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Elyse Walker Has Arrived in New York

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In a full circle moment, retailer Elyse Walker has arrived in New York.

The native New Yorker, who started her career with a shoe store on Madison Avenue before moving west to build a fleet of multi-brand luxury boutiques in California, has opened the first of those in Tribeca.

The 3,000-square-foot space on Moore Street is her eighth store, and a 6,000-square-foot flagship will follow in April at 926 Madison Ave., bringing the total store count to nine.

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“All my friends from college are coming in, and all my friends from Scarsdale are coming in,” she said of feeling the love during her homecoming. “And it’s a real neighborhood. We’re right next to Bubby’s and there are five schools within two blocks. Other people may look for foot traffic or hotel business..but we look for where people live, hang out and walk their dogs – where can we be part of the community.”

Walker is in her 23rd year business, and 2022 has seen the launch of Elysewalker.com and a renewed focus on the in-house designed Elysewalker collection.

“We love to be in the dressing room, we love to touch and feel, and the fact that the CEO and president are sitting here unpacking boxes, that’s who we are,” she said during a joint interview with company president Summer Holl.

Like the other seven Elyse Walker stores, the Manhattan one stocks all the major luxury brands including Celine, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and Gucci, plus Toteme, Nili Lotan, and La Ligne. It is 10 to 20 percent localized to New York, with a bigger offering of Max Mara outerwear, for example.

“Architecturally, it really feels like a neighborhood store, and this is one of the only doors that in some way mimics our flagship Pacific Palisades location because it’s got several rooms,” Holl said of the space, which has brick walls, herringbone parquet floors, a chandelier and a downtown residential feel.

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Elysewalker Tribeca

Elysewalker Tribeca

Courtesy of Ian Bartlett/Elysewalker

There’s a large shoe wall with offerings from Gianvito Rossi, Paris Texas and more, nodding to Walker’s roots. Her family started Capretto Shoes and she opened her own Capretto store on Madison Avenue while still in college at Columbia University.

“I opened my first store in October 1987 and the next week the stock market crashed,” she said. “That’s why I’m still saving today because that was my first entree into retail and it was sink or swim and I decided to swim.”

Walker will be returning to the Upper East Side at 74th Street and Madison Avenue.

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“We know exactly where our client lives. Now that we have digital, we can literally see it,” she said. “There’s a need for specialty multibrand retail in New York..It’s not just the customers, it’s the designers and showrooms that have been begging us to open, too. I expect New York to be 20 to 25 percent of sales by year one,” she projected.

The overall business will hit $77 million in revenue in 2022, and $100 million in 2023. Just 11 months old, the web site already accounts for more than 15 percent of net sales, she said. “When it comes to digital, we really see it as another store….We have sales in 46 states…We’re not expecting that the web will be bigger than brick and mortar. Web supports the physical stores.”

One of the secrets to Walker’s success has been her in-house Memo styling program run by a team of 21 stylists, who each have their own Instagram account and fashion point of view.

The new digital styling team already accounts for 40 percent of online sales. “The styling component continues to be the through line for us. And what we’re seeing is that we definitely have people now that are coming in and using the stores as a showcase for working with their digital stylists online,” said Holl. “But we also have people coming in with screen grabs from the web site and shopping with their in-store stylists because they want to have that experience. So as we grow and expand in key markets and neighborhoods there’s this incredible synergy.”

Elyse Walker First NYC store opens. Nov 2022

Elysewalker Tribeca
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Walker has been in fundraising mode since 2020, but has not found an investor for the business, which she owns with her husband, David Walker. “We think they should be knocking down the door,” she laughed. “We love what we do. And we have so many ideas for expansion, but we we need a partner to help us grow faster. For now, we’re going to just slow it down, make it solid, work on margins and really dive into digital.” Chicago and Texas could be contenders for stores in 2024, Holl added.

The retailer previously partnered with Revolve Group to launch the luxury website FWRD. “That was someone who did all operations and let me build the brand,” she said. “Now we have built our own warehouse, we built an in-house photography studio, so it’s just someone [a potential investor] who comes in and understands how passionate we are.”

Elyse Walker stores generate between $3,500 and $7000 in sales per square foot.

Elyse Walker First NYC store opens. Nov 2022

Elysewalker Tribeca

The performance of the 1,225-square-foot St. Helena Napa Valley store, which Walker calls her “COVID baby” because it opened in spring 2021, has been a surprise, at least to Holl.

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“You mix wine and hospitality and it’s a really good combination,” Walker laughed. (Not to mention wine and shopping.) The store, which will be expanded next year, currently has sales of $5,388 a square foot.

Beyond that and the second New York store, the retailer is being cautious about next year.

“We feel that Q1 is going to be a little bit softer, that people are going to be cautious. And then by the time we roll into opening our second New York door that we’ll see some recovery, as we usually do on both coasts first. So we’re being a little bit more conservative about growth next year,” said Holl.

The company has 137 employees, including three devoted to the Elysewalker collection of cashmere sweaters, silk blouses and slip skirts, which will represent 3 percent of sales in 2022.

“We really don’t see our brand surpassing 8 percent ever..we’re both really conscious of not over saturating the assortment because it’s so tempting from a margin standpoint. But customers know and we always want to be a great multibrand store. I have seen so many stores go under when the private label starts growing, growing, growing,” said Walker.

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Her move to New York comes at a time when, since COVID-19, there has been a rise in profile and expansion of several multibrand stores nationally, such as Hampden Clothing in Charleston, South Carolina; McMullen in Oakland, California, and ByGeorge in Austin, Texas.

“People got a timeout, everyone stayed local. I think that possibly helped reacquaint everyone with local,” said Walker. “I think people appreciate that we travel the world, we’re going to shows and every showroom to find those four or eight pieces that we think are the best.”

Holl added, “The number one thing I’ve heard at the New York store opening are women coming in and saying we love your edit. We want to do that online, too.”



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Marsèll Makes Handbag Push

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Footwear label Marsèll is committing to the handbag and leather goods categories.

For spring 2023, the brand is introducing its first full-fledged range after it tested the waters for the past 20 years with small capsules and a few styles regularly flanking the core shoe business.

The brand installed a creative team and beefed up its manufacturing capacity with new hires of dedicated artisans.

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Marco Cima, cofounder and creative director, characterized it as a “natural progression built from our know-how in leather production.”

“We have always wanted to telegraph our aesthetics…and methodology via different product categories, projects and objects.…We believe we are an alternative brand representing and drawing customers looking for minimalist and no-logo designs,” Cima explained.

Centered on timeless styles with a minimalist bent in line with the footwear category, the spring range comprises doctor bags and irregularly shaped pouches as well as tiny tote bags with handles knotted to the bag’s body, all coming in a muted color palette of earth tones and pastels.

The bags retail for between 700 euros and 2,000 euros.

A bag from Marsèll spring 2023.

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A bag from the Marsèll spring 2023 collection.



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Shania Twain Channels Animal Inspiration in Leopard-print Bra Cups and Velvet Skirt at People’s Choice Awards 2022 Red Carpet

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Shania Twain arrived on the red carpet for the 2022 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California, wearing an animal-inspired dress.

For this year’s ceremony, the singer wore a dress with a leopard-print silk hood and cape shawl, leopard-print bra cups, sheer long sleeves, a sheer bodice and a floor-length black velvet skirt custom designed by Rodarte. The singer’s only notable accessory was her wedding ring, leaving her outfit to speak for itself.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Shania Twain attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 06, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images )

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Shania Twain attends the 2022 People’s Choice Awards.

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Twain worked with stylist Chris Horan to create her look for this year’s awards ceremony. Horan also works with Christina Aguilera, Debby Ryan and Charli XCX.

Twain went for a matte coral pink lip, pink blush and heavy eye makeup, with statement eyelashes. Her eyes were adorned with pink and blue eye shadow. For hair, she had it highlighted bright pink, coordinating with her makeup.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Shania Twain attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 06, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images )

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Shania Twain attends the 2022 People’s Choice Awards.

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Twain received this year’s People’s Choice Award for Music Icon, presented to her by her friend, actor Billy Porter.

During the awards show, she took to the stage to perform in a custom Diesel bright red coat-style dress with pants and a zip-up corset underneath designed by Glenn Martens. Twain accessorized the look with coordinating gloves, a cowboy hat and sunglasses.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: 2022 PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS -- Pictured: Shania Twain attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards held at the Barker Hangar on December 6, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. --  (Photo by Chris Polk/E! Entertainment/NBC via Getty Images)

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Shania Twain in one of her performance outfits at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards.

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The People’s Choice Awards is a show where fans honor a year of outstanding pop culture entertainment in TV, film, acting and music, with winners chosen by the public. This year’s award show was hosted by comedian Kenan Thompson, and also awarded Lizzo as the People’s Champion Award and Ryan Reynolds with the People’s Icon award.



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Noah Schnapp Suits Up in Head-to-toe Fendi at People’s Choice Awards 2022

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Noah Schnapp arrived on the red carpet for the 2022 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California, suited up for an award-winning night.

For the event, where the actor took home the People’s Choice Award for Male TV Star of 2022 for his work on Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” he wore a double-breasted navy suit, a white turtleneck, black lace-up shoes and a crossbody bag — all from Fendi.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Noah Schnapp attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 06, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images )

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Noah Schnapp attends the 2022 People’s Choice Awards.

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Schnapp worked with Phillipe Uter to create his look for the event. Uter has also worked with Roselyn Sanchez, Taylor Mack and Meagan Good.

Schnapp is familiar with wearing brands under the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton umbrella on the red carpet. In May, the actor attended the season four premiere of “Stranger Things” in a full Dior look featuring a white shirt, white pants and a blush pink jacket.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Noah Schnapp attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 06, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images )

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Noah Schnapp attends the 2022 People’s Choice Awards.

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“I really had the desire of dressing Noah in a brand that we never used before. Something trendy, cool but still luxury. Noah is between the teenager and adult life so I couldn’t go too classic nor too young. That is why I decided to collaborate with Dior on this appearance,” Uter said to WWD at the premiere.

Schnapp also attended Fendi’s spring 2023 menswear runway show during Milan Fashion Week, where he sat front row and sported a full Fendi look.

In addition to “Stranger Things,” this year Schnapp also starred in the mystery film “The Tutor.”

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The People’s Choice Awards is an annual awards show where fans honor a year of outstanding pop culture entertainment, with winners chosen by the public. This year’s award show was hosted by comedian Kenan Thompson and awarded Lizzo as the People’s Champion Award and Ryan Reynolds with the People’s Icon award.



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