In a joint statement, 10 Corso Como confirmed that, in agreement with real estate group The Howard Hughes Corp., it had decided to close its doors at the Seaport District.
“We would like to thank the entire 10 Corso Como team in New York and the Howard Hughes team for their dedication and hard work over the last two years,” said Saul A. Scherl, president of the New York Tri-state Region of The Howard Hughes Corp. “10 Corso Como was an exciting addition at the Seaport and we thank the entire team and leadership for their vision, commitment and energy. As we all look forward to the time when people can gather again, we will use this next period to evaluate new opportunities to enhance the experience for our entire Seaport community, residents, neighbors and workers.”
“This has not been an easy decision, but as the coronavirus pandemic continues to accelerate and the future is unclear, circumstances are not allowing 10 Corso Como at the Seaport District to flourish at this stage,” said the retailer’s founder Carla Sozzani. “I want particularly to thank all the teams. 10 Corso Como New York would not be the amazing concept that it is without their energy and belief in the vision, and their efforts, support and devotion to our dedicated visitors and customers. We are proud to have shared the 10 Corso Como DNA with the Fulton Street Market Building, a site that is truly a New York landmark. And we are sorry to say goodbye to New York for now, but the future is always to be created.”
The store opened on Sept. 6, 2018 through an agreement with The Howard Hughes Corp. At the time, Sozzani said: “I’m doing this on license terms. They [Howard Hughes] are investors and they own the building. It’s a partnership. But the risk is not just money. I put 28 years of my life and so much work into the brand. I hope it’s going to work.”
The 28,000-square-foot store represented the breadth of Sozzani’s imagination and her longtime collaboration with American artist Kris Ruhs, who was responsible for the flagship’s charmingly edgy graphics that appear on nearly every surface.
When the agreement was revealed in 2016, Sozzani, who conceived and established 10 Corso Como’s first store in Milan in 1991, told WWD she particularly liked the Seaport District, which was revitalized by Howard Hughes, since “it’s not a traditional area, it is new but also one most linked to the city’s history and origins, over the docks, with the Fulton Fish Market [dating back to 1822] and a view on the river. Its history of international commerce and innovation is inspiring.”
The Seaport District was envisioned by former Howard Hughes chief executive officer David Weinreb, with a master plan for the 10-building project that spans many blocks in lower Manhattan’s historic area. The project features upscale restaurants and local food, and has attracted fashion brands and designers that occupied pop-up spaces. Edgy, inclusive brand Eckhaus Latta operates a permanent store and held its most recent runway show there. Its after party was at 10 Corso Como.
In January, as reported, Sozzani said the 10 Corso Como store in New York was taking its culinary operation in a new direction. The Seaport restaurant closed to the public to focus on customized catered events. Sozzani attributed the change to the realization “that to create a more inclusive experience, the café/restaurant needs to be incorporated into the art, fashion and design spaces, as it is in Milano and Seoul.”
Anchoring the Seaport District may have been a heavy lift for 10 Corso Como. The district was late to the downtown retail scene. Brookfield Place‘s 300,000 square feet of retail space opened in 2015, while Westfield World Trade Center‘s 365,000-square-foot complex opened in 2016. While 10 Corso Como is relatively unknown outside fashion and art circles, another challenge was the perception that the Seaport is hard to reach via public transportation.
“When we believe something is right, we continue to pursue it and find a way to make it work,” Weinreb said before the opening. “I spent time traveling in search of the most dynamic retail concepts. I knew there was a trend away from transactional retail toward experiential retail, [and] 10 Corso Como was right for the Seaport. I reached out to Carla close to six years ago. She’d been pursued by many of the big players and had consistently said ‘no.’ I continued to meet with her and over time we built a close friendship…she’s become a dear friend.”
At 10 Corso Como, Sozzani pioneered a retail concept that blended fashion, cuisine, art, music, design and lifestyle. Her store in Milan is located in and identified with the street of the same name and has contributed to the development of its neighborhood. 10 Corso Como, in addition to the store, includes a restaurant and café. There is also a gallery and a bookshop.
The venue reflects Sozzani’s ebullient and cheerful disposition, and she often refers to it as a bazaar. Her office brims with books and photos by Man Ray and Helmut Newton, art by Ruhs, and furniture by Norman Cherner.
The sister of the late Vogue Italia editor in chief Franca Sozzani, Carla started her career in publishing. After a long stint at Vogue Italia, she launched Italian Elle in 1987 before setting out in retailing.
In 2002, together with Rei Kawakubo, Sozzani opened the 10 Corso Como-Comme des Garçons store in Tokyo, which has since closed.
Two other stores, in Shanghai and Beijing, have also been closed. Last year, 10 Corso Como shut its 27,000-square-foot Shanghai store as its Chinese operation partner, the L Capital Asia-backed Trendy Group, declined to renew the lease and the partnership, according to the retailer.
A spokesperson from 10 Corso Como in Milan said at the time that the closure of the Shanghai store was expected. “The seven-year license of the 10 Corso Como brand in China and the lease of the building of 10 Corso Como at 1717 West Nanjing Road, Shanghai, have arrived at maturity.”
Trendy shut 10 Corso Como’s store at SKP Beijing in 2017.