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A FIRST: The Kooples is settling in Los Angeles. The brand has signed a lease for a store — its first in the U.S. — at 100 South Robertson Boulevard. The former retail home of Seven For All Mankind gives The Kooples a prominent position on the retail thoroughfare across Alden Drive from AllSaints and near Michael Kors, Intermix, Tommy Hilfiger, Kitson and Chanel, to name a few in the Robertson roster. Jay Luchs, executive vice president at real estate services firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, believes The Kooples’ store will help enliven Robertson Boulevard, where he estimated rents are currently running from $12 to $16 a square foot monthly, well off their prerecession highs.
“It will be a good one because the street needs it. It is a 3,200-square-foot corner. It is a brand that isn’t here in the U.S. yet,” said Luchs. The Kooples entered the U.S. last year via Bloomingdale’s, where it is sold at seven locations in New York and New Jersey. The men’s and women’s brand has been on the hunt for a store space in New York and is already scouring L.A. for a second retail site.
The Kooples is available in at least 320 points of sale in France, the U.K., Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany with its main namesake line and a more casual alternative called The Kooples Sport. In 2011, the brand received an investment from private equity firm LBO France, and a year later it reportedly generated annual revenues of $230 million. The Kooples is part of a wave of fast-growing French contemporary brands that includes Zadig & Voltaire, Maje, Sandro and Iro, all of which are looking for retail real estate in L.A. or have already opened stores in the city.