Illesteva The Grove Los Angeles


ROOM TO GROW: Eyewear and accessories firm Illesteva opened four stand-alone stores in 2016 and is on pace to roll out about as many in the new year.

Chief executive officer Daniel Silberman declined to specify where the new stores would be located but sees physical retail as a good way of expanding the company’s optical range and raising awareness for the brand.

“For us, it’s the way that we can tell our whole brand story and customers can see everything we do, from the optical to the bags,” Silberman said.

The ceo declined to say what the broader store growth plans are beyond 2017 but did indicate the business benefits from the fact that “we don’t have investors so our growth is organic.”

The company launched in 2010 and sells glasses made in France and Italy.

Illesteva has plans to open its first freestanding international store in Toronto in about a month-and-a-half. That would join a shop-in-shop at Selfridges, which the company bowed in October.

The company capped last year with the opening at the end of November of its sixth store, located at The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles. The 1,100-square-foot store is the company’s second in Southern California after the location on Abbot Kinney Boulevard and joins other doors in Boston, Miami and New York.

Silberman said additional locations in the L.A. area, perhaps on the east side of town in Silver Lake or downtown, are possible in the longer term but is cautious about overall growth plans for the business.

He added: “We’re still a very young brand. We’ve only been around for seven years. There’s still so much room to go. A lot of people expanded too fast. We could have easily opened 10 to 20 stores this year. We want to grow at our own pace.”

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