- The Row’s first boutique opened in Los Angeles this week
- The store will sell the label’s entire collection, as well as rare furniture pieces and Manolo Blahnik shoes
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have opened their first retail store for The Row – which includes a pool in its courtyard.
The new outpost, which opened Tuesday in Los Angeles, is housed in a stark white mid-century building whose central, outdoor area comes equipped with a recessed pool for swimming. Not ones to hold their customers back, the sisters have placed a leather basket of plush towels beside it for those who wish to take a dip mid-shopping.
Even the newly-engaged Mary-Kate is prone to get in on the action. ‘It’s really tempting’ she told Women’s Wear Daily of the store’s best amenity and visual focal point.
Shopping bonus: The Row’s new Los Angeles boutique – the label’s first-ever store – comes equipped with a pool in its courtyard (pictured)
The brains: The Row’s designers Mary-Kate (left) and Ashley (right) Olsen say that retail has always been a part of their plan for the label, which they started in 2006
Their store – a 3,800 square-foot space located on Melrose Place – has been converted from a hair salon that the sisters had both loyally visited since the age of ten, making their decision to open The Row there a personal one.
Ashley said of the location, once a Sally Hershberger salon: ‘It was a toss-up between New York and LA, and when this space became available, we jumped on it.
‘It used to be a hair salon and my sister and I used to come here, so we were very aware of the space.’
The store is divided into three areas they have called ‘galleries’, which have been laid out to look like a home – with spaces representing a dining room, library, and living room.
‘Ultimately, for us, it was about setting it up like a home and just having the apparel be a part of the space,’ Ashley explained of how the store has been organized.
In keeping with this theme, the sisters worked with vintage furniture dealers to outfit the store with prized design pieces by Prouvé, Fortuny, and Maul McCobb – all of which are also for sale.
Racks of the label’s elegant clothes – which are revered for their simplicity and craftsmanship – hang among the valuable mid-century furniture, making the store feel like an incredibly well-designed closet.
Comfy environs: The store has been organized to resemble a home, with its three ‘galleries’ designed to appear as a living room, dining room, and library
More than clothes: The sisters worked with antique furniture dealers to track down precious designs that are also for sale in the store
An assortment of the sisters’ favorite Manolo Blahnik styles is available for individual purchase as well, and are scattered throughout the boutique.
The Olsens say that having their own store has always been a part of their big plan. In opening the boutique, they not only get to articulate the environment in which their clothes are sold – but they also have the opportunity to market pieces that have not been picked up by department stores.
While The Row retails in 188 stores across 37 countries, Mary-Kate says that only 20per cent of their seasonal collections are purchased by wholesale vendors. The Row’s Los Angeles boutique, however, will sell their made-in-America collections in their entirety.
But this singular store is only the start. While the sisters believe that opening their first location in New York was too ‘aggressive’ an option, they do hope to set up shop there sometime in the near future.
They also plan to implement the lessons they learn with this store into a grander retail scheme for their lower-priced, more commercial line Elizabeth & James.
Craftsmanship: The Row’s made-in-America designs are revered for their simplicity and superb quality
According to the Olsens, The Row’s first store is just a tipping off point for what will follow in the near future.
As Mary-Kate explained: ‘We will get into shoes in the next year. And hopefully men’s. To us it’s really about a lifestyle, and I think this store is a great starting-off point to express where we are going.’
The Row was established in 2006, initially as a line of knitwear, T-shirt, and denim basics. The label has since exponentially expanded to include fur and handbags and is carried at stores including Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys New York.
As a luxury label, prices for the line range from $225 for a tank top up to $5,000 and beyond for coats. Items typically retail between $1,200 to $2,500.
More on the way: Mary-Kate and Ashley say that this store is just the beginning and that they plan to open more in the future, as well as start their own line of shoes and perhaps branch out into menswear
In 2012, the label won the CFDA Award for Womenswear Designer of the Year – beating out fellow contenders Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler.
Mary-Kate and Ashley also manage a contemporary label Elizabeth & James, and a lower-priced line called Olsenboye which sells at J.C. Penney.