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Photos via WWD
Ralph Lauren's 11,000-square-foot boutique opens today on Robertson Boulevard, housing offerings for men, women and kids, and adding to its shops on Rodeo, the Malibu Country Mart, and South Coast Plaza, with plans for a Double RL store on Melrose Avenue. WWD reports "Among other differences from the larger and more traditional Beverly Hills store, the Robertson unit spotlights the brand’s complete accessories collection, from handbags and vintage jewelry to men’s and women’s footwear." The store's women's collections include Ralph Lauren Collection, Black Label and Blue Label; men's include Purple Label, Polo, and Black Label, plus Double RL for men and women. Notably, there are 13 parking spaces at the rear of the store.
In terms of decor, expect high ceilings, antiques found in Paris and Ralph Lauren home collection furnishings. The overall design utilizes "Spanish colonial aesthetics and with a white California Mission facade, as well as Forties-era touches in the residential hacienda-style interior." The space is broken up into 10 rooms with a courtyard and central fountain.
Most interesting however, is the potential affects of big-time retailers like Ralph Lauren and Chanel moving in on the street. The bottom line is that rents have risen considerably: "on a stretch that once commanded about $15 a square foot, prices have risen to the $25 to $28 a square foot range" We mentioned Agnes B. is leaving the area, but we find out that Aussie "sleepwear giant" Peter Alexander has quietly already opened in the former Waterworks space. Big news is WeSC will leave the street in April because its building has been bought, though Tory Burch is staying put next door. Meanwhile D&G is supposed to be opening in early 2009 per DNR.
Kitson owner Fraser Ross, who is known for speaking his mind (and is expanding his reach to Melrose) tells WWD: "“It will sabotage some of the businesses here...I think it takes away from what makes Robertson special, from why shoppers come here in the first place.” Mark-Alan Harmon of Closetry on the street echoes the sentiment: “What’s happening is that Robertson, which you could count on for unique designer clothing and interesting little boutiques, is now the same crap as the Beverly Center or any other mall."
· Ralph Lauren Arrives on Roberton Boulevard [WWD, subscription req]
· Ralph Lands on L.A.'s Robertson Blvd. [DNR]
· Ralph Lauren on Robertson Nearly Open [Racked]
· Storecasting: Ralph Lauren's Mega Boutique on Robertson [Racked]
· Storecasting Robertson Edition: Kira Plastinina, D&G, Chanel and Ralph Coming, Robert Clergerie and Horn Out [Racked]