GOLD STRIKE ON MELROSE
Byline: Teena Hammond
LOS ANGELES — Black bamboo and a rock garden are visible through the glass wall that fills the back of Emma Gold, the latest addition to the sizzling retail scene on Melrose Avenue.
The 3,000-square-foot store opened Nov. 27, a year and a half after owner Mark Goldstein bought the building at 8115 Melrose Ave., directly across the street from Ron Herman Fred Segal. Goldstein painstakingly gutted the interior and designed it from scratch.
“I think this is the best retail environment in L.A.,” Goldstein said, surveying the boutique.
Goldstein knows what he’s talking about. He’s also the owner of Madison, a popular Robertson Boulevard clothing and shoe store that has a second location in Brentwood. He opted for Emma Gold as the name of his newest venture to avoid overexposing the Madison name. Emma is a mix of his name and that of his wife, Emily.
Emma Gold is expected to pull in anywhere from $3 million to $5 million in its first year. After divulging this figure, Goldstein contemplated, “That’s a wide range, isn’t it? It’s just that it’s a new store and it’s a destination location. I’m not buying to do five [million], I’m buying to do 3.5 or four. I’ll have to reorder to do five.”
The store has a serene atmosphere, with smooth concrete floors and white inlaid floating ceiling panels over black insulation and sanded ceiling beams. Solid walnut fixtures and Japanese benches designed by Mike Lee add a warm feel to the space. The back wall has a sitting area with a wraparound purple wool and mohair velvet couch below a built-in concrete planter. Walls in this section are unusual — concrete that was poured into wood plank forms resulted in a concrete surface with a wood texture.
All of this construction has Goldstein in an expansive mode and considering opening more stores here and possibly in other cities.
Emma Gold carries European designer and domestic labels, and Ann Demeulemeester is the most popular line. Other designers are Andrew Gn, Alessandro Dell’Acqua and Samsonite. Contemporary lines from Paul & Joe, Claudie Pierlot, Petro Zilli and Mandalay are also available.
Next season, Goldstein will add Matthew Williamson, Translatio, Maurizio Pecoraro and Guerriero.
“We sell tons of Matilde cashmere from Italy. It’s number one in both stores,” Goldstein said.
Shoes include the Prada main line, Sergio Rossi, Demeulemeester, Sigerson Morrison, Giuseppe Zanotti, Robert Clergerie, Marc Jacobs, Fendi and Madison’s private label; there are handbags from Jamin Puech and Anya Hindmarch.
A large jewelry case will soon be added to the store with Sage and Lori Rodkin among the offerings.
And Goldstein isn’t finished tinkering with Madison, either. Construction begins next week to convert 500 square feet of office space to selling space at the currently 1,500-square-foot store on Robertson Boulevard. The expansion is slated to open in late January or early February.
What will the added space carry? Well, Goldstein’s still figuring that out, but said, “I might expand it into designer or apothecary.”