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Storecasting: Sportmax Out on Melrose Place, Mystery MaxMara Brand In

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Spring has come and gone, and with it, the rough opening date for Sportmax's Melrose Place boutique. We stopped by to see if any progress had been made, but our visit revealed a not-so-promising sign—its plywood had been painted over, erasing the brand's logo. An e-mail to parent company Max Mara confirmed suspicions that its sportswear arm will no longer be settling in the space. But all is not lost—they went on to say that they'll be using the location to house another MaxMara brand, to be announced in a few weeks.

There are nine different brands under the Max Mara umbrella, most of which aren't available in the US. So will the new shop house a secondary outpost for MaxMara or Marina Rinaldi, both of which already have boutiques in Beverly Hills? Could one of them—or even Max&Co over on Melrose Ave—be moving? Or will it be used to introduce a new brand to America, like Pennyblack, a lower-priced womenswear line with flagships in Europe, Asia and South America? If you've got any intel, comment away.
· Sportmax [Official Site]
· Max Mara Fashion Group [Official Site]