NEW YORK — Nicky Hilton launched her new showroom for Chick by Nicky Hilton last week, surrounded by clothes she designed, people who work for her and images of — well, herself.
The pristine, 7,400-square-foot office and showroom in the Fashion Center Building at 525 Seventh Avenue formerly housed Sean John, but there is little sign of hip-hop in the space now.
Hilton’s partners, Allen and Ross Fredman, of Benvin Industries, have decorated the showroom with massive blowups of their designer and spokesmodel wearing the colorful Chick line, and they are currently entertaining buyers from major department stores and high-end specialty stores. Kitson in Los Angeles is now the exclusive carrier of the line of detailed tank tops, but the rest will roll out by March.
“It’s for juniors’, but my mom wears the tank tops all the time,” said Hilton. The clothes are also affordable — items will retail for between $35 and $95, with airbrushed jeans at the high end. The jeans are a fraction of the cost of one of the purses she designed for Samantha Thavasa, whose office is a few blocks away. The most recent bag line and the new Chick line have common color undercurrents, though, and it’d be easy to “rock a Nicky Hilton outfit with a Nicky Hilton bag,” she joked.
More difficult would be expanding on Seventh Avenue. With asking rents at $39 per square foot in the tony Fashion Center, Benvin Industries likely committed a cool $10 million for its three-year lease on the space. This is a “classically fashion, crème de la crème” property, said a spokesperson from Sean John. The company moved from the Fashion District in favor of a flagship store on Fifth Avenue in September. Other designers remain in the Fashion Center: Badgley Mischka, Bill Blass Sport, Jones Apparel Group and Nicole Miller all maintain showrooms in the building, which is owned by The Kaufman Organization and Olmstead Properties.