Frankies Bikinis is bringing its Southern California-vibe to New York City by way of the brand’s first brick-and-mortar store, a temporary pop-up shop in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.
“Not only are a lot of our Frankies Bikinis customers based in New York City, but this is a city that is at the heart of the fashion industry,” Francesca Aiello, founder and creative director of Frankies, told WWD exclusively. “I pull so much inspiration from New York and I love that people are really willing to take risks with their fashion choices and use the fun fabrics, prints and silhouettes I release to create their own personal looks. As we continue to grow, expand into more categories and experiment with new fashion trends, I think that New York is a perfect place to bring those to life.”
The 1,100-square foot space — located at 112 Mercer Street — opens Friday and will remain open through fall 2023, carrying the brand’s latest swimwear, apparel and accessories, as well as some exclusive New York City pieces. The space will include details such as a wall of skateboard decks covered in campaign imagery, exemplifying the brand’s West Coast roots. There will be an oversized video projector, livestreaming Frankies’ marketing materials, as well as footage from Little Dume Beach, the beach in Malibu where Aiello went to as a child.
“The in-store experience for our customers is everything,” Aiello said. “When people walk into the Frankies Bikinis store, I want them to feel like they just stepped into a little boutique in the city of Malibu.”
That was the city where Aiello started Frankies in 2012 as a women’s swimwear brand. Since then, the business has grown to include footwear, men’s swim separates, beauty, activewear, cell phone cases and ready-to-wear, as well as a substantial social media following.
In fact, the fast-growing fan base includes celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Jenner and Emma Roberts. Investors have taken note, too. Victoria’s Secret snatched up a minority stake of Frankies for $18 million earlier this year. Under the terms of the deal, Aiello will continue to lead Frankies.
There have been collaborations with names like Alo Yoga, streetwear brand Kith, model Sofia Richie, actress Hailee Steinfeld and tennis star Naomi Osaka. Most recently, Frankies teamed with model Gigi Hadid for a limited-edition swimwear and loungewear design collaboration.
While the brand is available in select Victoria’s Secret stores, Aiello said having Frankies’ own stores was always part of the plan.
“But we just didn’t have the internal bandwidth, or the product assortment to feel comfortable doing that until now,” she explained. “Having a retail space allows me to tell the Frankies Bikinis story to our customers in person. And because our story is so personal and unique to our brand, it is something I am prioritizing and looking forward to bringing to people around the country.
“My goal is to learn as much as I can from this pop-up store and continue retail expansion,” Aiello continued. “Permanent stores are definitely something that I would love to work toward in the near future, 2023 and beyond. As we continue to expand our offerings into more categories, this is becoming more of a reality. Our plan is to learn as much from this SoHo pop-up as possible — what works, what doesn’t — and use those learnings when continuing to expand retail stores across the country.”
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct inaccurate information provided by the company.