Vivienne Westwood expands into L.A. with new store
Vivienne Westwood is back in the U.S.: The designer has more than 300 stores under her name, and Los Angeles is next on the list. Her new boutique on Melrose Avenue, which opened Friday, is expected to launch further American expansion for the brand, according to WWD.
The store, which cost an estimated $5.5 million, is intended to be a launchpad for future North American locations such as New York; Las Vegas; Miami; Chicago; San Francisco; Costa Mesa, Calif.; and Vancouver.
Westwood, however, has not fared the best in the United States so far. With the closure of her SoHo store and wholesale operations mainly shut down in the U.S., the designer has little presence left in the country. Still, 120 U.S. stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, carry the brand’s goods.
The label believes Los Angeles’ fashion preeminence is on the rise, making it the right place to open the next Westwood shop.
“If you go to Rodeo Drive, every shop is the same. Here, it is more creative, more open,” Carlo D’Amario, Westwood’s managing director, told WWD. “Rodeo was good 35 years ago. Maybe this will become the new Rodeo in 20, 25 years.”
Boasting 10,000 square-feet of space and a nearly 9-foot-long neon pink sign of Vivienne Westwood’s signature, the building consists of ground-floor retail space, a second-level showroom and a rooftop event area.
And expansion is not the only thing on the agenda. With this new store, the label aims to re-create Westwood’s image in the U.S.; the designer is, said D’Amario, seen as “strange” and “crazy.”
Although Westwood pulls in more than $400 million internationally, U.S. sales are a mere 6 percent of that, definitely leaving room for growth.
The shop carries Vivienne Westwood’s entire line, from the Anglomania line, priced from $120 to $800, to Gold Label, which is $4,000 and higher. Check out Westwood at www.viviennewestwood.co.uk.