NEW YORK — Dolce & Gabbana will close its 8,000-square-foot flagship at 825 Madison Avenue on Jan. 19 for a six-month expansion and renovation. When the site reopens in the summer, it will be as two adjacent stores, one for women and one for men, with a total of 13,000 square feet of selling space.

The additional space will come from 827 Madison Avenue, which was formerly occupied by Tse.

On Jan. 23, Dolce & Gabbana will open a temporary women’s store at 1055 Madison Avenue, near 80th Street. A temporary men’s store, at 755 Madison Avenue, near 65th Street, has been open since October.

The company has followed a similar model of segregating its men’s and women’s stores in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and Bal Harbour, Maine. “We have seen significant increases where we’ve renovated and expanded stores in other markets,” said Glenn McMahon, president of Dolce & Gabbana U.S. “We’ll easily see a 30 percent increase in our business.”

McMahon declined to comment on sales volume, but industry experts believe the company does $1,800 to $2,000 in sales per square foot on Madison Avenue.

It has been a decade since Dolce & Gabbana opened its flagship on Madison Avenue near 69th Street and five years since the store was renovated. The unit was conceived by Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce as a grand villa with a circular staircase, maroon silk ottomans and a Sicilian garden. After the renovation in 2002, Baroque chairs and zebra-skin rugs were set against dark gray basalt floors and white walls.

The flagships’s next incarnation will have walls constructed of black Murano glass and mirrors, to give the store “a light and liquid feel,” McMahon said. Floors will be rustic gray basaltine, and black crystal chandeliers will be hung throughout. Walnut wood accents on fixtures in the men’s store will give it a clubby feel. The women’s store will be accented by black lacquer vitrines and Baroque chairs. Shots of color will be provided by the clothing, shoes and accessories, as well as huge LED plasma screens playing loops of runway shows.

Dolce & Gabbana’s business breaks down to about 65 percent women’s and 35 percent men’s, McMahon said, and the real estate will be split along similar lines. He said women’s would command about 60 percent of the square footage.

This story first appeared in the January 10, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We weren’t able to represent 100 percent of the collection [before] because we had space limitations,” he said. “We’ll be expanding shoes and handbags and the entire men’s collection. In women’s, we’ll be able to fully show our beachwear collection and intimates, which until now have been sold out of closets and drawers.”

The new women’s store will have a VIP dressing room and a room dedicated to eveningwear.

McMahon said the company was considering other markets in the U.S. “We’re under-penetrated compared to our competition,” he said. “We see opportunity for double the number of stores in the next three to five years.”

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