Totokaelo, a Seattle-based retailer featuring directional women’s and men’s designer and contemporary sportswear, footwear, accessories and home decor, is getting ready to make a splash in New York.
On Sept. 10, the retailer will open an 8,400-square foot unit at 54 Crosby Street, encompassing five floors and two outdoor spaces.
The high-end fashion retailer, founded in 2003 by Jill Wenger, chief executive officer, operates a 12,000 square-foot brick-and-mortar store in Seattle, as well as totokaelo.com, which launched in 2008. The Seattle store features an all-white interior with a gallery-like presentation of clothing arranged against the walls by designer. The boutique has developed a cult following for its curated women’s and men’s fashion and home decor, such as art, objects, furniture, lighting, tabletop and textiles.
Last January, Totokaelo relocated its creative and merchant teams to New York to focus on global expansion and the opening of the Manhattan boutique.
At the New York location, the floors will vary from an airy French showroom with an atrium ceiling to a slick black hangout with arched stone ceilings and glass closets. The fitting rooms will range from straightforward to an elaborate loft with a windowed ceiling. The store features unfinished white-oak floor, Chinese art deco rug, ancient urns and graphic art on the wall.
Sixty percent of the merchandise will be women’s and 40 percent will be men’s wear. Women’s brands that will be carried include Haider Ackermann, Issey Miyake, The Row, and Vetements, while the men’s brands include Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Yang Li and Marni.
Asked what type of customer she’s targeting, Wenger, who is based in New York, said, “People into the same things we are. These generally end up being creative intellectuals.” The store declined to give first-year volume projections.
Wenger said she plans to expand overseas next, to either Tokyo or Seoul, depending on how the e-commerce audience evolves in the next 12 to 18 months.