- Edited by Vivian Kelly
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Sunday, April 25, 2010
The DEVI KROELL Boutique - the Madison Avenue retail picture
TEXT: VIVIAN G. KELLY-VAN ZUTPHEN
Images, from www.devikroell.com
These days, the picture on Madison Ave isn't pretty. The top designer boutiques are filled with black clad sales people and scarcely a customer. It's true that there are crowds clustered around some of the greats over on Fifth such as Cartier, and that there was a line wrapped around the block waiting for the Abercrombie Flagship to open. Our money's on that these folks are just out of town lookie-loos.
Back to Madison Avenue. We took a Thursday afternoon jaunt down retail's golden mile - starting on Madison and 57th street to see what the action was. Not much tempted us, we passed on the corner Michael Kors boutique, Prada, and in the interest of saving time didn't go into Chanel but drooled at the bag display in the window.
1st STOP: THE DEVI KROELL BOUTIQUE
WHY THERE: We unanimously loved the yellow bag we spotted just inside and disliked the multi-colored pants/leggings in the window display and agreed we had to see more.
INSIDE: The sales girl who approached us gets a 10/10 for friendliness and her knowledge of the product on the floor.
The two-level NY boutique is a long Shotgun space, designed by Devi who's quite the designer. She conceptualized the boutique and designed the backboard in chocolate duchesse satin. "Here's one Madison Avenue designer, remarked www.thefashiontribune.comRichard Spiegel, who didn't have to call Peter Marino to design their space."
WHAT CAUGHT OUR EYE:
The python is signature, and always fabulous, whether it's in natural or shocking pink. This season, Devi also worked with leather and designed the sunshine yellow twist bag that lured us into the store.
WHAT'S HOT & SELLING:
The larger python bags can take you day to evening and for an overnight if needed. Tiny clutches aren't really where it's at but larger clutches are more on-trend and sell.
The gold peep-toe sandals with a 6" heel retail for $990 but thanks to some help from features in the March AND April issues of www.HarpersBazaar.com, are doing nicely.
Although the [Stock]Market is creeping upwards, it's just not the time to expand a brand. The clothes are not the stars at D.K., and are for the most part, relegated to the upstairs area. The best-seller is the long versatile metallic cardigan for $179O.
There's probably a customer out there who will buy the Michael Jackson-esque gold paillette blazer that goes for just under
$5000, but the real focus remains on the bags and shoes.
Tighten things-up, meaning, scale-down to a smaller space, restrict the RTW clothes to a bare minimum [perhaps just by special order] and narrow the focus to those great core bags and shoes we all love.
WHERE TO SHOP & TO BUY:
717 Madison Avenue
Forum Shops at Caesars Palace
3500 Las Vegas Boulevard South