NEW YORK — Lucien Pellat-Finet, the Paris-based designer known for his cashmere sweaters, is setting up shop in the West Village here.
The company has signed a lease for a 2,800-square-foot space at 14 Christopher Street and plans to open a flagship there next month. Half of the two-level location will serve as Pellat-Finet’s first U.S. headquarters and showroom. The brand is currently sold in about 35 retail stores in the U.S.
Rick Rector, chief executive officer of Lucien Pellat-Finet North America, which was set up in February to help facilitate growth, said, “It’s a great opportunity, because we have developed an enviable wholesale business here.”
The company also has freestanding stores in Paris and Tokyo. An Osaka, Japan, location is expected to open later this year, and sites in Los Angeles and Miami are being considered for the next year or two, Rector said.
This is Pellat-Finet’s second go-round at having a store here. In 1997, the designer opened a unit at 226 Elizabeth Street, but closed it a year later. “It did very well, but Lucien was not happy with the way it was managed. Lucien loves shops with flowers that are clean and beautiful, so he decided to do this himself,” said a Pellat-Finet spokeswoman.
Women’s, men’s and children’s apparel will be offered in the new location. In addition to his signature quirky cashmere sweaters and ready-to-wear, the store will house the designer’s new double-faced cashmere pieces — a knee-length pencil skirt, a peacoat and a knee-length coat.
While Pellat-Finet’s collection is sold at such retailers as Barneys New York, Scoop and Ron Herman, the designer wanted a space to showcase the full range of his offerings, the company spokeswoman said. His first home collection and swimwear will be offered in the West Village. The new home collection of pillows and blankets includes king-size cashmere ones imprinted with the Union Jack flag or the designer’s family crest.
The company is taking over a space formerly occupied by MAC Cosmetics until February. Nicole Meyer, an associate at Newmark Real Estate, which leased the location, said, “When MAC Cosmetics vacated the store at 14 Christopher Street, the landlord was intent on finding another vibrant tenant with a rebellious spirit that is so characteristic of the neighborhood.”
— Rosemary Feitelberg