After 25 years on Manhattan’s Union Square, Ken and Jim Giddon (MR Uptown/Downtown award winners) are moving uptown…only one block, physically, to 18th and Park, but by this editor’s reckoning, to a whole new level in terms of luxurious visual appeal.
The biggest difference, notes Ken Giddon, “is that we’re mostly on one floor now. In the old location sometimes people would shop sportswear upstairs and then bolt without realizing there was a tailored clothing store downstairs…conversely our suit customer might just run up the steps and out without lingering to see the sportswear. It’s much easier to cross-sell now.”
Make no mistake, however, this is a tailored clothing store, and the walls, hung three racks high with suiting, make that clear.
The new store was designed by Christopher March and Rex Lalire of Lalire-March Architects (whose other clients include J. Crew and Barneys), with fixturing and display created by Brian Ware and his assistant Alex Chapman (they also designed the outstanding Project Wooster space during the Las Vegas market.) Also helping with furnishing and resources are WRK Design’s Josh Farley and Jeremy Floto: their NoLita store is a potpourri of antique industrial furniture and objects, but have also designed the Earnest Sewn stores and Rudy’s Barber Shops in the Ace Hotels. That combined team means the wide, inviting space is home to giant tables created from fire wall doors abandoned in the raw space and a base from an butcher in the Meatpacking District. Conveyor belt wheels are imaginatively worked into chandeliers over the steps and found objects from upstate New York antique runs are scattered throughout the store. Don’t miss the Jim Giddon bar…though it will be carefully monitored near the VIP dressing room and was probably on lock down at the March 2nd opening party.
The stores merchandise mix probably won’t change that much according to the Giddons, staying with a tried and true formula of 65 percent tailored to 35 percent sportswear and everything else.
“We still sell a lot of sleeve units,” emphasizes Jim Giddon. “We are a clothing driven business.”
The store has added Rosasen, Canali, Hugo Boss, Corneliani, Z Zegna, Ted Baker, Lacoste, Tahari, John Varvatos, Hickey-Freeman, Penguin, Scotch & Soda, Ben Sherman, Cole Haan, DKNY, and Calvin Klein as well as the much vaunted exclusive Mr. Brown by Duckie Brown collection.
“We hope to get an additional sportswear customer just from the new location and look of the store,” adds Jim. “The lower, more expansive windows make the store more approachable. We’re also doing more social networking, and public relations through our new partnership with Exposure P.R.”
“Everybody ‘does’ heritage,” says Ken, “but we have real heritage. My grandfather opened his store a block and a half away from here. We moved to our last location more than 25 years ago. ABC Carpet and Home and Paragon, our neighbors here, are both original family businesses. It’s about working with local people, having quality product and preserving integrity.”
Click here for photos from the store opening party http://www.mrketplace.com/29066/schmoozing-rothmans-store-opening-party/