FERRAGAMO’S RELAUNCH ON RODEO

Byline: Teena Hammond

BEVERLY HILLS — “It’s turned out to be exactly what we wanted,” said a quite-satisfied Massimo Ferragamo.
The president and vice chairman of MODA Imports, the Ferragamo distribution company in North America, was of course discussing the renovated Salvatore Ferragamo store on Rodeo Drive, which underwent a $1 million facelift and reopened Aug. 15.
However, it wasn’t until last week that the 6,500-square-foot unit at 357 North Rodeo Drive — luxuriously furnished with tan leather club chairs, Tuscany stone floors and handwoven carpets from Italy — was officially relaunched. And Ferragamo did it in grand style, with a party for 300 guests. After champagne and caviar, the crowd piled onto trolleys for the short ride down Rodeo Drive to the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, for a buffet dinner on the rooftop terrace. The event honored Women in Film, a nonprofit organization.
According to Giovanna Ferragamo, sister of Massimo Ferragamo and director of women’s ready-to-wear, the store is having a strong fall. Among the bestsellers, she cited $450 wood handbags, double-faced coats, such as a $2,450 black leather and wool reversible jacket, and a $4,830 reversible shearling jacket.
The store is expected to bring in annual sales of more than $20 million, according to a Ferragamo spokeswoman. That would represent a 30 to 40 percent increase from the old store, which was about 1,500 square feet smaller than the new one.
As part of the renovation, space for women’s rtw more than doubled, to 1,000 square feet. The shoe department also expanded, from 900 square feet to 1,200 square feet.
The newly remodeled store also carries men’s wear, as well as belts, wallets and other accessories. The facade is designed with limestone and black granite, as are those of the Ferragamo flagships in New York, Chicago, Paris, Florence and Rome.
In December, a 4,300-square-foot unit is scheduled to bow in Bal Harbour, Fla., and a 4,000-square-foot shop is slated to open in August 1998 in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s in Las Vegas.

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