Madison Avenue Changes its Attire

After several years of soul searching during the Great Recession, "conspicuous consumption has made a resounding return to Madison Avenue." But, as Eric Wilson discovered, a new Avenue has emerged.
August 21, 2012, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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With a former reputation as the "world's most insular shopping mall," the arrival of younger "downtown" brands and their customer to what "at its core, is a local shopping district" for one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world has been a shock, albeit a mostly welcome one, for the famous fashion street.

According to Wilson, "Nearly 50 stores have opened in the last 18 months, including a diverse mix of European luxury labels (Céline and Bottega Veneta), contemporary brands (Vince, Zadig & Voltaire, Rebecca Taylor, Alice + Olivia, Theory and Rag & Bone) and hipper American designers (Proenza Schouler and, coming soon, Monique Lhuillier)."

When the recession struck, rents on the avenue dropped to between $600-$800 a square foot and dozens of vacancies opened. After only three years, "landlords once again are asking (asking, mind you) for rents of $1,500 a square foot, higher than before the recession," notes Wilson.  

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Published on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 in The New York Times
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