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6 posts tagged "Madison Avenue"

Brian Atwood Gets His Foot In The Door On Madison


2012 has been a big year for Brian Atwood. The New York-based shoe designer launched his first handbag collection this fall, filled with graphic minaudières, fringed clutches, and smart totes. Just last month, he unveiled his digital boutique, and today, Atwood opens the doors to his first flagship at 655 Madison Avenue. “It just felt like the right time,” the designer tells, noting that he’s dreamed of having a store on New York’s iconic shopping row since he was a child. The 1,450-square-foot plush boutique, with its purple quartz entry arch and stiletto heel window facades, houses the largest selection of Brian Atwood merchandise in the world, from his high-end pieces, like fall’s thigh-high python boots, to the new handbags to shoes from his diffusion line, B Brian Atwood. And naturally, in collaboration with William Sofield on the store’s design, Atwood ensured that the boutique echoes the opulence of his sexed-up kicks.

Atwood’s new home was inspired in part by old Hollywood glamour as well as the Peacock Alley in the Waldorf Astoria. “It’s reminiscent of that decadent luxurious time. You walk into this special place, this special world, and there are all these beautiful things just waiting to be tried on.” Divided into three unique salons, the aubergine, sea foam, gray, and bronze boutique is lined with mirrors and anchored by illuminated palm umbrella pillars. “I really wanted this to be a chic haven for women who love shoes and love the shopping experience,” he says. And according to Atwood, the experience is “orgasmic.” “There’s no other word for it!” he says, laughing. Considering the space features silk-lined columns, lush retro custom furniture, and mohair shelves that tickle shoppers’ fingers as they reach for platform pumps, it would seem that Atwood isn’t exaggerating. In-store treats include boutique-exclusive styles whose soles will be garnished with gold plates that read “655 Madison.” And a few of Atwood’s favorite shoes will be marketed with Quick Response codes that, when scanned with an iPhone or iPad, will link to films that Atwood describes as “little romantic tales about where the shoe’s concept came from.”

Things continue to heat up for Atwood this November, when he will reveal a capsule jewelry range, only available in the flagship and at his online store. The five-piece collection will include Italian-made chokers, cuffs, and a wrap bracelet that combines leather or python with gunmetal or a light gold. “We didn’t want to start with a 40-piece collection. We’re just doing relevant pieces that women need. That’s it.” If that doesn’t turn on Atwood fans, we don’t know what will.

Brian Atwood, 655 Madison Avenue, NYC.

Photo: Kyle Ericksen

On Our Radar: Ippolita Bags


The Florence-born jeweler Ippolita—one-name only, please—has had the likes of Kate Hudson, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, and more wearing her elegant 18-karat gold and sterling jewelry for 12 years now. Soon, the red-carpet set will see the designer’s new handbags (prices start at $1,495), too. Made of python and suede and topped with brass and wood detailing, the new accessories will launch at the same time as her new Madison Avenue store, her first-ever retail location. The full collection consists of six different color combinations; my favorite is above.

Photo: Courtesy of Ippolita

Michael Kors, Living Large


Michael Kors has a larger-than-life personality and even bigger ambitions for his namesake luxury brand. Coinciding with the debut of two new boutiques in Madrid and Taipei earlier this week, the designer just opened his largest lifestyle store to date at 667 Madison Avenue yesterday. With soaring 22-foot-ceilings, an 18-foot-high video screen (yes, campaign model Karmen Pedaru looks that much more beautiful when she’s blown up in high definition), and logo-etched glass walls complemented by custom steel fixtures, the 6,655-square-foot bi-level retail space is double the size of the previous location, which was located just next door. The new digs still have that clean, minimalist aesthetic that is characteristic of most MK stores, but the immense size better balances the burst of vibrant colors found in the current summer collection on display (accessories from both Collection and MICHAEL Michael Kors are available upstairs, while downstairs is entirely devoted to the less expensive line’s clothing). Speaking of, to celebrate the upgraded digs, Kors brought in Leandra Medine, a.k.a. The Man Repeller (the label’s second collaboration with the blogger), to style the mannequins the night before opening the store’s doors to the public. Whether Michael Kors, a name so intricately tied to sexy American sportswear, is man repelling? Well, that’s up for debate.

Michael Kors, 667 Madison Ave., NYC.

Photos: Courtesy of Michael Kors

Neapolitan Born, Madison Avenue Bound


It’s possible that Cesare Attolini, the prestigious Italian tailor, has a humbler balance sheet than some of the Madison Avenue restaurants it now calls neighbors. The third-generation outfit, which remains a small operation despite its outsize reputation, moved into a 2,500-square-foot storefront in March that is its only stand-alone retail space outside of Naples.

“It’s our first store that’s visible to the world,” said the company’s North American CEO, Enrico Libani, inside the sunlit, two-story Upper East Side space. Not that the whole planet is watching: Attolini speaks (and not through advertising) to a tiny group of connoisseurs who can afford its painstakingly handmade products. The effortlessly soft-tailored jackets for which it’s celebrated come from Italy, where it retains 150 tailors, and the company makes no more than 32 of them a day.

The fabrics are from Italy and, predominantly, the British Isles. At the truly plush end of the spectrum is a four-ply worsted cashmere; what Attolini brothers Giuseppe and Massimiliano are selling more of these days, though, are open-weave fabrics that bring an extra lightness and insouciance to the precision tailoring.

A sense of old-school purity is woven into the brand identity; this is that rare place where even trouser waistbands are stitched by hand. The clientele, too, exists a bit outside reality. According to Mr. Libani, the brand’s old Fifth Avenue atelier felt busier during the worst of the recession, if only because its customers were buying five-figure suits “as a distraction” from the carnage.

“Many people are selling a $5,000 jacket right now. We’re setting a new benchmark for quality, not price,” Mr. Libani said. He removed a $4,500 jacket—the least expensive in the store—to demonstrate. “I know it sounds crazy, but this is an incredible value.”

Cesare Attolini is now open at 798 Madison Ave., NYC, (646) 707-3006.

Photos: Courtesy of Cesare Attolini

Giorgio Armani Reveals Revamped Flagship, Miranda Kerr On The Aussie Runways, Jenna Lyons’ Look-Alike, And More…


Giorgio Armani has just unveiled his newly renovated Madison Avenue flagship store. The facelift of the 17-year-old store, which took three months of work, is part of his new vision for capturing market share in North America. [WWD]

Miranda Kerr is skipping New York fashion week, opting instead to walk the runway in Sydney. The supermodel showed off designs by Dion Lee, Josh Goot, and Kirrily Johnston at retailer David Jones’ show. [Huff Po]

Editors at the J.Crew presentation did a double take yesterday when they spotted Jenna Lyons’ doppelgänger. Lyons, who has appeared in the J.Crew campaigns before, says it wasn’t intentional, however. [Page Six]

Although the E network pulled its rebroadcast of the Fashion Police episode in which Joan Rivers makes snarky comments about Whitney Houston (the episode originally aired the day before Houston died), the fashion critic says she has no regrets about what she said. “When she’s alive, she’s fair game. It’s part of being a celebrity,” Rivers tells WWD. [WWD]

Photo: Stephen Sullivan