Dennis Basso, whose luxury fur, ready-to-wear and eveningwear is sold at his flagship on Madison Avenue, an in-store shop at Harrods, and Little Nell in Aspen, will open his next location on Staten Island. The 2,138-square-foot unit will be an outlet store — Basso’s first — at Empire Outlets, which is adjacent to the St. George Ferry Terminal.
“In the past, we’ve had in our company several conversations about how to sell past collections, samples and overstocks,” Basso said. “We couldn’t find the right marriage. Our customer is a New York customer and more of a local woman.”
For that reason, Basso considered the 45-mile drive to Woodbury Commons in Harriman, N.Y. or the 72-mile trip to Tanger Outlets in Riverhead, N.Y., too far for his clients.
“Empire will be the closest outlets of any outlets to Manhattan,” Basso said. “The unique part is the Empire will have easy accessibility to New York City and the boroughs. It will allow a customer who’s interested in Dennis Basso eveningwear, rtw and fur, but may not be a luxury store customer to have an opportunity to get something very special.”
“Adding Dennis Basso to our roster of best-in-class retailers validates our vision,” said Joseph Ferrara, principal at BFC Partners, which is developing Empire Outlets.
According to Ferrara, Empire Outlets, which will include 350,000 square feet of retail space for about 100 designers, is 60 percent leased. Other tenants include Nordstrom Rack, Jewelers on Fifth, White House|Black Market and an artisanal food hall, Mrkypl. The project will also include a 190-room hotel and 40,000-square-foot food and beverage deck. Empire Outlets, which is slated to open in 2017, will be adjacent to the New York Wheel, which will be one of the tallest observation wheels in the Western hemisphere.
Basso said the project appealed to him because it’s a ground-up construction. “I’ll be involved in a project that’s going to be brand new,” he said. “We’ll be able to build something beautiful.”