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COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Yves Saint Laurent boutique at South Coast Plaza here is the brand’s first in the U.S. to incorporate a new retail design concept.

This story first appeared in the November 5, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The 2,200-square-foot space that opened Oct. 25 on the second floor of the shopping center features a design from creative director Stefano Pilati, who collaborated with architects Alain Moatti and Henri Rivière. The concept debuted in February at the label’s Left Bank store in Paris.

“When this process started about two years ago, it seemed the right time to relook at the [store] concept and reflect Stefano’s vision,” said Laura Lendrum, YSL’s U.S. president. “This is part of a long-term strategy, so the impact for the company will be spread out over the next several years or more.”

Other stores that will be updated include those on 57th Street in Manhattan, Oak Street in Chicago and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Lendrum said.

The new South Coast store replaces a 4,700-square-foot Yves Saint Laurent space that was on the same level. Lendrum said the company has a 10-year lease.

The interior decor features deep reddish lacquered walls, brushed or polished brass hardware, brass light fixtures and environmentally friendly innovations such as concrete developed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and water waste, and longer-lasting materials used in furniture and flooring. The store’s lighting was designed to be energy efficient.

The store will carry the brand’s full collection, from patent pumps for $770 and small handbags for $895 to ready-to-wear evening gowns for $2,000.

The store will also host YSL’s new Edition Soire collection of formalwear and cocktail attire for several days this week, starting with the opening party on Thursday.

South Coast Plaza is “a very, very strong market for us,” Lendrum said. “We sell a lot in general, and shoe business is very strong there. Orange County is a particularly strong accessories market. It’s in our top three, maybe four stores in the U.S., behind New York stores and L.A.”

The collection debuted in San Francisco in honor of the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the de Young Museum, which opened Saturday and runs through March 1. The line will head to New York before returning to the West Coast for a stop at the Beverly Hills store.

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