LONDON — There’s no place like home for Roland Mouret, whose new store on Madison Avenue is a tall, slender town house that’s a mix of retail and residential and adorned with the designer’s art collection and porcelain sculptures.
This story first appeared in the September 12, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Mouret has relocated his store one block up, from number 952 to 1006 Madison Avenue, a larger space of 1,937 square feet spread over the ground and mezzanine levels. The ground floor of the Twenties-era building around the corner from The Mark Hotel and across the street from the Carlyle formerly housed the lingerie shop Peress.
“It’s the smallest town house on Madison — it’s unique,” the designer told WWD, adding that his former unit, which opened two years ago, was really about testing the waters on Madison.
Mouret said he’s been watching the street evolve, and is proud to remain near to The Met Breuer, which focuses on the The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 20th and 21st century collections.
The U.S. is also his brand’s largest and fastest-growing market so the resizing made sense. The brand is sold at stores including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The designer will eventually open the first floor of the town house to more retail, while the upstairs private apartments will be for appointments and fittings — and for Mouret’s personal use.
“We’re living in a century where we’re revamping the idea of luxury, and the concept of service, and this strikes a good balance between the worlds of digital and couture,” Mouret said. “You have to be there for the customer.”
The setting recalls Mouret’s London flagship, in a red brick town house on Carlos Place, across from The Connaught hotel and just off Mount Street. Retail is on the ground floor with design studios and offices on the upper levels. Mouret said his stretch of Madison reminds him of what Carlos Place used to be like: “No one was on Carlos Place, but I had a vision of what it could be. I think this move will work for me,” he said of the neighborhood, which also contains stores for Vera Wang, Zadig & Voltaire, Intermix and the recently opened Veronica Beard.
The new Madison interiors are a study in contrasts. “It’s Brutalism meeting the Seventies, a balancing of two extreme worlds that live together. Rough concrete floors and white carpets, and mid-century modern European furniture — although I didn’t force the space to be anything it did not want to be,” the designer said.
The space showcases some of Mouret’s own art collection, with taxidermy pieces by Darwin, Sinke & van Tongeren, and porcelain sculptures by Mouret’s husband James B. Webster.
To celebrate the opening, Mouret has also created a special-edition jumpsuit — which he describes as his Galaxy dress of the 21st century — that will be exclusively available at the flagship.
Next up for Mouret is a franchise store in Dubai that will open next year, following his pop-up at The Dubai Mall.
Asked about Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, and where that leaves a French designer with an international business based in London, Mouret said he — and all his designer peers — are thinking about how to move on.
“It’s so difficult to predict what is going to happen, and my hope is that the transformation will be polite, thoughtful, and carried out with understanding. London has an amazing backbone of garment production, with small factories that offer services from A to Z,” said Mouret, adding that it’s crucial those small businesses continue to flourish.