Marc on Melrose: Jacobs Sets California Expansion in Motion

Marc Jacobs International LLP finalized leases for four buildings on Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place in Los Angeles.

A rendering of the largest of four buildings Marc Jacobs has taken on a corner where Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place converge

A rendering of the largest of four buildings Marc Jacobs has taken on a corner where Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place converge.

Photo By WWD Staff

LOS ANGELES — Marc Jacobs wants to corner the Melrose market.

Marc Jacobs International LLP finalized leases for four separate buildings here, two on Melrose Avenue and two on the tributary Melrose Place, for a Marc Jacobs collection store, a Marc by Marc Jacobs store, a VIP studio and a management office. The stores are scheduled to open in October.

The largest building, a 3,500-square-foot ivy-covered space at 8400 Melrose Place occupying a corner where the two streets converge, is expected to house men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections, shoe collections, accessories collections and home. Catercorner will be a 1,500-square-foot VIP studio devoted to a celebrity clientele and a West Coast press office at 8409 Melrose Place. Across the street on Melrose Avenue, Marc by Marc Jacobs has taken over two leases at 8410 and 8406 for a 2,500-square-foot store and a 1,500-square-foot building for a combined management office, alterations and stock facility, respectively.

This is Marc Jacobs’ second retail foray into California. The Paris-based designer opened a store on Union Square in San Francisco four years ago. With 40 stores worldwide between Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs and combined sales reaching $300 million, the lines backed by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton are already available here through several distribution points at department and specialty stores. Both labels occupy prime exposure on Melrose’s original ivy-covered destination, Fred Segal Melrose, located only steps from the soon-to-be-opened stores.

Having a store in Los Angeles was always on the designer’s mind, said Robert Duffy, Marc Jacobs president, who, along with New York architect Stephan Jaklitsch and French designer Christian Liaigre, is currently ironing out the design concepts of both stores.

“Marc has always had a love affair with L.A.,” he said. “The lifestyle is so different [from New York]. I get psyched every time I’m there.”

The Marc by Marc Jacobs store will be the largest for the secondary label to date, expected to carry the broadest array of products, including a new home collection, said Duffy. The company already has introduced ancillary products like stickers, surfboards and skateboards, all of which had a huge run during the holiday 2003 season. There also will be other products designed exclusively for the Los Angeles store, but Duffy declined to elaborate.
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