Alexis Bittar is taking his edgy fashion jewelry uptown to Madison Avenue.
The designer, who some say epitomizes downtown style with an architectural, oversize aesthetic, opened up shop last week on New York’s Upper East Side. The 450-square-foot boutique at 1100 Madison Avenue joins his other locations in the city on Bleecker and Broome Streets.
“In reality, the Upper East Side is probably our biggest demographic in the city,” Bittar said. “Also, it feels like for so long, there’s been a momentum away from Madison [Avenue]. I felt this lack of energy there in terms of the retail environment, and I felt like I could inject some new blood into that strip. They play it really safe up there.”
Bittar is certainly taking on Madison Avenue’s staid scene. He filled the oversize windows facing the street with taxidermy, such as raccoons and leopards. Inside, these eerie elements are juxtaposed with floral, feminine features. The space is similar to Bittar’s other shops in that it offers a Fifties boudoir feel, with raw silk wallpaper hand painted with cherry blossoms.
Bittar expects the store to bring in annual sales of $1.5 million to $2 million in its first three years. It will offer Bittar’s three signature collections — Elements, Lucite and Miss Havisham — all merchandised together and retailing from $100 to $1,500. In addition, a curated selection of vintage fine jewelry will be on display, which retails at up to $20,000.
Bittar plans to open three additional shops in the next year, with two in the Los Angeles area. The designer also wholesales his collections at boutiques and specialty stores, such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.