Dover Street Market, Comme des Garçons, Apparel
Last week Comme des Garçons confirmed it signed a lease for a 20,000-square-foot, seven-story store at 160 Lexington Ave. at 30th Street in NYC. It's an offbeat neighborhood filled with Indian restaurants and nail salons. And now, retail maverick Rei Kawakubo has announced plans to open an international branch of Dover Street Market.
The sprawling unit — which mingles Comme’s various lines with a range of international designer brands for women and men — is set to open in December 2013, Adrian Joffe, chief executive officer at Comme des Garçons International, told WWD.
This is not the first time Kawakubo has taken risks in neighborhoods. She opened a boutique in SoHo in 1983 when it was still mainly an industrial neighborhood and not a bustling shopping district. She also saw the potential in Chelsea when she moved the Comme des Garçons store in 1999.
Kawakubo has revolutionized temporary retail concepts with “guerrilla” stores selling Comme des Garçons collections from previous seasons in cities such as Berlin; Warsaw; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Stockholm, Helsinki, Barcelona and Singapore.
In 2001, she partnered with Milan retailer Carla Sozzani and opened the 10 Corso Como Comme des Garçons in Tokyo. Then in 2004, she opened Dover Street Market in London, a multibrand store that also included a cafe and a selection of vintage pieces. At that time, Dover Street was known for its art and antiques galleries, or as a cut-through to nearby Bond Street. Dover Street Market’s success spurred other fashion retailers to open nearby.
A Tokyo branch of Dover Street Market opened in Ginza in March 2012. Comme de Garçons also partnered with Hong Kong retailer I.T on I.T Beijing Market in Beijing.