Alexander McQueen has opened a new flagship store on Greene Street, in the Soho neighborhood of New York City. The new design concept for the house was conceived by creative director Sarah Burton in collaboration with the architect Smiljan Radic.
The fully immersive experience is home to women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories with McQueen-clad mannequins interacting throughout the environment and referencing the narrative of the runway collections. The main material used on the interior is wood: oak and walnut, light and dark, appearing on the floors and walls. A glass cylinder also pierces the interior, adding reflection and light.
The decision to open a new store in 2020, despite the ongoing global pandemic, is certainly unexpected. New York City was one of the early epicenters of the coronavirus — and one of the first major cities to go into lockdown mode, forcing the closure of all nonessential businesses. Though the city has now lifted many of its restrictions and retailers have reopened their doors, foot traffic in Manhattan’s major shopping and business districts remains dismally low due to an absence of tourism and the fact that most workers haven’t returned to the office.
“All types of retailers, both national brands and mom-and-pop stores, are struggling,” says Matthew Haag, of The New York Times who covers New York real estate. “But it is especially the case in Manhattan, where shoppers have disappeared because there are very few workers commuting into work, tourists are at home and many local residents have gone to their second homes or work remotely back at home with their parents.”
In Lower Manhattan, retail foot traffic is down as much as 90%, according to NY 1 and tourism has plunged. SoHo in particular has seen foot traffic cratering. The most expensive retail space in the neighborhood, 106 Spring Street — recently home to Moncler’s House of Genius pop-up — was forced to foreclose last month.
Opening a new flagship is certainly a risk during these unprecedented times. Since March, more than 2,800 businesses in the city have permanently closed, according to data from Yelp.
“In this environment, it’s impossible to predict the future,” said Haag. “But everyone I talk to on this subject says that brick-and-mortar retailers and small businesses will continue to struggle until people feel safe again to go outside and shop.”
Luckily for Alexander McQueen, the brand is owned by Kering, whose group’s revenue reached over $18 billion last year. Despite a difficult year for any company in the luxury space, Kering has demonstrated resilience and agility with solid rebound in revenue in the past few months.
“In a tough environment, Kering achieved substantial revenue recovery in the third quarter,” says François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The creativity of each of our Houses and the agility of our organization led to a sharp rebound in sales, nearly matching the level of the 2019 third quarter. We are pursuing with determination the implementation of our strategic initiatives – the internalization of our e-commerce activities reached other key milestones and we continue bolstering our growth platforms. With a solid financial situation, further reinforced recently, we keep investing in our Houses, to enhance their exclusivity, and strengthening our positions. Against a backdrop that remains uncertain, and despite limited visibility, we are well prepared and confident in our ability to deliver good performances over time.”
Alexander McQueen specifically delivered double-digit growth in the third quarter both retail and wholesale channels. The fashion house is benefiting from the expansion of their directly operated store networks in high-growth markets – especially Asia-Pacific and North America – and progress in their online sales is also accelerating.
To celebrate the Soho store opening and to gear up for the holiday shopping season, check out five standout pieces from the Alexander McQueen holiday gifting collection below.
SKULL PHONE CASE WITH CHAIN $750 SHOP NOW
Butterfly Ring $650 SHOP NOW
Jeweled Four-Ring Metal Engraved Case $2,300 SHOP NOW
Skull Jeweled Square Sunglasses $675 SHOP NOW
Sneaker Charm $190 SHOP NOW