NEW YORK — G-Star Raw, the Dutch denim brand, has opened a new flagship on Fifth Avenue. This is the company’s fourth store in Manhattan, following locations in SoHo and Union Square, though the lease has expired on that outpost.
“Being an international brand, you have to be on Fifth Avenue,” said Tony Lucia, G-Star’s general manager for North America. “We look at it as our A-plus location in the United States.”
Located at 475 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of East 41st Street, the store is 2,691 square feet and sits opposite the New York Public Library, which Lucia said is a big draw for G-Star’s international customers. “A lot of foreigners visit the library, so we know our customer is already there,” he said.
Design-wise, the store features a mezzanine, floating 3-D legs to showcase the denim innovation, an open stock room and open window concept, which G-Star chief marketing officer Thecla Schaeffer explained gives an unobstructed views of the store interior. “There are no big screens with film or big stickers or objects in the window, so you can see the mezzanine and the floating legs and our ‘Just the Product’ philosophy,” she said, noting that the open window concept was courtesy of G-Star co-owner and “head of imagination” Pharrell Williams. He also weighed in on the store’s play list and was at the store-opening party.
“It’s an awesome opportunity for myself and others to express ideas,” Williams told WWD via e-mail. “This store is a place where our ideas can come together on a grander scale, which is tangible to the public.”
The company declined to release sales figures but Lucia said that in terms of retail expansion, G-Star has 24 monobrand stores in the U.S. Eighteen are franchised and six are company-owned, including the Fifth Avenue location. In the next three years, the G-Star hopes to have 50 stores in the U.S.