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RISING RENTS: Melrose Place is having a retail revival of sorts. After news broke earlier this year that Isabel Marant would be opening on the leafy West Hollywood, Calif., street, a flurry of Melrose Place leases have been signed. L’Agence, the Los Angeles-based brand launched by Margaret Maldonado in 2008 and carried at Barneys New York, is slated to open its first store at 8436 Melrose Place in early December. Equipment, another Los Angeles brand, is scheduled to make its retail debut at 8459 Melrose Place the same month, while a retail veteran, Bottega Veneta, is expected to bow next year at 8445 Melrose Place.
Meanwhile, it appears Yves Saint Laurent is putting down stakes in West Hollywood, too, although not with a store. According to a source, the company is setting up a design studio in the former home of gallery Regen Projects at Melrose Avenue and Almont Drive. The new design studio isn’t surprising given Hedi Slimane’s desire to design Saint Laurent from Los Angeles, where he has resided since 2007. YSL, however, isn’t ignoring its retail presence on Slimane’s home turf and is embarking on a major remodel of its Rodeo Drive location in Beverly Hills.