Experts on authenticity may want to take note of designer Valentina Kova’s temporary shop set to open this month in Aspen.
The New York designer on Dec. 15 bows her first boutique, totaling more than 1,600 square feet and previously occupied by Fendi, on a section of South Mill Street that makes her neighbors with Louis Vuitton and Bruno Cucinelli. The store, which Kova’s calling her Winter Residence, is set for a four-month stint after which she has the option of taking up the space permanently.
“It’s actually something…that I believe is one of the ways retail will be developing in the future,” Kova said of her store.
She’s referencing the decision to sign a short-term lease rather than being bound by something long-term, along with the idea of creating a residential experience that infuses elements of her own New York loft. She’s bringing personal furniture and accessory pieces to Aspen, where she will live for most of the boutique’s run. Some of those pieces include her Fifties chair, a rug from Nepal, a coffee table and even some of her personal books.
Inside, the boutique will be stocked with Kova’s wovens, knitwear and fine jewelry in addition to a 10-piece collection designed specifically for the location. She utilized materials such as cashmere, knits produced in Italy and fur for the Aspen collection. Pricing is in line with the rest of Kova’s collection and includes $650 cotton tops, knitwear for around $1,000, a double-faced cashmere coat for about $2,000 and a $4,900 fur coat.
The Winter Residence joins the company’s by-appointment New York atelier where customers can try on Kova’s ready-to-wear pieces or order custom pieces. The designer’s also now dabbling in e-commerce, having launched an online shop last week that’s stocked with pieces carried from season to season, called the Icon Collection.
“I think fashion is changing a lot and I think the demographics are changing and people just shop differently,” Kova said. “We want to focus on experiences. I want to focus on that experience of being in a winter wonderland and how do you dress yourself? You go outside. You go to parties. You go to dinners. It’s an experiment of an experience.”
Aspen represents a new market for the brand, which began as a fine-jewelry company. It’s not sold in any Colorado stores and is based in New York with distribution at retailers such as A’Maree’s, L’Eclaireur, Maxfield, Moda Operandi and Ron Herman Japan.
“We felt that this was a perfect snapshot,” the designer said of Aspen. “It’s a small town, but it has the feeling of the entire world. If we do another [temporary shop], a summer residency, we would want to do it in a place that offers the same international exposure that has this small community feeling [where] we feel we can be part of the community. We want that and if we do this again, it probably won’t be a big city. It’s not going to be Los Angeles. It’s not going to be downtown Chicago.”