Less than two years after launching their faux-fur luxury label Maison Atia, Chloé Mendel and Gustave Maisonrouge are gearing up to open a freestanding store next month.
The boutique at 833 Madison Avenue will open to the public on Oct. 10 and will be the founders’ first. They said they had scouted other potential stores but had been eyeing their new location for a while. Describing the deal as a right-place-right-time scenario, they declined to comment on the investment in the 1,200-square-foot retail space, which also has additional space that may be used for offices.
Shoppers will find their faux-fur collection in the new set-up, which is located between the Mackintosh and Akris stores, with Max Mara, Prada and Edie Parker being some of the nearby retailers. Interestingly, Mendel will open her first Madison Avenue store at the age of 27, which is how old her father Gilles Mendel was when he first opened a J. Mendel boutique on the street. “Not exactly neighbors,” the new Maison Atia store will be a few blocks away from the current J. Mendel location, Mendel said.
Undaunted by skeptical reports of the future of retail, Mendel said of their shared confidence to open a brick-and-mortar operation, “We certainly have a really strong relationship with our customers.” And many shoppers have indicated that they want to build a wardrobe with beautiful designs that they can cherish and that will stand the test of time, she said. Coats retail from $650 to about $1,800 and accessories start in the $90 to $400 range.
For added appeal, Maison Atia will offer select item faux-fur designs and accessories in the Upper East Side. There will also be customization options for shoppers to give their purchases added flair. In addition, a limited number of rotating non-Maison Atia items will be sold, with the Marina Bulgari-designed Marina B jewelry label being one of the first alliances.
Through a team effort, the store’s interiors will feature strong and classic prints that are reminiscent of the collection’s whimsical linings. There will also be home decor accents like books, vases, flowers, antiques and vintage busts. To encourage shoppers to make repeat visits, there are plans for panel discussions that address women’s empowerment issues, and possibly health care and technology. Maison Atia wil also be plugging its “Buy a coat, save a puppy” program through a partnership with PAWS Chicago. For every coat that is sold, transportation will be provided for a homeless puppy or kitten to a no-kill shelter.