ThirdLove has a new home in California.
On Friday, the digital lingerie and loungewear brand opened a brick-and-mortar store in Newport Beach, Calif., marking the company’s second foray into physical retail.
“ThirdLove is back in retail baby,” Heidi Zak, cofounder and chief executive officer of the business, wrote in an Instagram caption Thursday evening. “So excited to announce our first store in Newport Beach @fashionisland. The store looks A-mazing!!”
The permanent retail space is located at 1005 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach’s upscale Fashion Island shopping mall and will feature a selection of lingerie, innerwear and activewear.
“It looks so good now,” Zak said in the video posted on Instagram, as she dances around the store, alongside ThirdLove’s chief creative officer Ra’el Cohen, surrounded by off-white walls, racks of bras, free-floating mannequin forms, tables neatly arranged with underwear and a sign that reads “24/7 Comfort” in the background.
“Us? Crying happy tears? No….Well, actually yes,” ThirdLove wrote on the brand’s Instagram page. “How can we not? An exciting moment like this deserves to feel all the feels.”
“The store is so beautiful and our collections for the season are killer,” Cohen wrote in a post of her own.
The Los Angeles-area store follows ThirdLove’s New York City shop, which opened in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood in summer 2019. At the time, Zak said the Big Apple location was meant to serve as a test run for future locations and that the company had the option to extend the lease on the temporary space, which was slated through the end of the year.
The New York location, however, was one of the coronavirus’s first casualties, closing up shop in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
The San Francisco-based brand also dipped its toes in the physical world at the Mall of America’s Modern Retail Collective in Minnesota in fall 2019. The space featured three or four brands that rotated every few months.
“We had some pretty good learning [at the Mall of America] and good learnings in our pop-up from New York, which I am super happy that we did,” Zak told WWD in September. “Because it will make reentering retail a lot easier the second time around. We gathered a lot of learnings over that time period. So more to come. We’re definitely listening to our customers, thinking about further expansion. But really thoughtfully expanding as we see opportunities and can deliver a differentiated product.”
In an email to WWD on Friday, Zak said ThirdLove has a strong following in California’s Orange County, hence the decision to set up shop there. She added that the brand has plans to open three more brick-and-mortar stores in the Golden State by April. Shoppers can also expect to see additional ThirdLove stores, popping up in various locations around the nation, later this year. Although the CEO declined to say where or how many.
“Building and scaling our retail presence is an important part of meeting our customer where she is and growing our brand awareness and interest,” Zak said. “Women will now be able to experience the exceptional fit, comfort and quality of ThirdLove products in stores tailored to a better bra shopping experience.”
ThirdLove was born online as a bra brand in 2013, operating purely by way of e-commerce. It’s wide array of bra sizes and emphasis on comfort quickly made it a fan favorite among consumers and investors alike. The firm raised $55 million in 2019, helping attract the attention of lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret and causing the two brands to engage in a very public row.
These days, ThirdLove — which launched loungewear in February 2021 and most recently expanded into activewear — is celebrating its latest creation with a grand opening party, hinting on Instagram that Zak might make an IRL appearance in the store during the Friday night event.
In addition, today through Monday, ThirdLove is offering a free bra upgrade to the first 1,000 shoppers who bring in their old bra to the store to swap out for a new ThirdLove 24/7 Classic T-shirt bra.
“I designed this bra in the early days and [ThirdLove] and I’m so proud [because] it’s a cult class,” Cohen wrote on Instagram. “Millions of boobs don’t lie.”
And while many in the fashion set are heading east this weekend at the start of New York Fashion Week in Manhattan, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate the underwear world on the west side.
On Saturday, Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie brand will make its Southern California brick-and-mortar debut in nearby Culver City, Calif., at the Westfield Culver City mall. The store is Savage’s second brick-and-mortar location, following the Las Vegas shop, which opened last month.
In addition, Kim Kardashian West’s Skims brand has also made several appearances in the area. The innerwear brand had a pop-up shop at The Grove shopping and entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles in spring 2021. Most recently a Fendi x Skims pop-up was set up on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills last November.