Madison Avenue Changes its Attire
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.