Byline: Kristin Young

LOS ANGELES — The three-year-old Lura Starr boutique at 7374 Beverly Boulevard has closed permanently.
Designer and owner Niki Schwan said she plans to relocate her business to New York, has secured a loft space in the garment district there and plans to focus on her wholesale business. Last year, Lura Starr had an exclusive contract to produce her signature tailored looks for Henri Bendel. The boutique here had a studio and sewing operation on the premises.
“That’s more of the direction I want to go in,” she said. “I’ve gotten so caught up in retail. I want to be respected as a designer instead of a boutique owner.”
Schwan said she will focus on developing her Lura Starr contemporary line, which comprises elegant and edgy suitings, dresses and cocktail looks. Dresses will retail for $250 to $450, separates will go for $200 to $300 and suit coats are expected to sell for $200 to $500.
Schwan said she is also on the hunt for a denim licensee for Lura Starr and plans to produce indigo goods ranging in price from $75 to $200.
Retailing isn’t totally out of her blood, though. Eventually, Schwan said she hopes to open a Lura Starr boutique in the NoLIta area of Manhattan, and she might even open another store here.
In the meantime, Schwan will continue to produce custom-made Lura Starr pieces for awards shows and her celebrity clientele. Pierra Blodwell of the public relations firm PRB will continue to represent her products on the West Coast, she said.
“L.A. has been so fabulous to me for product placement,” said Schwan. “It’s really laid a strong foundation for me. But the fashion industry is in New York and I’m trying to focus on being part of that industry.”
Schwan said she hopes to show her line at 7th on Sixth within the next two years.

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