Isabel Marant on March 11 opens her fourth U.S. store, a 1,700-square-foot flagship at 23 East 67th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue. The new uptown store will be the grown-up counterpoint to an existing store on Broome Street in SoHo that Marant views as more of a wild child. “My fashion can be quite BoHo,” the designer said. “That’s perfect for SoHo. The uptown woman is more dressy and conventional. The clientele is not exactly the same.”
The store will offer Marant’s main collection and “very few pieces from the Etoile line, which is more sporty and casual,” she said.
Poured concrete floors, iron rods and woven straw-covered walls give the store textural interest. The straw walls are a nod to the wickerwork of the French prie-dieu. Fitting rooms are sectioned off with glossy metal panels meant to evoke the containers used to transport art. Ceramics and sculptured pedestals throughout the store display accessories, including Marant’s handbag collection.
“We just started getting more deeply into handbags last season. Having a husband who’s into bags makes it difficult to step into it,” Marant said, referring to Jerome Dreyfuss, whose collection is sold at Barneys New York. “I’m not super passionate about bags. I’m more passionate about shoes. I’m sleeping with a guy who does bags every day, but what I’m launching is very different from his.”
Marant, who launched her brand in 1994 and unveiled her first boutique in Paris in 1998, operates 19 stores worldwide, including units in London, Madrid, Copenhagen, Dubai, Beirut, Hong Kong, Seoul and Bangkok.
The designer has begun to open Isabel Marant Etoile stores in Japan, where united bowed in Osaka and Tokyo.
With stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Marant is planning to unveil a unit in Miami next.
“I would love to go to Chicago, where we don’t have a flagship,” Marant said. “Every important city where the kind of woman I’m dressing lives, is a target.”
Her small team in Paris is hard-pressed to turn out pre-collections and collections for the two brands. “We want to increase the teams before we do new things,” she said.
See-now, buy-now seems like a difficult undertaking. “Most brands do it on a special project, not the whole collection,” Marant said. “Having two or three pieces that are see-now, buy-now is quite exciting. Limited edition may be easy to handle. The whole collection is impossible.”