Los Angeles design veteran Tadashi Shoji has built his evening and daywear business slowly but steadily over the past three decades, but’s he ready to amp it up.
Shoji, who has had a retail flagship in South Coast Plaza for 11 years, as well as partner stores in Asia and The Middle East, will relocate his Las Vegas boutique from The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace to the Fashion Show Mall in May.
At the same time, he’s experimenting with a concept store model, which he dubs “pop-up shops” with shorter-term leases than his flagship boutiques. The first, in the Glendale Galleria mall, is set to open in late April/early May and will have more of an art installation vibe meant to enrich the customer experience rather than mirror his other wholesale or retail offerings.
Designed by March Studios, the architecture firm for all of Shoji’s spaces including his Vernon, Calif., headquarters, the concept shops are designed with input from architecture students at Woodbury University and feature out-of-the-box elements like a wall made from reclaimed windows and doors and window displays featuring vintage television sets showing footage of Shoji’s latest New York Fashion Week runway show.
A second such store, in the former Miu Miu space at Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose, Calif., will have room dedicated to bridal, eveningwear and kids and will feature a cleaner, more modern vibe.
“Our department store business is good, so we want to try these stores in areas where we may like to open boutiques,” said Shoji, who plans for five such concept stores this year and another five in 2017.
At the same time, Shoji is planning Middle East retail expansion with a new partnership deal to be announced in June. The company launched a kids’ line last Fall, is aiming for a fragrance launch this coming Fall, and is beginning to design its own shapewear. Currently, it sells third-party shapewear in its signature boutiques to complement the often-sheer and form-fitting eveningwear. All these developments will of course be touted on its newly revamped Web site and social media channels.