Italian luxury brand Luisa Spagnoli just made its move on the West Coast.
The 90-year-old company, with 151 owned doors in Italy and another 48 elsewhere in the world, today opens at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif., debuting with its spring collection that draws inspiration from the Seventies. It joins a tenant roster that places it in the company of All Saints, Burberry, Coach, Calypso St. Barth, Brooks Brothers and Neiman Marcus among others at the Simon Property Group mall.
The company, which had revenue last year of $144.3 million at current exchange rates, last year aimed to test U.S. appetite for its brand with a small shop in Florida but Palo Alto represents the brand’s full store concept.
“It’s in the center of Silicon Valley and we believe that women that are used to [coming] and shopping the center are potentially very interesting for the Luisa Spagnoli collection because this collection can be worn in different locations for free time [or] for spare time,” Nicoletta Spagnoli, the company’s chief executive officer, president and creative director, said through an interpreter.
Spagnoli is the great-granddaughter of the company’s founder.
The company, which sells tailored separates ranging from outerwear to shift and maxidresses, focuses on female professionals looking to stock a well-rounded wardrobe that takes them from the office to evenings and weekends. It’s also a “mature lady” Spagnoli further described her company’s customer base.
Average retail prices are between $450 and $550 and go as high as $1,000 for evening dresses with embroidery and other embellishments. Knitwear, which is rooted in the company’s beginnings, averages $250.
Fabrics are sourced from Italy with manufacturing taking place throughout Europe and more specialty work, such as the embroidery, done in India.
The Palo Alto location is unique in that it is a joint venture formed between the company and Julia Schloss and her mother Irene Oykhman, the founders of brokerage firm Bayview Residential.
The joint venture model is likely to be part of the future U.S. growth strategy, which calls for 10 to 15 stores initially concentrating on the West Coast before looking at the East Coast and Midwest in states such as Texas. The company is in the midst of lease discussions and likely not set to open additional doors until next year.
In July, Luisa Spagnoli opens its first door in London with additional door growth also focused on the U.K. and Germany.
E-commerce, which launched about a year ago, now serves about 40 countries including the U.S. The company’s testing options to buy online and pick up in store in Italy.