U.K. contemporary label Karen Millen is growing its Stateside business, which now includes 12 company-owned stores. The newest, which opened in Santa Monica Place last month, is a 3,076-square-foot shop in the new retail concept that was unveiled on Fifth Avenue in New York earlier this year. The brand celebrated with bicoastal dinners hosted by Louise Roe and creative director Gemma Metheringham.
“I remember always saving up for a special occasion Karen Millen dress,” said Roe. “The brand has grown so much in 30 years and I’m a fan of the atelier collection.”
The limited-edition range, which Metheringham has been designing for about three years, features about 20 pieces for holiday that are priced about 20 to 30 percent higher than the core collection. “Our customers were increasingly looking for a different story, and access to a nearly couture experience. There are only between 100 and 200 pieces of each style and we are in 60 countries, so they really are getting something that not many other people will have,” she said.
Karen Millen also has a store in San Francisco and a concession business in 22 Bloomingdale’s, which it is looking to expand. Metheringham said the brand has undergone an evolution in the last four years into a full-range collection with a redefined print and image campaign. Spring 2016, she said, “felt like a new mood in fashion with a lightness and femininity that you’ll see in lots of floral prints and softer, more fluid fabrics.”