PARIS — Joining a burgeoning clutch of attractions on upper Madison Avenue, French leather goods firm Moynat has signed a lease at No. 935, WWD has learned.
The heritage brand, revived in 2011 by Bernard Arnault, is aiming to open a two-level, 2,320-square-foot flagship before the next New York Fashion Week in February.
“It’s a very big step,” Moynat chief executive officer Guillaume Davin said in an interview. “It’s a very residential area, and the main target will be New Yorkers….We really believe in the area, and the atmosphere is really, really charming.”
He noted that Americans represent Moynat’s second-biggest clientele after Asians.
Moynat made its first foray into the U.S. market last year with a pop-up space at the Dover Street Market emporium.
The brand signed on for the central shop location in the 935 Madison building, drawn to its arched windows that echo the curved lines of the automobile trunks it made in the 19th century.
Boasting a facade dating from 1876, the building stands next door to the former Whitney Museum, slated to become the Met Breuer next March, and across the street from what will be a new Apple store. The neighborhood also counts the Gagosian and Perrotin galleries, and the Sant Ambroeus restaurant.
Moynat tapped architect Gwenael Nicolas for the project, and is plotting a vaulted, cagelike structure for the ground floor, taking advantage of its 18-foot ceilings. The lower level is to house a salon, and a small atelier for personalizing and repairs.
Creative director Ramesh Nair hinted he’s working on an array of products especially for the Manhattan store.
Davin reiterated that Moynat’s objective is to expand to no more than 10 cities, with a Beijing boutique slated to open at the end of October, along with a permanent shop-in-shop at Galeries Lafayette in Paris.
Moynat also operates flagships in Paris and London, a shop-in-shop at Le Bon Marché in Paris, and two pocket-sized “gallery” units in Hong Kong.
Davin said Tokyo and Seoul are priorities for future openings.