Diane von Furstenberg is channeling her inner California girl with three new stores in the Sunshine State.
This story first appeared in the October 31, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“California is a huge market,” von Furstenberg said, adding that the three stores will give her five locations in greater Los Angeles, including existing units on Melrose Avenue and South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.
“There is more potential for growth,” said Joel Horowitz, cochairman of Diane von Furstenberg. “For now, we will monitor the demand from these shops and expand when the demand calls for it.”
The three new units, at the Americana at Brand in Glendale, Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica and The Grove in Los Angeles, have different personalities and retail concepts.
Horowitz said “we’ll tailor our assortments by store. For example, the Santa Monica store will offer a more casual assortment than Melrose Avenue, which will focus more on evening.”
The 1,382-square-foot Glendale store is devoted exclusively to the signature wrap dress that launched von Furstenberg’s career. Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the wrap dress has taken on a life of its own with the Wrap 40 initiative, a celebration that’s seen the dress, worn by “It” girls, travel around the world. There’s even a coffee-table book, “Journey of a Dress,” published by Rizzoli, to document the wrap’s activities.
“We started the year with the wrap exhibition in Los Angeles, so we have a lot of demand there,” von Furstenberg said. “Because of the exhibition, all of a sudden the younger generation seems to have discovered the wrap dress, so we decided to open our first wrap shop in Glendale.”
“We’ll be designing wrap shops within all new stores going forward and, where appropriate, retrofitting existing stores,” said Horowitz. “We’re launching wrap shops in our department store channel as well.
“It’s still early to make decisions about rolling out the concept,” he added of the Glendale store, which opened two weeks ago. “We’re selling accessories in the wrap shop that go well with wrap dresses, including shoes, bags, scarves, sunglasses and small leather goods. There are a multitude of wrap styles, from the classic New Jeanne and Julian to mini versions and the Abigail maxidress, as well as jumpsuits and rompers. In fact, we carry over 65 stockkeeping units of wraps in Glendale at any given time, so it is really about celebrating this signature style.”
With a curved storefront spanning 70 linear feet, the 2,222-square-foot Santa Monica store, opening Nov. 7, features graphic patterns contrasting with stark-white interiors. The store will offer the full range of ready-to-wear, including dresses, sportswear and evening wear, and a larger selection of casual styles, given its proximity to the beach. A wrap shop will be located toward the back of the store.
The 2,562-square-foot unit at The Grove, which will bow on Dec. 6, is the company’s traditional store concept with accessories and a wrap-dress shop-in-shop. Von Furstenberg plans to highlight The Grove store in the finale of her new E TV show, “House of DVF,” which follows eight women competing for the role of brand ambassador at the company. “The show’s finale is going to be in December, two weeks after we open at The Grove, so we’ll have the winner appear in our store.”