SEARLE STRETCHES OUT: Less than three months after its opening, Searle is already expanding its store at 1296 Third Avenue at East 74th Street in Manhattan. The company has signed a 15-year lease to expand into 1300 Third Avenue and expects renovations to be complete by July.
With the addition of the new space, the store will have 5,200 square feet, with sportswear continuing to be the major draw. Trying to expand beyond its signature outerwear reputation, Searle focused on branded and private label pants, sweaters, skirts and other sportswear items in its Third Avenue store, more so than in its other five locations. That strategy helped pick up “a lot of new customers,” while still servicing existing customers, said David Lazar, director of retail. Searle has five other stores in New York.

MILLER’S CONTROL: Nicole Miller has joined the ranks of designers making novelty accessories, a la the Gucci dog-food bowl, by creating two designs for Ortho Personal Pak, the birth control dispenser that looks more like a makeup compact than a medical object. According to Miller, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc., who makes Ortho-Tricyclen, approached the designer about a year ago to apply her whimsical designs to the container.
“Women always feel self-conscious because it looks so medicinal,” Miller said. “They didn’t want women to be embarrassed.”
The designs feature a print of stilettos against a leopard background and a zebra-pattern pocketbook with a hot pink background. Each container costs $4.95 and can be ordered on Ortho-McNeil’s Web site.

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