Laguna Beach jewelry brand Gorjana is seizing on retail real estate opportunities to grow its store footprint.Gorjana (pronounced gor-yana) entered physical retail about a year ago with a store on Beach Street in Laguna Beach where the business is based. The door has done well in serving as a litmus test for consumer appetite, functioning as a showroom for the brand.Now the company’s expanding with the aim of having 10 stores by 2019.“There’s always the article of retail doomsday,” said founder, president and creative director Gorjana Reidel. “Everything is so negative and I feel like, yes, it has not been a good thing for some brands. For us, we still feel brick-and-mortar and having your customers being able to interact with your product is superimportant and so where we put our stores is where we feel like we have a good customer base and we want to continue growing that brand exposure. I shop on Amazon every day. I still like to interact with the product.”Gorjana, with a companywide headcount of about 80, has built a name for itself around dainty pieces of jewelry meant to be layered and what the company calls its Power Gemstone collection of pieces that mix different metals and gemstones.Its new store on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice totals 1,200 square feet. The space, in keeping with the brand’s Southern California aesthetic, is designed to be as airy as Gorjana’s jewelry with white displays, light wood floors, countertops of marble and touches of brass. The space also includes an outdoor patio for customers.A third store at 4th and Bank Streets in New York’s West Village, in what was previously occupied by Marc Jacobs and totaling 550 square feet, has also recently opened. New York is where Reidel and husband and chief executive officer Jason Reidel have called a second home for a decade now, originally frequenting the area when they were just starting the brand and trying to grow it through trade shows.“I remember walking around [the neighborhood] and saying, ‘I love that little Marc Jacobs space. It’s so cute.’ It was kind of serendipitous,” she said of her company's store ending up there.Both doors have on-site aura readings, which is said to be able to capture the energy of the individual receiving the read. That's one aspect of an overall retail experience emphasizing discovery, Reidel said.“For us, it isn’t just about someone coming in and transacting,” she said. “It’s more about having someone discover our brand....It’s about really kind of interacting and giving someone more. There’s just so much more meaning I feel you can do in store.”For More West Coast News in WWD:Vegas Serves as Reminder of an Industry in TransitionVegas Trade Shows Tap Bloggers to Boost Brand AwarenessObey Takes Up Melrose Avenue Space for Pop-up
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast