Byline: Anita J. Finkelstein

ATLANTA — Taking a big step forward in her U.S. expansion, Jil Sander has opened her second freestanding store in the U.S., a 3,000-square-foot unit in the upscale Phipps Plaza mall here.
Her first store opened in Chicago two years ago, and a third is set for San Francisco in June. Sander, also carried in stores such as Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York, is riding a wave of popularity and strong sales.
Jeffrey Kalinsky owns the franchise for the Jil Sander shop, which is adjacent to his Jeffrey boutique, next to his Bob Ellis shoe store. Each store has a distinct character, but the stores are linked. Customers can enter the Sander shop through the Jeffrey shop and walk through Jeffrey to get to the shoe store.
“I didn’t want them to have to walk out of one store and back in, when I’m trying to show a lifestyle,” explained Kalinsky. “The whole idea is for someone to walk into Jil Sander and become a Bob Ellis customer as well.” The Jil Sander boutique opened two weeks ago, though Kalinsky has been selling the line since January. He said the response has been phenomenal. Since the opening, sales included five black stretch gabardine outfits with single-breasted jackets and cuffed pants, priced at $2,695; three black sheer wool button-front shirtdresses, $945 each, and 16 Lycra spandex and polyester sheer T-shirts, priced at $265. Before he bought the line, Sander was not sold in Atlanta. Now, he said, “We’re really working on identifying followers of the collection,” that live in the Atlanta area, but may have bought the line in other locations.
The store was designed by Michael Gabellini, who also created the Chicago and Paris stores. Many of the same elements are seen in the three stores, including limestone, granite, nickel-silver and ebony. Gambelli said he designed the interior to be flexible so that it can change as the collection changes. “Everything is movable and removable so that the store can follow Jil Sander’s vision,” he said.
The store houses the complete Jil Sander collection, including suits, dresses, sportswear, accessories and fragrances.

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