estate in San Francisco, which is where Cynthia Rowley’s next pop-up will be located. The company is also looking at Nashville, Dallas and Houston and is in talks to open a Palm Beach store.
“We’re just looking to see where we’re getting that online interest and then digging a bit deeper to see if the customer would support it,” Engert said.
The Culver City store, which had a soft opening over the Memorial Day weekend, carries apparel, surfwear, swim, fitness gear and accessories. It will also, like many retailers today, have other offerings to nab shoppers’ attention, including artwork on site from Exhibition A, which was founded by Rowley and Half Gallery owner Bill Powers, and a Martone Cycling Co. shops-in-shop, along with various events throughout the store’s run.
Los Angeles represents the company’s second-largest online market after New York so the extension of Cynthia Rowley retail west made sense, Engert said. It also helped that the Platform project made sense for the brand, the executive added.
“The reason we chose Culver City is because we’re pretty excited about what the Runyon Group is doing [at Platform],” he said. “It seems like they’re bringing a fresh perspective to retail. They’re looking to partner with brands on a retail experience. It’s a pretty beautiful space and there’s a lot of energy.”
Inventory for the store is still in the process of being finalized, with exclusives being considered. It ultimately depends on customers and how they’re shopping the store, he said.
“We’re a pretty lean operation so it’s easy for us to be flexible and move quickly,” Engert said. “Once we better understand what the customer wants, we could easily produce exclusives.”
Making the space permanent is also up for consideration and will depend on how the door fares, with the option to extend the lease or potentially come back for another summertime pop-up additional options, according to Engert.
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