WHAT’S THE SCOOP
GOODBYE COLUMBUS: It was a great run on Columbus, but now it’s history.
Charivari, which pioneered selling avant-garde designer clothes to New York’s Upper West Siders, quietly closed its shop at 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue two weeks ago. Over the last two years, the family business also closed units at 79th and Amsterdam, and Columbus and 81st Street. Charivari sought more fertile ground on the East Side, but its Madison and 78th Street shop also closed earlier this year, after just three years in business.
“Customers on the Upper West Side want distinctive things they don’t see elsewhere, but priced much less than such resources allow,” said Barbara Weiser, who runs Charivari’s women’s business. “It makes our role rather difficult.” And those wealthier designer customers, she added, take taxis to 57th Street and “make a whole shopping excursion out of it.”
The 72nd Street shop, a fixture on Columbus Avenue since 1979, served as a powerful magnet for other fashion names, leading to a burst of retail development in the area in the early Eighties.
Still standing: Charivari’s 8,000-square-foot flagship on West 57th Street. “That’s our focus. We feel we want to have one strong presence,” Weiser said.
JUST SAY NO: Oscar de la Renta has been saving a prime seat for his Thursday show for First Client Hillary Clinton. But Clinton, who wore Oscar’s gold embroidered gown at the inaugural gala, is a long shot to attend. A Clinton aide said Hillary will, in fact, be passing through town on Wednesday, stopping off for a brief visit to NYU. But nothing fashionable is on the agenda, and she has no plans to stay on till Thursday.
GUTEN TAG, NEW YORK: Keep an eye out for the Jaghfelds, Germany’s answer to Club 21, who are show-hopping this week. The real estate/restaurant-owning family is branching out to fashion, having opened Donna Karan and DKNY stores in the middle of old Berlin. Next up is a 45,000-square-foot luxury brand store there, designed by Calvin Tsao, who did the Joyce stores in Hong Kong.
So far, the Jaghfelds have put in orders for Alexander McQueen, Guy Laroche, Dolce & Gabbana and John Galliano. Now they’re shopping the New York market for some hot names to round out the merchandise.