[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ver the last year and a half Madison Avenue has been experiencing a rise of new store openings, signaling the return of uptown’s retail reign over Manhattan. Over 20 reputable retailers have signed leases on Madison Avenue within the last year, such as Lanvin, Valentino and Charlotte Olympia, to name a few. Many of the retailers with contemporary, downtown customer bases have been making their way north; Proenza Schouler, Vince, Rag & Bone, Zagid & Voltaire, Sandro, and new concept store FiveStory have all recently scouted for space on the iconic Madison Avenue. Areas between 50th and 62nd street being the most occupied while vacancies above 67th street has been accounted for by the more contemporary labels.
In a recent interview with WWD, Joel Isaacs, president of New York-Based commercial real estate firm Isaacs and Company said “Madison Avenue has certainly come back in the past 18th months or so. In September of 2010 it started roaring back and in 2011 there must have been over a dozen deals signed on the street.” Isaacs noted that in 2012 the Madison Avenue rents are back up to where they were in 2007.
The strong affluent residences surrounding Madison Avenue has made it the next logical step for those wanting to make a big statement but are looking away from the expense of the Meatpacking district and mega-labels of Fifth Avenue. And while uptown’s traditional neighborhood tended to cater to a more conservative clientele, the mood on Madison Avenue is changing. Andrew Rosen, a large stake holder of Proenza Schouler tells WWD “The customer has been turned onto these brands, whether they were going downtown to get them or to Barneys or Bergdorf’s to get them. Why should they have to go downtown to get it?” Rosen, who currently has two Helmut Lang / Theory boutiques on Madison Avenue, finds that the Madison Avenue landscape is changing to reflect the customer’s taste.
Luxury menswear has also sought new space uptown, with bespoke suits and sportswear designer Cesare Attolini on 67th St., Swiss Watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen on 54th St., and Bottega Veneta Men’s on 67th St., all opening last week. Neuhaus, a Belgium chocolatier best known for their pralines, opened a 1,500 Square foot flagship location at Madsion and 52nd street.
NY Mag; http://nymag.com/shopping/openings/bottega-veneta-mens-2012-5/